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What can a shut-in do to save the world

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by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: May, 2007
My usual arrangement for saving energy is to confine myself to the couch. Apparently, that is no longer going to be enough

By all accounts, my diet alone is a danger to the environment. Few here in California it seems, where we acknowledge ourselves to be The great American forward thinkers, are too concerned about this.

Recently, I took a fun little online ecological footprint quiz, (do it for yourself here http://www.myfootprint.org/ it'll only take a minute and then you can come back...) and wasn't exactly thrilled to discover even as a virtual shut-in, based on this test, if the world was populated purely by the likes of me, we'd need 2.4 planet earths to sustain me and my profligate ways.

Not to blow my own horn too hard, but, I am not nearly the worst in 90026. Apparently in my neighborhood, given the resources consumed, people are typically batting about 11 planet earths to sustain them.bad score

My usual arrangement for saving energy is to confine myself to the couch. Apparently, that is no longer going to be enough. I agree with TV's Bill Maher that we Americans wouldn't give up our TV remotes even if that was what it would take to save the world. Deal or no Deal? We wouldn't do it, and not one politician would even attempt to legislate it, even if were to be unequivocally true.

Anyways... Every half-baked journey begins with a first step and well, it seems the people in old Europe are country miles ahead of us v.progressive Californians on this one. How can it be that even my beloved California feels as if it is becoming as backwards as the rest of America? Loading up our jails with innocuous Paris Hilton types and cutting funding for farmers markets.

So in my search to make a difference by doing more than recycling our milk cartons and cereal boxes, I was thrilled to discover at the Climate group website that just everything else I can do personally to become a world class saver of the world, is really, really, quite, quite easy. I discovered that if I reduce the temperature of the water I use to wash my clothes to 85 degrees, I would see energy savings of 40%.

I'll start by saying, it's probably somehow wrong to drive my poor mpg convertible to a Burbank laundrette on laundry days. Even if it is a beautiful one. Even on a Sunny morning. So I'd be off to a bad start there. But I've begun to keep the temperature down of my water down. Down to 85 degrees. Sometimes less.

We're forever hearing that protecting the environment is too expensive for business to burden. Seriously, I'm serious... So when I began cutting the energy I used at the laundrette by 40%, I was kinda chagrined to discover that I wasn't asked for 40% fewer quarters to complete the wash. A willful lack of sophistication on the part of the washing machine makers? Or maybe Maybe this green business is good for business after all. It's gonna be good for the owners of the beautiful laundrettes.

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LamontPaul

publisher, lamontpaul is currently producing a collection of outsideleft's anti-travel stories for the SideCartel, with a downloadable mumbled word version accompanied by understated musical fabulists, the frozen plastic

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