Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekend Without Oil - Take The Pledge!

On one of my favorite sites, someone posted this pledge in the forums. As I'm reading it, I realize that I already do most of it on a daily basis.  Read the pledge, then scroll down to where I comment on each item. See what it is that I do to lessen my impact on the oil craze. I was pleasantly surprised that I do what I do without realizing too much that I am doing it.  (wait, does that make sense?  hmmm...)

Weekend Without Oil - Take The Pledge!
Call to Action

On August 21st and 22nd, commit to these 11 actions!

   1. Walk or ride your bike: Avoid using cars and if you must, always try to carpool. Transportation accounts for 40 percent of our petroleum consumption and is easily one of the biggest areas we need to improve upon.
   2. Enjoy the outdoors: Avoid buying new sporting equipment, since oil makes up nearly 25% of rubber. Footballs or basketballs, for example, can last for many years and used equipment is often just as good and will reduce demand for oil needed to make new rubber.
   3. Use reusable bags: Avoid disposable plastic. Plastic bags are a huge waste for very little benefit. Nearly 10 percent of U.S. oil consumption, approximately 2 million barrels a day, is used to make plastic products alone.
   4. Be conscious about what you eat that weekend: You can reduce oil demand by changing your diet to eat less meat, more local foods that require less transportation and organic food, which doesn't use petro-based fertilizers.
   5. Don't buy new make-up that weekend: The majority of cosmetics are petroleum-based, including lip gloss, face powder, nail polish, and more. So avoid buying new make-up products this weekend and research the brands when you purchase in the future.
   6. Drink tap water: Avoid beverages bottled in disposable plastic, they make up nearly 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year, so get a reusable bottle and fill it up.
   7. Make your electronic gadgets last: Avoid buying new electronics. Electronics take a lot of oil to produce and the gadgets you already have can last much longer than the rate at which new ones are released.
   8. Go to the movies or stream them on Hulu: Avoid buying new DVDs/Blu-Rays, as oil is a key ingredient in their production, packaging and shipping.
   9. Skip buying new clothes that weekend: Swap clothes with friends or check out the local vintage store. The less new clothes you buy the less oil is used in the manufacturing process and transportation.
  10. Head to your local library or read online: Avoid using a printer and buying printed material including daily newspapers. Printing doesn't just waste paper, nearly 100,000 gallons of ink each day is used on daily newspapers alone.
  11. Spread the word! Get 3 friends to sign the pledge and help raise awareness on ways they can help reduce their dependence on oil-related products.

1. Its kind of hard to get around Houston without a car and it is really too hot to try to get around via bicycle. I mean, I wasn't made to sweat. And then there's the simple fact that I don't own a bike. However, I try to only drive to work and back home during the week. I live about 7 miles from work. so I'm really not putting many miles on my vehicle, and I can go two weeks on a tank of gas... so in a way, I have been doing ok in this respect. The exception to that is my having to retrieve my son from the dark streets at night when he's missed his curfew. oh, yeah... and when I get a hankering to go play bingo (its a new obsession). On the weekends, I try to make sure I get all my errands done in one trip. I really do prefer to stay indoors the whole weekend.  Its always my goal, anyway.  

2. Enjoy the outdoors? haha, No, I do not. However, you can be certain that I will not purchase any new sporting equipment anytime soon.. (Confession: I have been thinking about getting a bike, but that won't be until it gets less hot... which is almost never here in Houston.)

3. Yes. My favorite of the list. I USE CLOTH BAGS! I make them too and give to whoever wants one, or two or three or...  PLASTIC STINKS!  Have you read my zine? want a copy?

4. Two months ago, Barry and I became more conscious of what we put into our mouths. We shop at the farmer's market, at the sides and back of the supermarket where all the good stuff is, and we are gradually adding more organic foods to our basket.  We've made a *lifestyle* change. and we're enjoying it. I've lost 15lbs since we began. He's lost about 20 lbs. That is with no real exercise. so imagine if I wasn't so afraid of sweat, the progress I could make? 

5. I buy make-up as needed and I use the mineral kind of make-up. My make up lasts quite a while. So I rarely buy new make-up.

6. Drink tap water? ick! I can't do that. However, I do own a huge Brita dispenser. We use filtered tap water for almost everything we need for drinking and eating. Also, I bought a set of reusable water bottles to refill. They are plastic :( but they're a lot better than the throw aways.

7. Electronic gadgets? I think I have all that I need. If anything I may have to purchase batteries. but if I do, I get the rechargables. 

8. I am not too into going to the movies. I have a rant from long ago on my *myspace* page about how the cinema disgusts me. I'd rather wait for the DVD and rent it via Netflix. Speaking of Netflix... I love them! been a customer of theirs since 2001. This year they made me an even more loyal fan... by allowing us to stream via the Wii!!! Love. It. We also get cable. So we're not buying any DVDs to add to a collection.

9. Skip buying new clothes. I do this already. Since losing weight, I'm not buying any new clothes until I get to where I want to be - it will be a while.  So I won't be purchasing any new or used clothing. (I do shop at the thrift stores for clothes, too.).  OH, wait... I may have to skip on this one.  School starts on the 23rd. My son needs new school clothes. I don't get paid again until that weekend, so... I will have to go out and buy new clothes for my 15 year old fashion victim.  sorry. I thought I was doing good. oh, to make up for it, I'll clean out my closet of the clothes I no longer wear and freecycle them. Will that a good compromise??

10. Library. Yes. I love it. I picked up 3 books yesterday, 7 books today, and I have two more that are still *In-Transit*.  I also downloaded 4 audio books to listen to while I work. Most of the are craft/sewing books, I plan to learn more about sewing and fabric choices, etc.  Newspaper? No, we do not take the paper. We get news and sports online, television, and from the radio. I try my best not to print anything. I did buy a new printer a few months back. I rarely use it though. Its mainly to print stuff for my crafts.

11. I am hoping with this post, I can encourage three people to take the pledge, not for the weekend, but for a lifetime.

So, who's with me?

I am all about: REDUCE * REUSE * RECYCLE and DIY(ODS).

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