Dear Sweeties....I get this newsletter in the e-mail every week, and I'm gonna post it here, too, in case y'alls don't read Slate much. Slate is an online magazine that I like, and if you sign onto MSN, you can see the link to it there.
Last week's Slate Green Challenge was bout wearing clothing that reduces our impact on the environment, that is, cotton, linen, wool....natural fibers. That's a hard one, especially now when all the L.L. Bean Christmas catalogs are arriving with all their luscious fleece garments!! Fleece is made out of polyester and that kinda stuff...petroleum derivatives. Ouch! Maybe a nice cashmere sweater instead??
From: Slate and TreeHugger [email@example.com]
Date: Nov 20, 2006 17:03
Subject: The Slate Green Challenge with TreeHugger: Electricity
Slate Green Challenge with TreeHugger
Welcome to Slate and TreeHuggers Green Challenge weekly newsletter! This week, we address electricity and gadgets, and what you can do to keep your related CO2 output to a minimum. If you havent started the Challenge yet, or if you missed a weekly segment, dont worry, you can learn what its all about ::here or pick up where you left off anytime.
ALL CHARGED UP Most of us take electricity for granted: Flip a switch, and there it is. In lots of ways, thats a beautiful thing. But behind our well-lit rooms and entertaining flat-screen TVs, the generation of electricity is our countrys largest single source of CO2 emissions overall. Thats because most of our electrical-power supply comes from burning fossil fuelsnatural gas, oil, and, especially, coal. While you cant pick where your energy comes from (unless you move off the grid by installing your own solar or wind power generator, say), theres plenty you can do to help follow a lower-carbon diet when it comes to electricity usage. Switching out light bulbs for more efficient models, unplugging electronic devices when they're not in use, and choosing energy-saving appliances are few things we suggest in this weeks Green Challenge. Weve got plenty more tips, too, and not a single one suggests that you live in the dark. ::Slate Green Challenge: Electricity
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Last month, Wells Fargo bank purchased enough renewable energy certificates to offset 40 percent of its energy consumption, about equal to removing 75,000 cars from the roads for a year. (The company has also financed $720 million worth of green buildings.) In terms of renewable energy purchased, the move puts them neck in neck with Whole Foods Market, which bought enough credits in 2006 to offset 100 percent of its energy use. ::more and ::more
As our consumption of gadgets such as DVD players, cell phones, MP3 players, and PDAs has increased, so have our countrys greenhouse gas emissionsnot to mention our household utility bills. Were not against modern technology, but we do like the idea of using it wisely. You too? Check out Energy Stars three-part podcast on the recent explosion of consumer electronics, its effects on energy consumption, and tips for reducing your personal impact. ::more
Founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute and a contributor to TH, Lester Brown knows a few things about improving productivity when it comes to energy. In his book Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble, he presents realistic solutions to a more sustainable future by outlining simple actions that individuals can take and explaining environmental policy at large. Another eco-spin: the book can be downloaded on-demand for free. ::more
Did you know?
Believe it or not, 40 percent of all the electricity we use in our houses is used to power electronics that are plugged in but arent in use. Nationwide, thats equivalent to the annual output of 17 power plants! You can avoid wasting energy in this way by unplugging electronics from the wall, or plugging them into a power strip that can be switched off completely.
For additionall tips on how to become even more environmentally savvy when it comes to electrical gadgets and power, check out TreeHugger's latest Green Guide, How to Green Your Electricity.
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So far, 27,457 Green Challenge participants have pledged a total of 47,705,759 pounds of reductions in CO2 emissions.
Stay tuned for next weeks installment of the Slate Green Challenge, when we celebrate the Holidays.
Special thanks to our friends at I'm Organic, T-shirt prize sponsor for the Green Challenge.
Yours on a carbon diet,
Slate and TreeHugger
Want to learn more about environmentalism or the world at large? Sign up for a TreeHugger newsletter here or get on the Slate train here.
Pssst...If you can convince a few of your friends to get on the Green Challenge program, youd be making an even bigger contribution to our collective carbon diet. Technically speaking, you wouldnt lose more carbon pounds yourself, of course, but why not pass this newsletter along to others who might enjoy it?
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