Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 218 of our Green Year: Doing Things Manually

Sometimes going green involves altering one's life completely, as we have done with a number of our initiatives, but sometimes it just involves taking matters into your own hands, and using your own manual power.
An example of this is automatic doors and escalators. These exist to make our lives easier, and many people do need them. Those who are disabled, in poor health or are elderly do need escalators, elevators and automatic doors and there is nothing wrong with that, that is what they are there for. Sadly, a quick trip into a department store will show you that most people (even the young and healthy) will opt for the automatic door, rather than the manual door, or for the escalator instead of the stairs. That is their choice of course, but for Layla and I, we are trying to limit the amount of energy we use in our daily lives, and using automatic doors will simply not do. Layla and I are completely healthy and mobile, so there is no reason we should have to use automatic doors, escalators or elevators. If you do use those, that is your choice and there is nothing wrong with that.

As a result, we will begin doing the two following things to limit our energy use, no matter how small it may seem. As we have mentioned, going green can be small steps, as well as large steps.

First, we will use manual doors when the option exists. Some stores only have automatic doors, so we are more or less required to use them. However, if a manual door that we have to open sits next to the automatic door, then we will use that one. This will apply even if we are carrying something, and even if the automatic door seems easier.

Second, if we are going up one to three floors, we will use the stairs rather than an escalator or elevator (unless of course we are hauling a cart or something like that). This decision will not only keep us from using that energy, even if the escalator never stops running whether we are on it or not, but it will also be a healthy choice for us. That walk up three flights of stairs will help keep us healthy and trim.

This is a small thing to do, and can seem insignificant, but nothing is insignificant when you want to go green and help the Earth.

A few days ago, we went for our weekly grocery shop and we noticed an incredible difference between the produce at the organic store and the produce at the grocery store. The organic tomatoes at the organic store were small, but delicious looking. However, the non-organic tomatoes in the grocery store were huge! They were like twice the size of the organic tomatoes, yet they were the same type. While I understand that can feed more, one has to wonder how many growth hormones and other chemicals are pumped into the tomatoes to get them to that size.

Also, we are adding a new company to our boycott list. Petland, which sells pet supplies and pets of course, is now not an option for us. The reason is that they sell dogs from puppy mills, which is a big no-no for us. We think all dogs need homes, but many dogs in puppy mills exist in horrible conditions. As well, there are plenty of wonderful dogs up for adoption at your local SPCA and animal shelters, and you should always think about getting your pets from there, rather than in stores.
The story can be seen here.