Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor company is doing a survey. They want to know the extent of their suppliers' carbon footprint through use of energy efficiency. This means looking over their 120 suppliers from around the globe, of which Ford pays almost 65 billion dollars annually for items such as tires and metal components, steering systems, seats, etc. If Ford knows how well suppliers manage their carbon impacts, Ford can be sure greenhouse gas emissions are being paid attention to. In turn, this improves upon the lowering of their own carbon footprint.

And what about us here at home?

I recently read an interesting article, which made the phrase "having our cake and eating it too" come to mind, and it makes sense.

The main question? Is what we "desire" putting the whammy on making any realistic progress on winning in terms of energy efficiency and truly being green?

Some interesting facts for consideration

Consumer electronics and related energy use has risen 600% in 40 years in the UK alone.

Almost 30% of carbon emissions come from homes.

Plasma tv's, dryers, and ice-making fridges are the worst culprits.

There was a time when just over 10% of the population owned a computer. Now, it's at 75%.

We, as a general society are attracted to "gadgets, quick convenience and high-tech."

The companies that make these conveniences put them out there, and then work and research like crazy over the years to perfect and make them more energy efficient.

In the meantime, some new "brand" comes out that everyone just has to have. What they had before, which was still good, gets discarded. Is this a vicious circle?

The article also reminded me personally how all of these items require more and more energy use even though many of them are deemed energy efficient.

Years ago, so many of us didn't have cell phones; these have to be recharged frequently. If they are deemed "energy efficient" that's great, but there was a time when I didn't have the item to plug in to begin with.

Most of us have DVD players, and often more than one in the home, typically in the living room and in a bedroom.

Is one really necessary hanging from underneath the kitchen cupboards too?

Same with the computer. Certainly I upgraded mine. But with that, came the extras and some bells and whistles that caught my eye. Don't get me wrong, I like the gadgets too. But, admittedly, I could easily run out of plug-ins around here for all the gadgets and extras, energy efficient or not.

We Just Don't Have The "Wow Factor"

My husband is a fanatic over bigger and better tv's. He desperately wants to replace one I watch frequently in another room, especially now as a xmas gift, but it's not necessary. I believe the tv is energy-efficient, but even so, it's perfectly good and has alot of years left; why do I want to throw it in the dump for nothing?

Bottom line? It's just not "big" enough for him.

It doesn't have the "wow factor" for him. For me though,it's good enough.

This is where the trouble lies. The difference in our mind-sets.

Certainly it is important to keep up with improving upon energy efficiency whenever possible, but our behavior has to improve too doesn't it in order to keep up a reasonable pace?

There's a difference between need and requirement and yet they are related, as one seems to fuel the other. We have to keep in mind too, that it takes time to "perfect" an item to full energy efficiency.

From what I've been hearing, the "want and desire" by consumers is moving faster than the time it takes for the item to be improved upon.

As you get into the holiday spirit and everything that comes with it, keep this in mind as it's so appropriate to christmas gift-giving especially within your own home.

And as for ice-cube making fridges or plug in table-top ice-cube makers?

The day I can't take 30 seconds and walk a cube tray full of water to my freezer, well...I'm not knocking conveniences and little luxuries, seriously. It just comes with a price that's all.

Still on the fence about going green? Overwhelmed about starting points?

Christmas dinner is a good opportunity to begin.

Christmas day dinner is what everyone looks forward to; we can indulge until ill. It's also a time for alot of waste, and maybe some not-go-good decisions made when buying the trimmings.

Will the turkey you buy be full of hormones and chemicals? Go organic if possible. Costs a bit more, but healthier. Buy everything locally as well to support small business and jobs. Locally produced foods didn't have to travel, so this helps with carbon footprint reduction.

Serve a completely meatless vegetarian meal; you may find your family members very supportive. Most New Years'resolutions are comprised of beginning a healthier way of life. Why not start a little early?

Save energy by serving foods that don't require alot of cooking energy. Preserve heat; take advantage of your pan lids to cook on lower heat and reduce cooking times.

Think before throwing out leftovers. Even small amounts make a nice variety of choices for the next day to avoid cooking again, or make up a nice plate for someone who is alone. Freeze whatever you can for stews and homemade soups for future use.

Lots more ideas at Christmas Carbon Footprint for you to think about.

From my home to yours, wishing you a very happy and safe Holiday season!

Until next time,



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