housekeeping

Just an update on the "greening"...

If you look over there ---------------------------------------> and scroll down, you'll find a simple log of how we're doing. I was thrilled to see that the few steps I took made such an obvious change. BG was thrilled with the smaller checks that he wrote to the utility companies. I'm also please to report that Campaign Reduce Refuse got off to a great start -- the first and second weeks of August we only took two bags of garbage to the curb. We slumped in our efforts a little the third and fourth weeks of the month, but still managed to limit our non-recycled waste to three garbage bags per week. So I'm feeling pretty successful. This month the goal is to limit our curbside waste to 2 1/2 bags per week and I am extremely hopeful that our meter readings will drop even further, especially with fall weather peeking around the corner.

I also re-took the Happy Planet survey and although the changes there were subtle, there was change. I'm still trying to figure out how much stock to put in such surveys -- I'm a bit wary of indexes that "calculate" your happiness based on so few questions. And, depending on the time of day, the time of the month, and whether or not there's any chocolate in the house, my responses to the personal questions can quickly shift from one extreme to the other. But it's still a baseline of sorts and I'm inclined to think that despite it's suspect accuracy, it gives me a direction to aim. Here's how my results compared to last months:


Life Expectancy
8/3/07: 80.1 Congratulations. Your life expectancy is above average for your gender and country. Whether it's eating well, not smoking, getting regular exercise, or just being lucky enough to have the right genes, you're doing something right. However, nobody's perfect and we could all improve our health a little! Aside from getting all the above bits of your lifestyle right, there are some more surprising factors that can influence your life expect - for example, giving up your car, avoiding living alone, moving out of the city or shrugging off stress.
9/4/07: 91.5 Hurray! Your life expectancy is well above average for your gender and country. Probably, you're doing all the major things right - eating well, not smoking, getting regular exercise, and you're lucky enough to have the right genes. Are there any more ways you could make a difference? Some factors that improve your life expectancy are more surprising than others. For example, giving up your car, avoiding living alone, moving out of the city and shrugging off stress.

Ecological Footprint
8/3/07: Your ecological footprint is 6.55 global hectares, or 3.64 planets. This is equivalent to the average in Bahrain. Your ecological footprint is below average for the country you live in. Oh dear! You are using between three and five times your share of the planet's resources, even assuming no resources are set aside for other species. That's well above the world average, and even above the average for most industrialized countries.
9/4/07: Your ecological footprint is 6.18 global hectares, or 3.43 planets. This is equivalent to the average in Ireland, Norway or Singapore. (The rest of the text was the same... my small change, apparently, is still within the "Oh dear!" range.)

Carbon Footprint
8/3/07: Your carbon footprint is 3.14 global hectares, or 1.74 planets. This is below the average for your country (5.84 gHa).
9/4/07: Your carbon footprint is 2.79 global hectares, or 1.55 planets. This is below the average for your country (5.84 gHa).

I find it interesting to note that my over-all "personal Happy Planet Index" number went down a bit (from 30.7 to 30) and that although my Life Satisfaction, Personal Feeling and Personal Functioning scores decreased (respectively 6-5, 6.55-6.08, 6.32-5.99), my ability to function socially went up (4.98-5.03). If this trend continues I'm afraid that in my effort to "do my part", I'm going to live longer, make everyone around me happier, but hate myself while I do it. How's that for incentive?


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