Monday, March 30, 2009

saving green

Last week our president (of my place of employment) told us that they will do their best not to lay anyone off and that they are looking to cut wasteful spending to get us through these tough times. He asked us to all act as though we own the company, and think of ways we could save money and write our ideas down and give them to our supervisors. I sent my director an email with about 12 ideas (not including two other emails) for conserving energy - which is the same thing as money.

I think this is a great idea for anyone who works - do your company a favour, look around you and write down everything you can think of that is wasteful (single use cups, old fashioned lightbulbs, single sided printing, faxing, etc) and let them know. If you can help them save some cash, I'm sure they'd appreciate your concern and effort. My little brother also did this for the restaurant he works at. Its is not a green company by any means, but since being green often means saving green, they are suddenly interested.

Yes, it will cost a little up front, but in the long run it will save money (like the little things I've done at my apartment).

To help you out, I'll post my ideas.

Vending mashines with sensors that turn off/or decrease energy usage during the long periods when no one uses them.

Unplug (or plug into a power strip and unplug) appliances when they are not in use. Appliances like computers, cell phone chargers etc use a lot of energy even when they are turned off.

If your company uses paper towels, dyson hand dryers are more hygenic and save money (less upkeep too)

Turning your thermostat up a few degrees in summer and down a few in winter can save energy - dress appropriately and shade those windows!

Replace all lightbulbs with CFL or LED light bulbs.

If you work somewhere that gives the customer a reciept, ask if they even want if - not printing it will save you paper (it all adds up).

If you have showers use low flow shower heads (1.5 gallons per minute or less) and low flow faucets.

Print in draft mode, print double sided and decrease your margins to avoid using an extra paper.

If you use a company car or charge your gas to the company - avoid idling. I turn off my car when I'm stuck at a train crossing. (This counts for the drive through too - burn a few calories and walk in).

If you can't get people to turn off the lights when they leave a room, consider motion detecting light switches.

If your still sending faxes (who faxes?) consider e-faxing instead.

I'm sure there are wasteful habits that can be cut out where you work too, I think of the economic downturn as an opportunity for people to wake up to their wasteful lifestyles and make a change for the better.

If you have any ideas I haven't posted, please let me know!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Ant and the Grasshopper

I feel like the grasshopper in Aesop's fable of the grasshopper who danced and partied all summer long, but when winter came he was not prepared. Throughout the summer he scorned his neighbors the ants for working so hard while it was beautiful out, but in the winter time they were able to take it easy because they had prepared for the hard times ahead.

After high school I went to college and eventually got a 2 year degree - and took some cool classes, and went on some cool trips - but I just went "gen ed". C'mon, I've always wanted to do the same thing - work with plants somehow. After that I messed around a few years until a roommate said to hurry up and go to school. So, here I am at my midlife crisis (I can have my midlife crisis whenever I want thank you very much) two 2year degrees, no big career, no family. I have to not compare myself with my elders (my mom and grandma both say "when I was your age...") or friend's my age who have husbands, careers and kids.
I'm not saying I necessarily want that white picket fence lifestyle (but I do want the white picket fence, they're so cute). I just... don't want to be the grasshopper. I don't want to someday get married and worry I've never lived, worry I never had a career.. Or, I don't want to just float on and wish I had something more substantial to show for my years.

Granted, I think I'm doin ok - my own place, two jobs, an A.A. and an A.S. Thats good, right? Right? Ok, I'll work on more.

Of course this brings us back to the question of whether the time is right for me to bring "dog" back into my life. I may never be stable though, if I wait for that I may wait forever.

Ok, new to-do list; do more stuff, do things for job advancement

Oh, just so you know - I still think children are evil and marriage is the death of fun. I'm just saying, everybody is doing it. My mom (I do not know why) used to sing to me the song "I never will marry" by Linda Ronstadt
"...I never will marry
I'll be no man's wife
I expect to live single
All the days of my life"

She's an odd woman that mother of mine. She sang to my older brother "dreamer" by Supertramp "...can you put your hands in your head? oh no! your nothing but a dreamer" Hm, what about my little brother?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

facebook, twitter and mysociallifeisdependantuponstupidmembersonlycomputergroups

I do not belong to facebook (trying to stay out despite requests) I really do not like myspace (definately won't join that one) and god help me, I hope I never tweet. For those of you fogies who live in a cave and don't know what I'm talking about - I envy you.

I have this little blog which my friends and family could read if they cared to see whats up in my life (ok, more of whats on my mind). They don't have to join and create a password and another ID to remember. They can simply go to the site, and read it. Yes, it can be a bit long, but do you want to hear "status: doing nothing, bored. feeling fat." "what are you doing now: dishes" Woo! Yes, I have friends who tell me myspace helps them keep in touch with their friends and family but in order for me to find out whats up in their lives also, I have to join. I have to create an account and a website and a profile and remember another password and one day I'll get drunk and post something crazy that will prevent my nonexistent future children from being accepted into Notre Dam. I have also had a roommate (who should have gotten it over with and become a stripper) who used myspace to meet all sorts of great guys - sometimes two in one day!
Yes, facebook is supposed to be "classier" you have to use your real name, but a.) it is against pictures of mom's breastfeeding (what??) and b.) people use it to facebook-stalk. I had another roommate who told me she was feeling down because she was checking up on an old boyfriend and she saw he was now dating a young attractive woman. I do not want to check to see what a friend has been up to and wind up in a drama like that.

Is that enough for now or should I go on to say why I think this next generation is going to pot?

Seriously though, I'd rather my friends called me up or sent me an email (even a group email) or (dare I say it?) an actual letter, than to have to check their "tweets" or facebook account to see what little minutia they have been up to. "status: road trip, see attached photo" As to the blog? Well, it exists half for me to just get my thoughts out and if someone wishes to comment than so be it; and half because a friend told me to set up a blog so I'd stop bothering him and he could just read my thoughts at leisure. hm...
If one of my friends had a blog I'd love to read it. I would try to check it periodically and comment to let them know they're loved (hint). How is this different from a social networking site?.. Ah, I answered my own question. Social networking. That's what those sites are, and this is not. This exists to share ideas or thoughts, those exist for "networking".

I suppose this is long enough for now. I'll sound more like an old lady later when I write about "this younger generation"Italic

Sunday, March 22, 2009

cured fom brats

I've heared from a lot of vegetarians how they feel better when they don't eat meat (some people say they feel better when they eat just fruits or cut out sugar, but that's too extreme for me) and today I think I have been cured (at least for awhile) of bratwursts. Probably hot dogs in general.
I think I have good memories of eating junky food, but then I try it again and they don't measure up. It seems more foods are being relegated to the list of foods I eat when I'm feeling crummy. Tony's cheapie pizzas in the frozen food section, fast food in general - actually, fast food has pretty much been wiped off my list (I had one Checker's burger this year and before that I hadn't had a drive through burger in a couple of years, and I think it will be a couple more until I do it again, if ever).
It is interesting how my tastes are evolving - I now prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla - but unfortunately I now prefer food that takes longer to cook and requires that I eat it soon after purchasing it.
My last Taco Bell nachos were pretty bad, maybe they're next....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Passive Aggression

When I hear the words "passive-aggressive" it seems to me like its said negatively. As though this is a bad way to share your anger or annoyance with someone. I suppose it is healthier to confront someone and discuss your problems like an adult - of course this requires that both parties act like adults. For great examples of passive aggression check the passive-aggressive notes website. Personally I'm not big on confrontation. Partially because I blow things out of proportion "what if s/he yells at me or hates me and then we will have all this awkwardness and then they won't be my friend anymore". But, also I think I've learned its easier because I've dealt with people who it was not possible to discuss things with in a mature manner.

I do feel better when the issue is brought up front in the open and whoever and I can discuss it calmly and reasonably. But, there are some issues that I do not think can be calmly discussed. Or, at least not with all people. These are of course children, god/religion and weight. Like "Maybe if you didn't eat so much at church functions you wouldn't be as fat as your damn kid". No, thats just plain aggressive... no passive there.

I suppose the verdict is open dialogue is best, except when concerning god, weight or baby flushing - in which case we tip toe around it or avoid it all together. I mean um, population control...

which is more important? i.e. which would you choose at the exclusion of the other?