Adventures in Ethics and Science

Mike Dunford initiates a meme for Earth Day 2009:

I’d like you to take a minute or two to come up with three things that you can do to be more environmentally friendly. The first should be something that’s small, and easy to do. The second should be more ambitious – something you’ll try to do, but might not manage to pull off. The third should be something you can do to improve something you’re already doing.

I love this meme! No matter what habits you’ve already cultivated (and we’ve cultivated a few), there’s always room to optimize them. So here are my Earth Day 2009 resolutions:

Small: Now that I know where to get compact fluorescent light bulbs that work on dimmers, we’re going to replace the incandescent bulbs in the two light fixtures we have on dimmers with CFLs.

Bigger: Before the summer is over, we’re going to track down our big “energy vampire” appliances (the ones that suck electricity even when they’re off) and find a way to stake ’em (say, by putting them on power-strips we switch off when they’re not in use).

Another “bigger”: I’m going to try to be drying at least a third of our laundry on lines or racks outside. (Our rainy season is over, and what else does the sun have to do out there?) Of course, to be friendly to the demands on the power grid, I’ll be putting the laundry in the washer right before I go to bed, then hanging the clothes when I get up.

Better: I’m going to clear enough space so we can actually turn our compost pile on a regular basis, thus transforming kitchen scraps to compost in a more timely fashion and having to buy less compost (and the packaging it comes in) at the nursery. Maybe we’ll even find space for a second compost pile (with room to turn it as well).

If you want to be tagged on the meme, you’re tagged. If you blog your own resolutions, tag your post with “smallbiggerbetter” so Mike can find them for his round up of responses at the end of the week.


  1. #1 chezjake
    April 22, 2009

    On energy sucking appliances, I don’t know what type of hot water heater you have, but if gas (natural or propane) is an option, then switching to an on-demand hot water heater can save a huge amount of energy. I use propane for cooking and hot water, and my propane bill is less than half of what it was before I switched.

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