Sparing no expense to reduce that carbon footprint

Flip Side: Consider hybrid leaf blowers, jet-pooling, and sustainability in choosing lawn-care workers.
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Flip Side: Consider hybrid leaf blowers, jet-pooling, and sustainability in choosing lawn-care workers.

We are all trying to reduce our carbon footprints. By now you probably wear a sweater around the house, ride a bicycle to the grocery store, and have replaced your inefficient showerheads.

This is not enough. You must do more. Follow my example. Thinking outside the box, I have found innovative ways to reduce my carbon footprint:

Share the ride

I often hear the excuse, "With my schedule, I can't be expected to carpool." I say nonsense. Driving produces more than half your carbon footprint.

I always ride with at least two people in the car, except on Sundays, when traffic is light and my driver has his day off.

I not only carpool, I jetpool. When going to Davos for the World Economic Forum or Sun Valley for Herb Allen's annual shindig, I try to link up with close friends who are jetting there.

Think hybrid

We tend to think of hybrids only as automobiles. (I plan to purchase a hybrid as soon as Maserati offers one.) But how about using hybrid technology is other areas? Think about those gasoline powered leaf-blowers that Ramon and his crew use. I've told them to get hybrid blowers or I get a new lawn service.

Consider the entire carbon footprint

A lawn service is good example of this complex calculation.

Where were the workers from?

Smuggling illegal aliens from Guatemala leaves a larger carbon footprint than slipping them across from the Mexican states that border the U.S. Ramon assures me all his illegals come from the State of Coahuila de Zaragoza, right across from Texas.

How far did the crew drive to get to you're your house? (Whenever I ask Ramon to reduce driving by moving his crew to an inexpensive pied-a-terre in Madrona, he claims not to understand English.)

Buy local

You carry a canvas bag to the farmers market and buy local, organically grown produce. But what about your other purchases? Do you know where your cocaine was refined? Where your meth was manufactured? Where your marijuana was grown? I do. When I get high, it's a Green High — Washington grown and Washington made.

Fix the boat

By now everyone is familiar with the basic principles of Green Yachting. (I have adhered to them since 1993.) But I've gone further. I doubled-glazed the windows in all eight staterooms. I insulated the salon. I turned down the heat in the jacuzzi when no one is using it. Do as I do. Take that extra step to fight global warming.

Reduce breathing

Breathing exchanges beneficial oxygen for harmful CO2. Therefore, any reduction of breathing is green. I require my personal trainer to hold his breath while he stretches my hamstrings and quads. It's not much, but it's better than nothing, and every little thing helps.

Purchase credits carefully

Be cautious when buying carbon offset credits. Most outfits offering them are unproven, charlatans, or both. I deal only with a reputable and proven organization, the Catholic Church. Recently the Vatican began offering Carbon Credits Plus. This product packages credits with indulgences, under the tagline "Carbon Credits Plus: Atonement for the Here and the Hereafter."

Unfortunately, all my efforts will be insignificant unless the Indians and Chinese start acting responsibly regarding carbon. I worry that they are not ready to make the sacrifices that I am.


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