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A green living score card

Last post 04-02-2008 5:54 PM by Romo. 1 replies.
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  • 03-27-2008 3:47 PM

    A green living score card

    I just came across a nifty tool that lets you assess your environmental impact. After your score is calculated, the Low Impact Living Index (LILI) will give you a list of projects to reduce your score, and allows you to save your profile so you can check off the projects as they're completed. It also has a graphic that shows where you've gained the most points--where you're making the greatest impact--and tells you how many points you can shave off your score with each project.

    The average score for an American is 100; my score is 74, but there was no place to calculate the benefits of the solar power we use in our family room.  I'm feeling pretty darned good about that score, but I'm thinking of it as a starting point. For us, the biggest impact is the runoff from our big, grassy, .66 acre lot, complete with paved driveway and big concrete patio. Having lived much of my adult life in apartments and warehouses, I've never been much of a gardener, but my goal here is to add more native plants that require less water that grass. A previous owner used some tin sheets to enclose a tucked away corner of the yard way back under the trees and behind the ferns; this is where we dump grass, leaves and limbs. If we put a composting bin back there, we could make some mighty fine mulch and further reduce the need to water.

    We also got penalized for our old beast of a refrigerator, but that's already on the must-replace list, so I'll be able to check that off the list soon. Unfortunately, the reduced impact of the more efficient refrigerator will probably be canceled out when we add a dishwasher. That's right, we've lived in this house for a year without a dishwasher. Handwashing the dishes isn't so bad, but we always have a rack of clean dishes sitting on the counter, and at least a few more dirty ones in the sink, so the kitchen never looks clean. I vow to buy the best Energy Star-rated dishwasher I can find, and run it infrequently. But, hey, I'm an American and what red-blooded American doesn't need a dishwasher! (Isn't that the attitude that got the planet into this mess?)

    We're going to be starting a kitchen remodeling job soon, and plan to add new cabinet faces instead of new cabinets wherever we can. We've planned a corner of the kitchen as the trash and recycling center, which I hope will help. We're also planning to take out part of a wall which will increase the natural lighting and provide some cross ventilation. Low VOC paints, recycled tiles, cork flooring and more flourescent lights to finish the project.

    So, there's my to-do list. Take the test yourself and let me know how you're doing.

  • 04-02-2008 5:54 PM In reply to

    • Romo
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-31-2007
    • Florida
    • Posts 98

    Re: A green living score card

    Sometimes even after assessing your impact it's hard to start making the changes you'd like to--but Colin Beavan and his family not only started making the changes, they upped the ante. Read his blog about the challenge they imposed on themselves and how they held up to their goal of a year of zero impact living!

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