Climate friendly yard work for those lacking a green thumb and spare time

In the months after our second son was born, one of the things we did in an attempt to make life feel less overwhelming was to hire someone to do our yard work. It was a big relief every two weeks to have our lawn neatly mowed and all the leaves blown away. I’ll be honest, Andrew had been doing the majority of our yard work so that burden hadn’t been on me anyway, but anything taken off our pile of collective responsibilities felt like a lightened load for both of us.

The Least Sexy and Most Effective Way to Slash Your Home’s Carbon Footprint

In February 2020, our home’s carbon footprint was 64% lower than it was in February 2019. In June 2020, our home’s carbon footprint was 61% lower than it was in June 2019. I love our solar panels, but they only accounted for 6% of the February difference and 39% of the June difference. The real game changer?

A Delicious New Year’s Resolution for a Livable World

Happy 2021! This year is starting out looking a lot more like 2020 than we’d like, but brighter days are on the horizon. Between the pandemic and a momentous election followed by a momentous runoff, I haven’t posted here lately, but doing what we can to turn the tide on climate change is more importantContinue reading “A Delicious New Year’s Resolution for a Livable World”

How much does that trip really cost?! Let’s use the pandemic pause to shrink our gigantic transport and travel-related carbon footprint

There are a lot of things most of us sorely miss from before the pandemic: hugging our friends and family, eating at restaurants, hosting parties…but I don’t think any of us would say we miss rush hour traffic. I don’t think most people miss work related travel. Coronavirus related lockdowns caused record drops in carbon emissions this year, in large part related to decreases in emissions from transportation and travel. Climate scientists aren’t too optimistic about this temporary drop having much of an impact on the overall catastrophic level of carbon we’ve put into the atmosphere if we just go back to “normal” when the pandemic is over, but what if we carry forward some of our more sustainable habits from this time of crisis?

Composting made easy-enough-to-start-during-a-pandemic

I know a lot of you are stretched thinner than ever these days between working at home and caring for kids. This post is not intended to put pressure on you! But, if you’re at home and were thinking of tackling even a very minor spring cleaning/gardening/art project, I promise that starting composting will be as easy or easier.

Put your money where your mouth is: the carbon footprint you didn’t know you had

If you’re working hard to lower your personal carbon footprint and reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, you definitely don’t want to be lending money to coal, oil, and gas companies so that they can expand their fracking, drilling, and mining. But that’s exactly what most of us are doing. Just since the Paris Climate Accord, the world’s largest banks have funded more than $700 billion in fossil fuel projects, with JP Morgan Chase the biggest offender.

Flushing forests down the toilet (and other single-use problems)

I’m embarrassed to say that until about a year ago, I didn’t really think twice about buying Charmin’s luxuriously soft toilet paper, or going through paper towels at a rapid clip (at the table as napkins, for spills and cleaning…with two little kids you can get through a roll pretty darn quickly). When I started reading more about climate change, Facebook started showing me targeted content about how our addiction to soft toilet paper is destroying Canada’s boreal forest.

Food

Who doesn’t love to eat? Andrew and I certainly do (although our kids would rather be doing pretty much anything else). Cooking, trying new restaurants or hitting old favorites—eating is one of the great joys of life. It’s also (the way we Americans have grown accustomed to eating) a huge problem for the planet.

Why?

I’m a little embarrassed to be writing a blog about journeying towards net zero carbon emissions. I’m not anywhere close. According to one estimate, just by living in the US and using public/government services, I emit more carbon dioxide than the average person in the world, before even getting started with my personal choices (that study is from 2008, but things haven’t changed nearly enough since). And in terms of personal choices, I haven’t exactly left the grid or made any big personal sacrifices.