Now I will be the first to admit that I’m no saint when it comes to my own environmental issues. I do own a snow blower and drive 6 KM to work; I also suffer from a bad back and like to smell nice for my clients and colleagues.
That said Schultzter’s recent post about the “Safety of Gas Engines” just killed the David Suzuki in me. The reality is that power tools don’t need to meet any government emissions test after their date of sale. Once you buy you Honda mower, you never have to take it to the dealer to get it serviced… ever. So that mower that takes 18 pulls to start, the same one you leave idling when you change the bag would certainly fail any standard California emissions test. There is a clever TV commercial that points out that a badly tuned mower pollutes more that a Montreal bridge load of idling cars. So why are you still using it? Because the alternative just isn’t convenient. The hassle of an electric mower’s cord or effort of a push mower is just too much for some compared to the impact of their 2-stroke on the city’s smog level.
But it’s not just mowers, composting has the same draw backs. I often had to stop myself short of putting half eaten broccoli in the trash until I got a kitchen composter. I very simple little bucket with a handle and a lid to prevent the rotting odours from escaping was the only thing that made the environmental act possible. Granted, I still have to argue with the Canuck Clan about who will take the full bucket out to the garden composter on a winter’s night. But it’s a such a small effort to make when you consider the benefits and savings in the spring.
Recycling is another pain in the ass that only the neurotics like Uncle Edno adhere to with passion. How many times have you chucked out that yogurt pot simply because you were eating at your desk or that your workplace has not implemented a proper recycling system yet. Do you actually recycle the toilet paper roll? Or doesn’t it end up in the bathroom waste even though you recycle the paper towel roll. And why haven’t you bought a ShamWow to replace all though paper towels? You’ve seen the commercials you know all about the cost savings and how much they outweigh that annoying jerk on the TV?
The same goes to water and Gatorade bottles. Now you know I’m talking about the President’s Choice Brita filters commercial, where you suddenly realise that you are personally responsible for thousands of plastic bottles in the local land fill, sure I know all about all the ones you recycled that eventually got turned into your new MEC fleece, but I’m talking about the ones you bought when you out and could not be bothered to bring home to your blue box.
The inconvenience of being green is probably the biggest hindrance to not blowing our blue planet up in the 50 years. What more can we do is something we constantly have to answer no matter how annoying it is to refill your water bottle before you leave or plug in the mower every time you pull it free from the plug, take the toilet paper empty downstairs after replacing the new one and therefore announcing to all that you’ve been hiding out in the bathroom fro 20 minutes and yes you did use that much paper. Sure we might have to buy into products like the ShamWow and compact fluorescent bulbs even though we’re not quite sure that math adds up. But the real alternative of sitting through another one of Al Gore’s movies and pretending that the most boring vice president in the history of time is suddenly the coolest guy around is just too much for me, especially when I find out that he reads your Twitter posts on these 30 inch Apple cinema displays.
(Picture taken from this Time Article)
Also worth a read:
Garden tools shouldn’t pollute