How Big is Your Carbon Footprint?

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with San Diego Previews Real Estate CA BRE# 01101958

Beauty of DandelionsThere is little we can do to stop global warming, the melting of icebergs, rising sea levels and the inevitability of dandelions. But here are some big and small things we can all do to lessen the impact of our carbon footprint on this planet.

1. The biggy for me? I traded in a Mercedes 420 for a cool Camry Hybrid. I enjoy the car's size, client curiosity, long pauses between fill-ups and the nice tax credit that accompanied the purchase. Also fun are the included iPod  dock, blue tooth for phone, reliable navigation system, air filtration and having a car that inspires people in parking lots to ask if they can look under the hood of my car. Too see how your car stacks up environmentally, go to the Fuel Economy site.

2. Unplug electronic devices (televisions, DVD players, computers, battery chargers) when not in use. It is estimated that up to 75 percent of the electricity required to power electronics is used when the appliances are turned off, but still plugged in. Power strips with the on-off switch can handily work for multiple electronics.

3. Recycle your e-waste. Resist the temptation to toss old batteries, cell phones, computers and monitors,and the like. Goodwill Industries, Radio Shack, Auto Club and government agencies have recycling programs for these potential environmental hazards.

4. Calculate your own carbon footprint on this planet. We should all have the goal of being as carbon neutral as possible-and possibly using carbon offsets when possible.

5. Think local and buy organic. The Rodale Institute estimates that organic farming practices can help farm soils retain 15 to 28 percent more carbon that conventional farming methods. We can all see the benefit of buying locally-produced foods that don't involve carbon-producing long distance transportation. One study suggests that Americans generate more carbon dioxide by eating than by driving.

6. Dandelions? Forget the poisons and eat them. One cup of chopped leaves has more vitamin A (7700 IU) than a carrot, along with 19 mg of Vitamin C, 103 mg of calcium and a long list of other nutrients. Their long roots can be roasted and brewed as a morning coffee (talk about local!) and are touted as a terrific tonic for the liver and kidneys.

And one untested BONUS TIP: Hop onto your modified stationary bike, pedal hard and you can start generating your own electricity. This stroke of practical genius comes from the folks at Windstream Power.

San Diego Real Estate

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Rainmaker
289,914
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
My parents started every Spring with dandelion greens with vinegar & oil. Pick them before they get flowers or they are bitter.
Apr 21, 2007 11:58 AM #1
Rainmaker
197,711
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
Thanks, Kathleen! Believe it or not, but I've been buying them at the market and am actively looking for them in the garden.
Apr 21, 2007 12:24 PM #2
Rainmaker
597,020
Eric Bouler
Gardner Realtors, Licensed in La. - New Orleans, LA
Listening to your Needs
Carbon offsets are an excuse for using too much. You have to practice what you preach.
Apr 21, 2007 12:59 PM #3
Rainer
1,918
Donna McCrummen
Keller Williams Towne Square Realty - Bernardsville, NJ
I had no idea my appliances used power when turned off...............where has this been studied/proven?
Apr 21, 2007 01:06 PM #4
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA
Roberta: Thanks for your thought provoking post. I drive an SUV because I need a large vehicle for hauling Staging props to job sites, or Staging purchases home from the store. I have often thought about getting a hybrid or a Mini for those times when I don't need to drive a bigger vehicle. But what stops me is the idea that I may be creating more of a problem by owning two vehicles (and all the resources/pollution that went into making them) than I solve. Any thoughts?
Apr 21, 2007 01:27 PM #5
Rainmaker
197,711
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes

Eric: ...or pay the price!

Donna: " 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. This can be avoided by unplugging the appliance or using a power strip and using the switch on the power strip to cut all power to the appliance.: http://www.energy.gov/applianceselectronics.htm

Michelle: Please don't feel guilty for doing what you have to do. I drove a Suburban for years because I was hauling kids and equipment to ski practice, soccer games and golf tournaments. The Mercedes was LIBERATION. The hybrid is for ME:-)

Apr 21, 2007 01:47 PM #6
Ambassador
807,188
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK - Asheville, NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779
This is all very interesting! I'm going to check out your links right now...Thanks for sharing.
Apr 21, 2007 04:37 PM #7
Rainer
302,425
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL

Great blog Roberta.  Before anyone runs out to buy a Prius, you might want to check my recent blog.  It was heartbreaking news for those of us who have been counting on hybrids to help offset our carbon footprint.  Anyone wishing to offset their carbon footprint go to www.terrapass.com.  I don't think its an excuse to use as we please then offset with a terra pass.  In fact those of us who do purchase the passes are also exercising more control over our use of CO2 emitting vehicles. Oh and we don't have dandelions in florida.  Bummer.

Terry Haugen - STAGE it RIGHT!

Apr 22, 2007 03:11 PM #8
Rainmaker
197,711
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes

Jane-Ann: It makes for interesting reading!

Terry: And you have just provided more reading. Thanks!!!:-)

Apr 22, 2007 03:26 PM #9
Rainer
54,559
Art Blanchet
On the Outside Lookin' In - Sebastian, FL
Stranger in a Warm Land
Linking to your likns tomorrow, after I turn off the lights and get some sleep - a fine post!
Apr 24, 2007 04:29 PM #10
Rainmaker
197,711
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
Art: Thank you!!! The ideas are very worthwhile:-)
Apr 24, 2007 04:30 PM #11
Rainer
28,572
Colorado Springs Real Estate
Colorado Springs, CO

Roberta,

I started recycling a couple years ago and have cut my waste by at least 50%. Aluminum, steel, paper, cardboard, and plastic are easy to recycle, it just takes a little effort!

Apr 25, 2007 02:02 AM #12
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Rainmaker
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Roberta Murphy

Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
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