Twenty Days, Twenty Ways: Prepping for Earth Day

Earth Day is coming up on April 22. That’s only twenty planetary rotations away. In preparation I’ll be sharing twenty ways to make the world a better place.

Here’s a sneak peak at the first five. Check the Facebook page daily for more info on each one.

  1. Plant a tree.
  2. Shower colder and faster.
  3. Eat fresh and local.
  4. Carry a spork.
  5. Turn off the dry cycle.

Many of these will be simple, but some may push us out of our comfort zone. It might hurt a little, or cost a little, or slow us down a little, but we’ll be OK. We’ll abandon some of the habits and conveniences that simplify our lives in the short term, in exchange for ways of life that ultimately enrich us and our planet for the long term.

This feels really gimmicky, but the cause is just, so let’s do it.

Earth Day 2011: Talking Toilets

This earth day we taught the kids about water conservation by reviewing all our home videos involving toilets. Turns out there are two worth posting online. In the first, my son, as a toddler, explains the mechanics and hydraulics of the traditional toilet. In the second I demonstrate how to empty a waterless toilet.



Some background for video number 2 (pun): in 2006 my wife and I spent four months in southern France, in the foothills of the Pyreness mountains (some pics and a spider video), isolated from other human beings and from air conditioning and plumbing. We lived in a 500-yr-old shepherd’s cottage which my great aunt and uncle had retrofitted with a windmill and a waterless toilet, among other ultra-green technologies.



If you aren’t up for doing your business in a bucket, which you empty by hand every two weeks, a simple water saving trick is to drop a brick in the toilet (not a euphemism). Actually, drop it in the tank, and rather than a brick use a water bottle filled with sand or gravel or adamantium (not water, as the plastic will float). You’ll save a few hundred gallons of H2O per year.