Monday, June 09, 2008

I started riding my bike to The Workplace today. And I'm not talking about a motorbike either. It's a pedal bike. It's light, weighing in at less than 20 pounds I'm sure. It's a distance of 11.5 miles from my house to The Workplace, which currently takes 50 minutes to accomplish. That's 11.5 miles early in the morning, then another 11.5 miles in the late afternoon when it's 95 degrees. Why partake in the trek? It's simple really. Rising gas prices. I calculated at the current cost of fuel, and my motor-vehicle's fuel efficiency I'd be saving about $15 a week by riding
4 days a week. It's not a whole heck of a lot, but that number will only go up as gas prices continue to break records on a now daily basis. We're in the beginning of a new era. The days of inexpensive fossil fuels are over. The trend is slowly going to become what new, reusable energies can we "manufacture?" Also, how we can save on energy costs is going to peak some interest. While in most cases we can't generate our own energy (unless we can afford personal wind turbines or solar panels) there are numerous things we can do to save energy and be greener. I've compiled a list of some easy, and very affordable things you can do to save on your energy usage costs. He's back and greener than ever! It's Captain Jimmy's Top 10 Ways to be Green (Don't Listen to Kermit, it is Easy)!

10. Ride a bike. Even a motorcycle is going to use less gas that your honkin' SUV or your compact car. Especially in the bigger cities, you'd be amazed at how many places you can get to in a 10 mile radius by riding a bike. In some cases, it might even be faster.

9. Switch to energy saving light bulbs. Okay, so you can't get them in three-way but 3 watts vs. 60 watts should make that a no contest. You'll see instant savings!

8. Stop getting paper delivered to your house. Paper being newspapers, magazines, pay stubs. You can get your news online these days, even your local news. All those junk magazines (Victoria Secret, Cosmo and Nintendo Power excluded) you trash anyway and some magazines now offer their publications in PDF format. Just don't be an idiot and print the stuff out. And if you have direct deposit at work, try requesting to not have a paper pay stub anymore. Every little bit counts.

7. Carpool with friends. To work, social gatherings, just stop driving solo so gosh darn much!

6. Unplug or power down your stuff! All your stuff, especially big honkin' electronics, guzzle up your electricity even when they aren't "turned on." Get power strips and shut 'em down. Your PS3 is pulling 10 times as much power as your LCD HDTV. Even your phone charger plug is waisting electricity when plugged into the wall and not your phone.

5. Do more that uses less. Read a book instead of watching TV. Go play sports outside instead of Tiger Woods PGA on your XBox.

4. Turn off the lights when leaving a room. No sense in lighting up rooms when there is no one there to enjoy it. You could even invest in motion sensor lighting that completely takes the effort out of the equation.

3. Stop going out to eat so darn much. Get some extra food at the grocery store and cook up some nice meals at home. On the grill perhaps. That's my new thing. I made some kick a** grilled broccoli the other day. And who doesn't love a good grilled steak? Stupid vegetarians that's who!

2. Do more during the light hours. Wake up a few hours earlier and get more done when the sun is out. This way, once night comes, you won't need any extra electric lighting.

1. Drink from your faucet! I could go to some fancy pants statistic website and find out how much plastic waste is produced a year thanks to bottled water, but instead I'll just make you ponder. If your water tastes bad, get yourself a filter. In the long run, you're going to save tons of cash. People carry around giant coffee cups and mugs, why not carry a stainless steel water mug instead?

Now I know what you're thinking. "That top 10 was stupid and so are you Captain Jimmy!" First of all, never call The Captain stupid unless you want to be poisoned while you sleep. Secondly, no doubt some of the stuff listed could be argued, like the energy it takes to power your PC to read the news vs. no power for newspaper reading. But basically it you'd just get your head out of the polluted clouds, all it takes is a little conscious effort and caring. Which unfortunately is something most people don't do anymore.

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