Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Who is conserving energy?

There was an interesting article on CleanSkies.org that I read today.  Denise Bode, the CEO of The American CleanSkies Foundation wrote about a friend of hers that when he picked her up, had his car running with a/c blasting.

Obviously wasting energy.  When she mentioned it, he said that his work paid for it.  

See, that's what I'm talking about!

Who are the people that are conserving energy and really going out of their way to make a difference?  In my mind, and this is real loose, it's two kind of people.

1. Those who can't afford the rising costs of gas, electricity...

These people can't afford to even buy CFL's.  They just end up turning off their lights, line drying their clothes, getting used to keeping the thermostat set higher in the summer and piling on blankets in the winter.  They may not recycle in the same sense others do, but they certainly re-use so they don't have to buy again.

They don't care about solar panels and wind turbines to power their house but they are certainly doing their part in conservation.  But they are doing it out of necessity.  Money is short and they are just doing what they have to do to be able to keep their kids fed and clothed.

2. Those who are very well off.

These types of people are the triple figure salary people.  They can afford to buy the latest hybrid or even natural gas or hydrogen cars right now.  They are putting solar panels on their roof and install turbines in their yard.

They are renovating their house to become more "green."  And they recycle their paper, plastic, they bring their shopping bags back to the supermarket, they wear "eco friendly" clothes exclusively... you get the idea.

They have the money to save the Earth and they use their money to do it because hybrids are cool, and shoes* made out of natural materials and recycled car tires are cool. 

* Simple makes some shoes with the bottom of a shoe being a tire.  I love it!  I think the tread is awesome!


Some of you may argue that there is a third and maybe 4th type, but these are the ones that I see the most.  You know what, you let me know who you think the other types are and if you see someone different.  Or, maybe you see or are even one of the types that I mentioned above!

CFL Controversy

Thanks Mike for showing me this, I think it's pretty funny, though informative. But, I was doing some quick surfing online and found that the amount of mercury inside of a CFL is nothing compared to even an old thermometer (which I once broke and played with as a kid, woops!). I think it was like 5 mg in a CFL to 500 mg in the thermometer.

Regarding the guys speech... what about the whole digital tv change? If you have an analog set, and want over the air channels, sorry, they are leaving! But, the government is giving us vouchers for free converters. Maybe they should give away vouchers for CFL's or trade them for your other light bulbs. Home Depot gave them away for Earth Day I think...

My stance on CFL's? I'm trying to save money.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ferrari USA

Ferrari has some great design on their site, at least on the splash page, but I love the simplicity.

And if you haven't, be sure to check out my latest blog: Cars of Alexandria.  It's a sequel to Cars of Tulsa, but I've moved.  And Cars of Alexandria has some Ferrari's on it.

Top Gear Reviews the Audi R8

I know I've been talking a lot about saving energy/electricity/gas... but, how about some good old fashioned gas guzzling! I mean, I am a car guy at heart. If I had a super car, I would totally drive it, sorry Earth. But to compromise, maybe I should get the Lotus Elise...

This clip is exactly why I love Top Gear. I think these guys are genius. Also, from a production stand point, this show must have some of the best camera operators and directors because the shots are amazing. I hope that Josh appreciates the scoring too, because it really adds to it for me.

*If you don't have a lot of time, start watching at 4:12

12 Year Old Girl's Moving Speech to the United Nations*

Jump for more info.

* I know I'm on a big conservation rant, and I didn't want to post it so you think I'm a nut, but I thought it was especially interesting because this girl was only 12 and had a pretty good speech.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I'm not really the tree hugger type, though I do like to do my part when I can.  Is that bad?  No, I don't think so... if you do what you can when you can, I think that's good enough.  Not many people are able to go out and buy the new Honda Civic NGV (natural gas) or use solar panels or wind turbines, especially if they rent... but buying weather stripping for your windows and switching to CFL's is a nice start.

So, with that said, let me tell you about my latest project.  Conserving energy and reducing my carbon footprint. 

About the carbon footprint thing, that doesn't mean that I'm going to crazy and make sure I do every little thing no matter how expensive; like I saw this website where you can buy carbon credits or something that will offset your lifestyle and how much carbon you use.

Like, you type in your cars miles per gallon and miles per year... your house or apartment size... stuff like that and it calculates how much you should buy.  Well, I did that and I have to pay a little over $600 to offset everything.  Yeah, that's what I said.  Also, who does that go to?  I don't know!  Someone could have just made a nice website with a PayPal donate button!

I also may have said this before, but I do the normal stuff... like buy a pair of "green" eco friendly Simple shoes*, recycle my glass and plastic bottles (I don't use a lot of paper), and turn off lights when I leave the room.

*See, I'll only buy a pair of shoes, not like a whole wardrobe change!

But now that we moved and we are at a place that is super close to my work, (about half a mile) I can walk or ride my bike.  I also bought some CFL's and put them around the house.  There are also some lights in the hallway and living room that have dimmers, so I have just been keeping them off or on low.

I'm also trying a new thing of turning off my electronics when I leave or I'm not using them.  I'd like to know how much power they use when I'm not using them.  Like my XBOX, my speakers (small) my TV (only 32 inch LCD).... stuff like that.  You know that your stuff is still using power if its plugged in right?  Yeah, you have to turn either unplug them or turn the power strip off.

How much does all of this help?  Am I really helping the environment or am I just helping my wallet?  I think a little of both.

What I would love to do is setup some solar panels on the roof or my windows that could power my TV and other entertainment items as well as keep a battery charge for when the sun isn't shining.

I don't think that will really work, not for now at least.  We don't have direct light except for the light in the morning.  Plus I bet it's expensive.

Though I did see an ad for Radio Shack on the back of my Popular Mechanics that showed some guy made a solar charger for his iPod on the back of his backpack.  How much did that cost?  I'd love to make one for mine!  

You know?  Hmm... yeah, it may work... what if I built something with solar panels that would be able to charge/power my laptop as well as my cell phone and iPod?  I wonder how much it would cost... I'd also have to get a soldering iron I bet...  

So how much do you do to "save" the environment?  Do you carpool?  Do you just turn off lights around the house when you aren't using them?  Do you have a natural gas or hybrid vehicle?  I'd like to hear about it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Quotes I've Been Working On...

- You know you are bad with money when someone steals your identity and your credit score goes up.

- I'm all for conserving electricity and clean energy, but I look better under incadescents.

I really thought of these myself.  Lame?  What do you think?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My old desk...

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog

Glad this is over!

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog

All packed...

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
...except for this room, which means we all are going to cram ourselves into it.

Same facial expressions?

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
Coincidence? I think not.


Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog

Old Town

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
I live down the street from this.

Wireless Alexandria

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
There is free WiFi on King Street.

So sleepy

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
Templeton loved the aerobed, luckily we have our real bed setup now.


Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog

Templeton Loves Alexandria!

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
There is always a new sight or smell...

Sleepy time.

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
Templeton enjoyed sleeping on our laps.

Driving to VA

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
We spent a good amount of time driving through rain.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Moving from this...

320 South Boston Building
Originally uploaded by Okie1962
(320 South Boston Building)

...to this.

Old Town Alexandria
Originally uploaded by NearDC
(Old Town Alexandria)