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the environmental challenge

I was reading this article on nytimes.com about energy efficient houses. It turns out that heat is a key element to a house’s energy efficiency. This reminded me of the Habitat for Humanity build that I went on a few weekends ago. I spent my time insulating the walls. Obviously, the cost of heating comes to mind when you think about insulation; the better insulated your home is, the less you need to spend to heat it. This works both ways, heat going in and out of your house causes the level of efficiency to drop. Updating your home’s insulation, and improving insulation through either large home-renovations or even simply sealing your windows in the winter or installing new window shades, can lower the heating bill significantly. Doing this does require money and a bit of initial effort, but for those of us who it is difficult to remember to unplug the lamp every time we leave the house, this option requires less total effort, as well as saving you substantial amounts of money. Teaching green, as suggested in this article, is important because it makes your actions more effective and meaningful.

Do you guys think that every little action counts? or are you more pessimistic? At what level or levels do you think that change needs or needs not to be made to affect the environment?



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    My room mate and I had a converstaion similar to this during lunch time at au bon pain yesterday. We were just talking about little things that people could do, we could do just little simple things that we can all do to help out in the world. We were thinking about bread bowls and the idea of having bread bowls as a replacement for paper or plastic bowls for every meals. People wouldn’t have to throw away the bowls they could just eat them. If you didnt want to eat them, they could be used as compost to make more wheat and more bowls. Its just an idea, perhaps an amature one but yes to answer your question i do think little actions count. Personally i dont like the idea of plastic water bottles, and If we all used those metal ones or just one standard water bottle we could help out alot. Little actions such as not using plastic disposable water bottles or in your case turing off the lights spending more money on insulation to save money for heat bills, I think it all matters. There are about 7 billion people in the world. If we all did little things to help out the environment, If we all used greener products, if we didn’t waste we could cause some what of a difference. So yeah

  2. December 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I am glad this came up because I don’t believe that it was discussed the proper amount on our blog. A lot of Americans have made a conscious effort to do the little things: turn off lights, turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, walk instead of drive, etc. It will still take a lot as far as government mandates and laws of that nature to make a lasting impact in America and make the U.S. a sustainable place.

    What I am more pessimistic about are other countries around the world, the developing countries. For so long, America has produced a huge amount of emissions because we are such a big country. We did not take into consideration how much energy we were using for quite some time. Developing nations feel as though they are being cheated. Why should they have to limit their emissions if they are rapidly developing? America never did.

    This argument has some validity to it but at the same time this is the mindset that worries a lot of climate change experts. Places like China and India are growing exponentially and in the next few decades will be consuming double and triple the amount of energy as now (and yes even come close to the American amount of consumption). This is frightening, and the dreary part of it is that there isn’t much we can do.

    So to answer the question, I think the environment can be positively affected by sustainability and going green. I do believe, however, in order for a huge impact to be felt worldwide, developing countries need to be convinced that their future choices will have the greatest impact on our world, which will be hard to do.

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