lwood: (teal party)
By now, I'm sure most of you are familiar with the idea of buying "carbon credits" to offset one's carbon load on the environment. Really, for me, this is some sort of ecological indulgence--buying off one's eco-sins. Still, after one has replaced all the incandescent bulbs that one can*, has shut off the computers when not in use, chucked the plastic bags, quit flushing the cat poop, started a worm bin and all that cool, groovy stuff...the lights still have to come on, and in my current situation that involves suckling at PG&E's great electric teat.

Now, one easy thing to do to reduce the amount of paper coming into your home, after you've shut off the danged junk mail, is to tell one's utilities to please not send you paper bills. This means they tell you by e-mail when you have your bill, and you then also pay electronically. This saves all involved money and paper--indeed, my auto insurance company's service fees went down to thank me, and PG&E made a donation of some pittance in my name in some appropriate direction.

When it comes to automated payments, however, I am firmly against them--every month, mindfully, I pay each bill, and I do it from "my checking account" instead of "by debit through the credit-card-branded ATM card attached to my checking account". The cc # on my ATM card is a fragile thing, but the checking account # isn't as likely to change on no notice, and/or fly to Mexico City without me (I hate that).

But this isn't about that!

No, it's about PG&E's current greenwashing campaign (I mean, they want to say green things, but are still doing coal plants, what can you do?), ClimateSMART. For about $5/month for the average household, PG&E will buy carbon credits to offset the carbon load of the electrical generation for your household.

I signed up straightaway--my first month's environmental indulgence costs $1.31 (see powersaving measures already taken, above). This post is to let all y'all locals know about this, and all y'all non-locals to see if your electric company follows suit, and to ask them to consider it if they don't.

-- Lorrie

* -- In my kitchen, if I replace both the ceiling and oversink bulbs incandescents with CFL's, they buzz and pulse. Not only is it annoying, but they're not in sync, which is worse. Also, the overoven light doesn't, as far as I can find, come in CFL. The rest are, however, swapped out.

-- It's for the sea otters. I just checked with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and while landfills suck, they're apparently the least-sucky cat feces solution at just this moment.

-- Of which I have not yet written, but will. I have a thousand new pets, and they walk themselves...

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lwood

February 2011

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