Deb Goes Green stands in solidarity with France and the world for freedom of expression without violence/Deb Goes Green est en solidarité avec la France et le monde pour la liberté d'expression sans violence.
We've come to my favorite time of the year- the end- where I sit down and tally all the data I keep about how much carbon I am (or am not) spewing into the air. After all, that is the whole point of this blog! So drum-roll, please...
Deb Seymour's overall carbon output for 2014 is 6694 pounds (or 6.6 tons)
THIS IS THE SECOND LOWEST SCORE SINCE 2010!
(Click on chart to enlarge)
A "Silver-Medal" YEar!
Well, well, well!
It would seem that dumping my ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) Car and driving 90% electric has made a huge dent, in spite of flying to London and Hawaii this year!
As you can see in the chart below, my overall carbon dip (the black line) parallels the steep decline in gasoline usage (the blue line). However, the fact that the green line (flying) even exists is what keeps the black line positioned high.
About That Flying
The purists among you will hammer me for flying at all. And I agree with you: flying (pardon my language) effs-up my carbon output- it is HUGELY carbon intensive and pollutes like a <insert favorite naughty word here>.
But until we can figure out a better way to cross oceans- greener ways- I am kind of stuck. I refuse to stay in the USA all the time- and it is not like I go overseas all the time, either. In fact, my last trip to Europe was in 2007, and before that, China 1983. Both in 2007 and 1983 I "flew long and stayed long"
"Fly long,stay long" means getting as much value for your carbon spewing as possible by making your trip worthwhile- which to me is staying long enough to really practice the language, experience the culture and LEARN SOMETHING that makes me a better person and makes the world a better place.
England in particular this year involved meeting with other electric car advocates, doing some green car journalist and driving electric cars on the other side of the road. Including a TESLA! (See Blog Archives 2014- "UK Electric Highway" and "Driving on the Left...and I'll take a TESLA with That!")
I don't want to not travel. I DO try and do it with a purpose beyond silly tourism.
I REALLY WANT solar planes or, better yet, ship options that do NOT involve luxury cruises, which are even more wasteful and carbon intensive.
I am ALSO stuck being an only child who MUST occasionally show up in person to tend to my elderly & disabled mother- there is only so much I can oversee long-distance (See last chart on this post for more about that)
I ALSO REALLY WANT HIGH SPEED ELECTRIC RAIL IN THE USA, GDLDANGIT! That is one thing that Europe has that we don't and when you start experiencing the ease of that type of travel- in England, Germany, France, Denmark...you fall in love with it. (Note the addition of a train on the chart this year!)
But back to the GOOD STUFF from 2014:
Alas, my natural gas usage was up this year and I am not sure why, except general laziness. Also, I have yet to cut a cat door in the door leading from the kitchen to their area in the basement, thus that door has been cracked open all year, letting basement drafts into the main floor where we live. That changes on FRI the day after tomorrow! Got the tools, got the kitty door! (For those new to this blog who are curious as to what I did to drastically reduce my natural gas usage between 2009 and 2010. please visit Blog Archives 2010 "Smashing Gas Flat" :-)
Alas, garbage output is a bit up too DESPITE only producing one 2 Quart mason jar a month personally: cat poop. If it weren't for the furry little fuzzballs whose poop must be scooped and disposed of properly, I only would have made seven and a half gallons of my own trash between May-December. Grrr. I welcome suggestions on ways to safely compost cat poop in my yard (if that is even legal)... or maybe I will keep two separate counts...one for me, one for the cats. Heh!
One month of trash...and during the holiday season to boot! This level of trash making- or non-trash making- has been on-going since May. Watch out Bea Johnson...I'll get down to one jar a year eventually! If I only didn't have cats... (I love my cats and they ain't going nowhere, in case anyone wants to know!)
Water usage remained on the lower side for 2014, despite it being the nastiest, driest, hottest Seattle summer since I moved here in 2014. 2010 was bad because my drip hoses sprung a leak that I didn't know about. What do I do?Take quick showers with the water OFF while I soap, use rain barrel watering for houseplants and garden, efficient dishwasher and front-load washing machine, "if it's yellow, let it mellow" , etc.
Lastly, About That Flying...And Mom...
Flying used to be very occasional until 2009 when my father in California became extremely ill in and died. Since then, as an only child, I have had make frequent and often last-minute flights between Seattle and California, to aid my mother, whose health is really bad as well. 2012 was a particular difficult year, both emotionally and logistically re Mom. I only WISH I could say those 2012 flights were all vacations but they weren't.
Electricity in the City Seattle, WA is produced 94% by renewable energy: hydro-electric, wind and solar. In addition, I am a part of the Seattle Community Solar project and my home is partially powered by solar that way as well!
However, I DO share my yearly kWh count... just not until I get my final bill, which doesn't arrive until mid January each year. See you then!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
DEB GOES GREEN!
HOW DEB DOES THE MATH:
(I forget where I got this formula I will update post when I find it again)
Short haul <727.45 miles 0.64 lbs/mile
Med haul <2575 miles 0.44 lbs/mile
Long haul >2575 miles 0.39lbs/mile
1 gallon of gasoline = 19.4 pounds of C02
1 therm= 11.7 pounds of C0
1 kWh in Seattle= 0 pounds of CO2
Merry Christmas from Deb Goes Green! The cats and I are spending a lovely day on the couch enjoying a good book and not consuming or making trash.
Peace on Earth begins at home...or so we think! -Deb (& Peaches & Morpheus)
New York State banned fracking today and I am fracking excited!
READ WHOLE ARTICLE HERE
Yay! The PDF versions of the blogs from the old Deb Goes Green Word Press Version are all up and accessible from the Word Press Archives page! Or get them right here:
Blog Archives 2008-2010
Blog Archives 2011
Blog Archives 2012
Blog Archives 2013
Blog Archives 2014 (last entry October 16)
I hope to have an index of past blog post titles up soon.
But for now, enjoy! I know I am glad to have these posts archived in a more anti-deletion-friendly way!
Welcome to the new Deb Goes Green blog site! My name is Deb Seymour and I am your blog host and author. I am so pleased you are here!
Why Is It New?
I have been writing a blog about my personal attempts at greener living since October, 2008. Sadly, in a post-Thanksgiving-food-coma computer file cleaning frenzy, I deleted all over 120 posts in the old Word Press site. (I thought I was deleting an outdated music data base- what a turkey I am!)
For Those Of You Who Haven't Been Here Before:
I strongly believe that we can live lightly on the earth without having to renounce all trappings of modern society. To that end, I began this blog in 2008 to chronicle my successes and failures in modeling that belief.
Happily I have been mostly successful in establishing the five R's (refuse, reduce, repair, recycle, rot) in my life while still having hot water, decent clothes,eating well and driving a car. There have been set backs as well and I tried to be honest about those, too.
My readers over the past six years have been from all walks of life and from all over the world. I have learned as much by reading their comments as I have by my own fumbling steps towards being net-zero.
What Is Next?
Pardon the "woo-woo", but sometimes the universe sends you signs that something needs to change. I suspect my accidental deletion of the old files was one of them: a sign to consolidate the best of what I can retrieve from the Google caches and old backups and present it all in a clearer, cleaner form.
A downsizing and de-cluttering of sorts.
Meanwhile, as I work to retrieve or re-write the best of what was lost (and write new material), please poke around this new site what I have so far and feel free to comment (usual niceties apply: rude or name-calling posts will be removed.)
Peace be with you,