I'm excited. Someone made an offer on my truck yesterday and is planning on buying it either tomorrow or Monday. I found a great car at a very low price and hope to buy it this Saturday. Beginning next week, I'm going to begin working with Jennifer Bowen from the Arcata Chamber of Commerce on the Arcata Green Business Certification Program. I've volunteered to do the work as a service project through school and while I won't be paid for the work, I will receive graduate credits. More importantly, I'll learn a great deal about green business and have an amazing reference on my resume. If anyone wants to learn a little bit about being green/sustainable - I recommend you take a look at http://www.thegreenguide.com/. This website is part of National Geographic; it's so exciting to see large corporations being proactive about sustainability. I recently learned that, on average, Americans waste 1 million pounds of waste per year. How much is 1 million pounds? I'm not positive but I think my truck weighs about 2600 lbs. That means that, on average, we each waste the weight of about 385 Toyota Tacomas! According to the study, if everyone on the planet wasted as much as Americans, we would need three Earths just to store the waste! As I said before, I can't believe how uninformed I was before I moved to Arcata. I honestly thought that, for the most part, the government acted in the best interest of society. I was so naive. For example, look at the automobile industry. How many Americans own large SUV's? How many of those people NEED large SUV's? Over 90% of the fuel needed to move any car from point A to point B is needed to carry the car alone. Less than 10% of the fuel is needed to carry the passengers. We know fuel is expensive, pollutes our breathing air, and has horrible long term affects (global warming), so why do so many people continue to buy these gas guzzlers? Is status really worth the negative impacts each SUV imposes on society? I almost forgot, I was going to explain why I'm losing trust in our government. The government is very aware of everything I just said, however, they still continue to spend our tax dollars on oil drilling and NOT on alternative transportation. At the very least, why aren't oil profits being spent on pollution control? Global warming is a problem. If we continue on this path, we severely compromise the ability of future generations to enjoy what we currently enjoy here on Earth. The government has done very little to help with research and development of alternative transportation (i.e. hybrids, better walking/biking paths, better neighborhoods, etc.). I'd love to see an establishment/increase in pollution prevention, carbon taxes, plans/policies to achieve cleaner air and water, Kyoto Protocol implementation, and the Greenhouse Gas Treaty. Luckily, more and more consumers are showing an interest in hybrid cars. If demand increases, so will supply. As manufacturers mass produce and fine tune their manufacturing processes/capabilities, prices will decrease. While traditional vehicle engines are made up of hundreds of parts, hybrid engines are comprised of only 10 to 20 parts. For the most part, hybrid engines are more like computers than they are like traditional engines. They're much smaller in size, much easier to produce, and much easier to fix (they can often be fixed remotely from a server/satelite). This is especially advantageous for those of us who don't know much about cars... I'll be excited when I buy a car in which I can better understand how it works and probably not get ripped off by some sexist mechanic. This all is, of course, according to what I've read. I have yet to see a hybrid engine. I could go on and on about the advantages (and even a few disadvantages) of hybrids but it's getting late. I'll write more later. I have plenty to say about how much we drive, how our neighborhood and industrial zones are setup, and how hard it is for any of us to safely walk or ride our bikes anywhere. Anyway, it's time for me to go to bed. I miss everyone.
P.S. I just saw a Windex Glass Cleaner commercial advertising cleaner ingredients that are better for families and our environment. Yesterday, I learned that Safeway has switched their entire fleet to "green vehicles." I may be overly optimistic but we seem to be well on our way to a greener environment!!! ....Maybe not, by the time I finished typing that last sentence, a BP (Beyond Petroleum) commercial came on advertising their effort to power almost all of Maryland via solar power! Woo hoo!!!! I have more to say about solar power... another time, same place. :)