Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour: Going That Extra Mile, Making A Difference

A lot of the discussion about Earth Hour participation has focussed on directly using more energy. This is indeed a very important effort. But please, everyone, don't forget to waste food too! Remember, you can always buy more food than you need, and put the extra stuff straight into the trash.

In our affluent capitalist society, we often like to forget that food has its own carbon footprint. And, unlike an unnecessary hour-long empty-dishwasher session, it takes up space in a landfill if you just go ahead and trash fresh food without eating a bite. You can make a difference that will be felt for millennia. Simultaneously turning on your air conditioning and your space heaters may feel good now, but you can change the world forever with a few simple gestures like this.

If you are worried about your contribution just rotting away and not making a difference, then the easy solution is to make sure you store it in imperishable containers and throw the entire package into the garbage. For example, Big Mac-style styrofoam or microwave-safe plastic lunch containers will ensure that space is forever taken up in landfill sites. Remember, it takes energy to make those containers too! The rule of thumb for preventing hungry dumpster-divers from interdicting your contribution is to fill the remaining space in the plastic container with laundry detergent.

And don't forget to throw out the food's original packaging! Why not use an extra plastic container to keep it safe on its journey into the garbage?

This earth hour, think inside the box.

Crossposted to Mitchieville