The Accountant's Garden

Scheduled non-accounting weeks: April 10-14, 2017 June 12-16, 2017 July 24-28, 2017

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm starting to get a bit annoyed at the marketing buzz around "global warming" and being "environmentally friendly." And it is marketing, folks. 10 years ago, the mainstream media and the auto companies were peddling gas-guzzling, tipsy SUVs as the latest craze. That was when fuel was relatively cheap and the U.S. was experiencing a time of great prosperity. Now, all of a sudden we are worried again about fuel economy and global warming.

I think this is a fad. You know why? Because of avoiding really getting into making real changes, and doing things like holding massive concerts and just creating "environmentally-friendly" but basically the same, types of products and/or lifestyles.

So let's start with some real changes:

1. Walk to more places. It's easier than you think, folks. Try taking the car out of the garage or parking space one or two fewer days per week. You'll feel better, too, by getting fresh air and sunlight and maybe losing a few extra pounds.

2. Stop buying products from China. Besides the fact that they are inadvertently poisoning Americans with their toxic products, think about this: they are a major exporter and that has created a huge, expanding middle class in China. A middle class, with enough purchasing power to buy cars and run air conditioners. Think of it - a billion Chinese, driving around in gas guzzling SUVs and minivans (and their air quality standards are way, way below ours). So, stop buying their exports, and their income will decrease, and therefore the average per capita spending power of Chinese residents will decrease. Yes, it will cost more money, but isn't that less important than saving the planet?

3. Don't just recycle...reuse! When we were a less prosperous country, we were better at this. We reused wrapping paper, ribbon and bows. Toys, clothes, and books were passed down from one generation to another. Old clothes and linens can be re-purposed into rags, hankies, and other linens (rugs, aprons, etc.).

4. Stop buying and using hazardous chemicals in your home. You only need a few key elements to get a sparkling clean home: white vinegar, baking soda, bleach and one abrasive cleaner (bon ami or barkeeper's helper). No other aerosol or tinted concoction is necessary, and you'll be feeding the landfills and wastewater treatment plants a little less.

Of course, this is all well and good, but we all have our environmental hang-ups. Mine happens to be disposable diapers, which I regret horribly. I con only hope that my walking everywhere makes up for some of the hundreds of diapers that we dump into landfills.

But I'm serious about the four points above, and I hope to find innovative ways to reduce our waste output and our "carbon footprint" as the current marketing campaigns put it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Elizabeth and Helen's new room:
Elizabeth was particularly impressed. After viewing the new yellow and orange walls she said, "Neat" and then, "That's amazing." She spends more time in her room, playing on her bed with her puzzles, books, or stuffed animals.

So...why the sudden interest in redecorating the inside of the house? Well, I figured that if we were replacing the old wood-frame windows, that we might as well paint and clean. Or, well, clean, clean, paint, clean, paint, then clean some more. Anyway, besides the paint, most of this was decorated using items already in the house.

I have also painted and decorated the play room (photos soon) and I'll be re-doing the master bedroom, just as soon as that last set of windows gets replaced. In September, I'll be back to gardening, attempting to clear the mess of weeds and bloomed-out wildflowers from the yard.