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Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/25/2014 22:50:54 MDT Print View

With global warming "heating up" (couldn't resist that ;o) we know it will affect backpacking. I have hated walking trails through burnt out forest. No shade, dirty, ugly, and hot!

So, what are you doing to lessen your own carbon/methane footprint.

Here are my feeble attempts:
(Disclaimer, I live in the Las Vegas valley. Today's temp. 108 F.)

1. insulated garage ceiling (10") and west facing garage door (foam panels)
2. installed thermostatic attic exhaust fan
3. installed complete 15.5 SEER Lennnox HVAC system last year ($9.600.!!)
4. installed front (west) and rear (east) awnings (a BIG help)
5. painted attic trusses and roof sheeting with aluminized reflective barrier (HeatBloc Ultra - so far the best of this type of radiant barrier.)
6. Xeriscaped front and back yards for less water use
7. bought new Toyota Prius V (wagon) & sold my hot rod Toyota V6 RAV 4
8. gradually changing out CFC bulbs for LED bulbs
9. installed Aussie-made Bonaire swamp cooler and ceiling exhaust ducts in 2010 (saves at least $100./month on summer electric bills, Useable only if temps are below 105 F. as it's just an evaporative cooler.)

So there are my efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Tell us yours.

Edited by Danepacker on 06/29/2014 15:24:47 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/25/2014 23:01:57 MDT Print View

Moved north.

No A/C, little heat.

Bought pre existing home

Driving 20+ yo vehicles that still provide reliable, economical transportation

Didn't breed

Hike more. Use less power when away from home.

Buy durable, lasting, quality gear and conserve resources.

Recycle whenever possible

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"didn't breed" on 06/25/2014 23:54:37 MDT Print View

Hee, hee, I like that comment!

Unfortunately our two daughters have houses of 5,800 and 6,000 sq. ft. That's not just excessive, it's "Excessive excess".
BUT, the Thousand Oaks, California daughter's husband bought a "used" (2,500 mi.) Tesla and had a charger installed in the garage.

However daughter #1 in Lewisville, CO is getting an Audi RS 7 which offsets the Tesla!

And we have 5 grandchildren...

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 00:05:58 MDT Print View

I happily have 3 children and live in a small growing town in the foothills of Mt. Rainier.

We moved this year, across town, and while we moved to a bigger home, our new-to-us home has more to offer. It is not a new home, but being newer than our old home, it has a few better things in how it was built.

I have never lived in a house with AC. Never. We chose the new house as it had more ventilation, it catches breezes better. The garage is also smaller and is insulated. Our property backs up to a protected green belt (a county rail to trail) and is lined with old growth trees. While our lot is big for in-town (13K sq ft), I came in this spring and put in all my native plants that I had lifted out of our old house. Once this year is past, I won't have to water them (they need to get reestablished this year). I grow native, I don't care about lawn (seriously, I am a fan of moss). I believe we must save water, but also make our yards welcoming to bees, birds and more. We NEED flowers. We need reasons for them to come. A big reason I loved this house was the yard. Behind the house, while ripping out Scotch Broom (invasive) this past weekend I saw 2 trees with bear claw markings. Woooooooh!

With our new home, I now drive even less. I barely drive at all now. I live with 1/2 mile of most shopping and can hop onto the trail for everything else - it goes through town.

On LED bulbs - Costco. We went LED years ago. In fact, when we moved, we pulled the CFL's out from the new place and put them in the old house, moving all our LED bulbs ;-)

So basically? Little driving, no A/C and heat doesn't kick on till it hits 64*. Green gardening, no pesticides or herbicides, native plants mostly. And that our water use is metered where we pay 4X the cost for outside than inside, well...you learn to watch how much you use.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 00:36:17 MDT Print View

My home is all-electric. There is no gas line in the neighborhood.

I turned off the main heating thermostat in 2002, and it has remained off.

Photovoltaic panel is on the south side of the house, except that I have to keep trimming trees to keep from shading it.

--B.G.--

Peter S (masc. über linear logical club)
(prse) - MLife

Locale: Denmark
Bike on 06/26/2014 03:34:23 MDT Print View

I go by bike as much as possible. We don't have a car. Use public transportation when ever we need to go long distances. Rent or loan a car if there's no other way.

Public transportation is getting better all the time in Copenhagen.

And the conditions for bicycles get's improved all the time too.

I always vote for the party that favors the environment, public transportation and bicyclism the most. It's easy to find a truly dedicated party on these matters in Denmark, because we can choose from typically 7-10 different parties.

I buy as much locally produced vegetables and fruits as my income allows me to.

I'm part of a non-profit locally produced ecological fruit and vegetable community. We do the work ourselves (all, except the actual farming). This makes it cheaper, and therefore possible to buy more and better quality locally produced vegetable and fruits. Our community is growing all the time, so we are pushing for more sustainable production all the time. And it's fun!

I buy quality that lasts. Be it bikes, kitchen appliances, clothes, HiFi. I try to buy as little as possible. Living in tight quarters helps.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 06:06:13 MDT Print View

I turned off the hot water faucet on the bathroom sinks. Soap and cold water is all I need. Dishes get hand washed and the rinse water goes into a wide pail to fit the sink and then that goes into a bucket to use to flush the toilets. The rest sometimes goes outside for the plants or trees. Keeps bugs off the bushes.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 06:34:30 MDT Print View

My efforts...

I drive a large SUV.

I live in the low desert, which requires A/C.

I fly over 100,000 miles per year.

When accosted by Eco-nazi Prius owners in California gas stations criticizing my SUV, I can usually make them cry.

I don't take my camper to improved campsites with electrical hook-ups. It has solar panels in the roof.

Edit:

P.S. I have nice big green lawns in the front and back. Protects the house from forest fires. Also turns CO2 into the good stuff.

Edited by ngatel on 06/26/2014 06:59:59 MDT.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 07:35:31 MDT Print View

"When accosted by Eco-nazi Prius owners in California gas stations criticizing my SUV, I can usually make them cry."

Don't limit yourself to just Prius drivers.

Wish I had a Humvee at times. And furs.

At least you don't run the heater much Nick.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 09:20:27 MDT Print View

I use the dryer less than once per month. Wash my clothes in cold water with the fastest spin setting and then hang dry them. This allows for me to feel pretty smug as I drive my gas guzzling Toyota Tundra around town.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 09:55:33 MDT Print View

"I believe we must save water, but also make our yards welcoming to bees, birds and more. We NEED flowers. We need reasons for them to come."

Agree. Interesting article on how "over half of the purportedly “bee-friendly” plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart garden centers across the U.S. and Canada actually contain neonicotinoids — meaning gardens planted to save the bees, or even just planted under the assumption that they aren’t contributing to the die-offs, instead may be killing the pollinators."

Edited by idester on 06/26/2014 09:56:27 MDT.

Bob Moulder
(bobmny10562) - F - M

Locale: Westchester County, NY
Hike locally on 06/26/2014 10:20:21 MDT Print View

It always amazes me when people who claim to "embrace green-ness" get on an airplance and fly thousands of miles and then rent a car to go backpacking, as if the whole carbon-intensive exercise is permissible because of their otherwise good intentions.

I've traveled like that to go backpacking, but I'm not a hypocrite about it. I want to see and walk through what is left of the mostly unspoiled natural environment while acknowledging that it simply cannot be done with zero environmental impact, whether I arrive at the trailhead by bicycle or by Boeing 747.

EDIT: And this one is priceless: http://www.biggreenradicals.com/greenpeace-senior-executive-takes-a-plane-to-work/

Edited by bobmny10562 on 06/26/2014 10:58:12 MDT.

Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
carbon footprint on 06/26/2014 14:27:25 MDT Print View

I have an opinion on global warming. My statements below are not to create an argument, but rather share my thoughts and initiate discussion.

Though global warming exists, I don't think it is created by human contribution. There are natural heating and cooling cycles that take place globally over many many years. I do feel that it is smart and responsible to save our planets resources and I am definitely not a fan of pollution.

As I understand, there are a lot of people (politicians?) making money off 'carbon credits'. I know Al Gore is. And, his pool house uses almost 2-3 times the energy as us normal folk use for our primary residence. In 2005-2006 his monthly bill averaged over $500 per month.

I am no expert on the topic. Though, My uncle is.

http://www.desmogblog.com/william-gray

He has shared some entertaning stories from the courtrooms in DC.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Question: Your Energy Lifestyle and Backpacking on 06/26/2014 14:36:10 MDT Print View

Doug, very much so! It is very important to know where the plants come from - and use Heirloom seeds :-)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Intuition... on 06/26/2014 15:14:12 MDT Print View

I kinda knew that this topic would generate some opposing opinions and I wuz keerect.

But that's OK because we of the "tree hugger persuasion" need to hear from large SUV owners. They have some perspectives worth viewing. Not all "green" solutions are truly green.

For ex. natural gas conversions of former coal-fired power plants is good IMHO, even thought it still has a carbon footprint. We all can't use solar, geothermal or wind power right away and natural GAS, with less than 1/2 the carbon footprint of coal (remember the full and empty coal trains) and far less emissions than even the cleanest coal-fired plant is a great transition fuel while we work on better renewable power sources AND cleaner nuke power. (Yep, it can be done.)

Not often mentioned is that METHANE is at least 2 X more dangerous as a greenhouse gas than carbon. And cattle make a LOT of methane with farting and their cow patties.
So... we could all safely and healthily cut out meat consumption in half by cutting our meat portions in half. Next time you order a burger just get the smaller size (but with cheese if you must,to offset the smaller size).

Edited by Danepacker on 06/29/2014 15:28:30 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Green Greed on 06/26/2014 16:13:35 MDT Print View

Last post for a couple weeks. Getting ready to take off in my big SUV for the Eastern Sierra Nevada to see if Mosquitos are a problem.

Green Greed

Alexander S
(Cascadicus) - M
Re: carbon footprint on 06/26/2014 16:36:19 MDT Print View

"Though global warming exists, I don't think it is created by human contribution. There are natural heating and cooling cycles that take place globally over many many years".

One of the biggest misconceptions in the global warming debate is the: "only this or that cause" rigid form of thinking. BOTH natural warming / cooling cycles AND man made warming exist. The spikes are measurable from the onset of the industrial revolution to the present.

Similar as if someone argues that tires never blow out from excessive wear but only from nail punctures.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Both Wrong on 06/26/2014 17:07:34 MDT Print View

Conservatives seem to think global warming doesn't exit, they're wrong imho.

Many liberals seem to think a few tweaks like a carbon tax and getting people to car pool will have a meaningful impact. They are wrong too.

Here's the problem, meaningful solutions would be so costly not enough people and countries would sign on. Solutions that are politically feasible will still hurt people and create backlash but they won't be enough to solve the problem.

Remember the recent standards announced by the EPA? Someone calculated that would amount to 20 days of Chinese emissions. So the pro-industry guys said "This is pointless but it costs us money." The environmentalist said "Yes it won't help much but its a step in the right direction." My question is how many "steps in the right direction" will it take to really change things? And how will you keep a pro-industry president from undoing it all?

My conclusion is the issue is really gridlocked and unlikely to change dramatically one way or the other. That is fine for politicians who thrive off such issues and those who get grants to study melting glaciers. Its not fine for the climate however.

Since political solutions aren't going to happen I think the best hope is the free market. Its unfortunate that many environmentalist associate "free market" with coal mines. What they forget is that markets are ultimately driven by self interest which is a very powerful thing. If you invent a clean source of energy the has significant advantages to the consumer then people will ditch coal and oil like and out of date smartphone.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Both Wrong on 06/26/2014 17:29:11 MDT Print View

"Since political solutions aren't going to happen I think the best hope is the free market. Its unfortunate that many environmentalist associate "free market" with coal mines. What they forget is that markets are ultimately driven by self interest which is a very powerful thing."

Let us hope that we start to see our ultimate self interest very clearly, very soon, if the consensus conclusions of climatologists worldwide are anywhere near correct. If not, Mother Nature will solve the problem for us, albeit in a way almost certainly not to our liking. One way or another, we will learn to live within limits, a foreign concept to most at this point in time.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Both Wrong on 06/26/2014 18:52:25 MDT Print View

But there are lots of things that can be done that aren't expensive, like making cars and houses more efficient.

And switching from incandescent bulbs to CFC and LED.

Switching a lot of transportation to using natural gas.

Wind mills to produce electricity.

Part of the expense of carbon producing fuels and inefficiency is externalized - it produces carbon dioxide that will cause climate changes that affects other people in the future. That's where government intervention is reasonable. affect change now that will result in less carbon that will have less effect in the future for everyone on the globe.

Decades and centuries from now when we're significantly experienceing the climate change, we'll be glad we made reductions today. That is, our great grand children. Or they'll be cursing us for letting politics delay any action.