The hard job of counting....
Today NPR's Fresh Air featured New Yorker magazine writer Michael Specter talking about his article in this month's issue about the challenging act of accounting for our carbon footprint. There are a lot of things that are counterintuitive about what goods consume less carbon than others. Being in California, it was a bummer to hear that if you live in New York, you are better off drinking French burgundies instead of California reds because the carbon count of moving wine by sea instead of over land in trucks tips the advantage to the French. But in California, we still are better off being localvores. The full article is online as well plus a web only interview with Specter.
There are no shortcuts unfortunately, we have to consume less, drive less, live in smaller homes. Unfortunately, I think this will be happening due to economic conditions so it's not a voluntary effort. Since counting carbon is hard, let's count things that we know will matter:
1) More efficient light bulbs.
2) Find alternatives to driving solo if possible. (this is tough, but remember 1 out of 20 is five percent)
3) Seek experiences not stuff ( but make sure you are not driving to get the experience, or at least carpool)
4) Vote for those who want to make things better, not just keep things the same.
5) When in California drink California wines.
6) Wash clothes in cold water when possible.
7) Put other ideas in the comments....