My town, Fort Worth, is ranked the 15th greenest city in the nation, according to Popular Science magazine. This is a pleasant surprise for a couple reasons, mostly that I read an article in Popular Science magazine. The article lists cities based on renewable energy use, public transportation, green buildings, availability of parks and recycling.
I have to say I'm proud of my city for making the list, and more, for the way Fort Worth has changed my carbon-footprint habits. Before we moved here, I never thought about recycling or watching our energy consumption. Our diaper contributions to the landfills alone should put us on the green blacklist. But Fort Worth makes it easy: when we moved in we received two plastic trash cans for the weekly haul, one for trash and the other for recycling. How simple is that? Now we have a weekly competition between the two, and more often than not the recycling bin fills quicker.
Other ways we've gone green:
* Thermostat 68 in winter/76 in summer. When the kids get cold, we quote Garrison Keillor: "You're not special. Go put on a sweater."
* Fluorescent lightbulbs. Yes, they look like crazy corkscrews and take a few extra milliseconds to light. We chalk it up to ambiance.
* Trading in our gas-guzzling SUV for a lean, mean station wagon. I'll let Kern weigh in on that--it was his decision, and he asserts he has no problem blending in with soccer moms. I got to keep my zippy 5-speed, which makes me inordinately happy.
* Taking the heat cycle off the dishwasher.
* Watering outside peak hours.
Ways I stay stubbornly carbon-cantankerous:
* Paper napkins. No way am I doing ANYTHING to add to our mammoth laundry mountain.
* Bottled water. I recycle the bottles, but I can't go with the carry-your-own refillable glass. I bought a cute green one to take to school, but the mouth on it is too wide and more than once I've ended up with a streak of water down my shirt, mid-class.
* Not carpooling/taking public transportation. I'm open to discussion on this, but I'm surprised Fort Worth scored in this category. While there's a plethora of options between FW and Dallas, for transportation going north to Denton, it's me and my wheels. Not that there's anything wrong with that. (See zippy 5-speed, above.)Going green? Waving the "global warming is a myth" flag? Do tell...