The Earth Day

Happy Earth Day, Earth! And to everyone on it! (Sorry, astronauts on the ISS, you don’t count. But hey, you’ve got an awesome view out the window. Of the Earth.) It's good to have a reminder about the value of the Earth, our environment, and ways to protect it.

At work, I strive to be environmentally friendly:

  • No recyclable paper gets thrown in the garbage. Any paper that goes into the recycling almost always has both sides used. I admit that I do use a lot of paper--exams, mostly. You wanna help me recycle exams? Heh, nice try. They all go to be shredded and then recycled.
  • Dead batteries from the wireless mics I use get dropped off in an ECOS box, along with my empty printer cartridges.
  • I turn off the lights in my office when I go to class; I also turn off the lights in the bathrooms in Bio Sci when I leave. (Sorry about leaving you in the dark that one time, guy in the stall. Oops!)
Am I a paragon? Of course not. Apparently, I’ve committed the worst kind of enviro-crime possible, twice: having kids. Um, sorry?

Speaking of family, here are some things we do:
  • We don’t buy bottled water; every family member has their own reusable aluminum bottle (so no fighting over the one with zoo animals on it!).
  • In my house, I’m famous for eating food that’s past its expiry date. Long past. Hey, I hate to waste food. What's a little borborygmi?
  • Every garbage day, I put out more blue bags than garbage bags--in fact, no one else on my block puts out as many blue bags as I do. It takes me over an hour a week to clean, rinse, sort, and otherwise prep all of my family’s recyclables.
Here’s a funny story. Before the City of Edmonton’s Blue Bag curbside pickup recycling program, there was the blue box curbside pickup recycling program. Not only did you put your recyclables in a, box, you had to sort everything, too: cardboard vs. plastic vs. clear glass, etc. So when the recycling-pickup person came, they tossed the cardboard into one compartment of the truck, plastic into another, and so on. One recycling day, the recycling-pickup person had (oddly) left behind a large piece of cardboard. When I picked it up, I saw that they had written me a note of appreciation, thanking me for the good job I had done sorting and arranging my recycling. Aww! Thanks, recycling-pickup person!

Could I do better? Absolutely. I could bring my own rechargeable batteries to use in the wireless mics. I could try to always remember to shut off the computer and turn off the lights in my classrooms, if it’s the last class of the day. I could buy products with less packaging to reduce my recyclables.

What are you doing to help save the Earth?

Why aren’t you studying?


Anastasia said...

I plan to help the Earth by not reproducing and dying alone.

Anonymous said...

Good on you for being green. What do you think about "if it's yellow, let it mellow"? Those stickers are posted in washrooms around campus

Karsten A. Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: Haven't seen those. I have heard the saying, "Pee no, poo do."

A lot of urinals on campus are auto-flush, so there's not much I can do. There's even a bit of debate around "waterless urinals" which (due to their design) apparently violate building codes.

And there's the issue of buildup in toilets--less flushing means more calcification, which means more cleaning with chemicals.

Peeing is so complicated...

Find It