My Steps Toward A Smaller Carbon Footprint

Criticism of a policy is not equal to “I don’t care about the issue.” (You can skip my sermon and go right to the list below if you like)

Adhominem – Attacking the person-hood of the arguer instead of addressing his argument.

I care about the environment. I make my living from natures ecosystem as a fisherman. A healthy nature is my bread and butter. I have no issues with the Federal government setting goals for us to reduce pollution, or carbon, and investing in clean energy. It is a wonderful thing. I support such stewardship of the earth and land. However, I do have issues with how they set about doing it. so forgive me. I differ in methodology, not necessarily intent.

I say, make it part of the budget process and tax level we already have. Certainly! But do not add more taxes. Pull up your governmental bootstraps and stop giving money away to every half-assed project in the world with dismal back end results- oh, there are a lot of those, I know, I was/am a Humanitarian. We are taxed sufficiently deep now. Cut services if you must, stop lobby giveaways, or supporting pet projects and bailouts of poor companies, or trivial programs, and get supporting clean energy. Make hard decisions as a government, and I will join you with hard decisions as a citizen. But you have enough of our money now (I read the liberals are aiming in at just over 42% tax as the sweet point), so do some serious budgeting and make it work with us, and for us. We give so much now. Use it wisely.

However, you do not need to punish me into making better choices. Which is exactly the language used by the liberal Party these days. I’d rather see awareness and education programs that give us very practical innovative ways to help us reduce our footprint. Not a tax. Because I question Trudeau’s methodology of implementation, it in no way means I don’t care about carbon or the environment. It simply means I don’t like your plan, and I don’t need your totalitarian approach to motivate me. In fact, I despise Trudeau mostly because of his superior, arrogant spirit , and the tapering with law he does to push his ideology..
So let me virtue signal a bit, like Trudeau does. How do I save Carbon? I am not saying i do the the best. This virtue signaling actually makes me feel very slimy. I should not be writing it and posting it. But i have to, to make my point. Let me tell you about choices we have made over the years, and still make every day. Some of our choices on this list are actually quite innovative (rebuilding cars). Gosh, just look at how awesome i am… 😉

I write it to point out that we already are taking steps, as most people do. Give them more and better ideas, not more tax and less income. This list is not about telling you what to do. As each persons life and circumstances are different, and this is why a one step solution does not work for everyone.

So what have I done to reduce my carbon footprint.

  • I replaced every light in my house with the most energy efficient LED bulbs (Went to curly bulbs first 18 years ago when that was the first green rage)
  • We only run full dishwasher loads with no empty space, and economic settings
  • We never do small loads of laundry. I do full loads.
  • We use cloth grocery bags.
  • We reuse plastic bags when we do get them.
  • I have a 4* 4 truck for my business – Many fisherman drive them all year round for everything. I use my 4*4 truck only when I need to, “for work”, or in bad weather. From April to October I drive a high mileage motorcycle (Which I enjoy- and it is for fun too, but I bought it to save me wearing out an expensive gas guzzling truck I don’t need to drive at all times) to do every errand, vacation, shopping, or business activity possible. I drive an energy efficient motorcycle with low emissions. I end up with about 10,000 km of work kilometers on the truck each year, and 10,000 km on my high mileage motorcycle. I will be purchasing fewer trucks, which is a huge carbon footprint to produce, in my lifetime as a result, burning much less fuel. Sticking to a motorcycle instead of another car for my non truck needed activity.
  • We grow a huge garden, saving water by using drip irrigation saving about 90% water.,
  • We use no pesticides on our garden, 100% Organic.
  • Gardening saves vegetables from being trucked to me for purchase at a local store.
  • We preserve garden products in reusable glass jars, and preserve local grown vegetables, no trucking costs to my freezer, or shelf, or to and from the store to buy vegetables.
  • Gardening sinks carbon.
  • We do large shopping runs, not as many multiple small runs through the week.
  • I purchased 6 rebuilt cars so far in my lifetime. Vehicles that were totaled and destined for the junk yard. We rebuilt them (Professional frame fixing) and saved 6 new cars from entering the market, and six cars from entering the junkyard, and saved money in the process.
  • Super low water shower heads, with water flow control, We shower in less than .75 GPM
  • Solar heater panel on the garage, putting out 9000 BTU in the sun, made of recycled beer cans.
  • We built our house with Hydronic in floor heating, which at the time was the most energy efficient heating system in 2000.
  • Then they said Pellet stoves where more green as they used a renewable resource. I installed a $4500 pellet heat system and used it to heat for three years.
  • Then heat pumps came out as the most energy efficient heat, we installed two 23,000 BTU heat pumps to heat the house. that is our predominant source of heat in our home.
  • I build the house with thick walls, and added R5 foam to the outside of the walls to boost heat energy savings.
  • 18 Years after my house was built. I took my R30 attic and added another 6 inches of insulation to boost to R50
  • I foam insulated my unfinished basement walls to R10 to save energy heating.
  • My basement floor and garage floor have foam insulation under the slab to prevent heat loss.
  • My wife puts her cold feet on my back to warm them up, instead of rising the room temperature. 😉
  • I manage my five acre wood lot, as a managed woodlot sinks much more carbon.
  • I cut my own lumber from my own managed wood lot. My house lumber was not trucked from across the country or from another province to build my home. It was cut and milled locally, from a managed woodlot (Managed woodlots sink much more carbon than unmanaged).
  • I replaced my roof with 50 year steel roofing (Higher cost) instead of asphalt shingles needing replacing every 15 year now.
  • Low e-gas windows were used in my home to save energy
  • We buy local beef, meat that is not trucked from another province. We buy sides at a time to prevent store trips, and pack the hamburger and roasts etc without Styrofoam trays. Less packaging.
  • I often bring home fish to eat, even undervalued and non-saleable species like silver perch for meals. They are not packaged or carbon shipped to us in anyway.
  • I used whole pepper corns, so that it is ground by my hand energy, and not an energy consuming machine.
  • We buy bread ONLY from a local bakery, it is not trucked from a depot in another province.
  • We buy from local producers as much as possible. We often reject products if they are non-local, and can be, and should be sourced local.
  • My vacations and days off are often hiking trips in nature, or spent in a hammock at night camping, or in a kayak. Not in hotels, tooling around in a vehicle or RV, theme parks, or restaurants.
  • My wife car pools to work when possible.
  • We use a hand crank pencil sharpener instead of an electric one.
  • We keep one light on in the early mornings, and turn them off as we move from room to room.
  • I don’t use a hair dryer, ever, My wife rarely, only if she has to run out in freezing air.
  • We air dry cloths outside all spring, summer, and fall, even on some winter days. We air dry cloths on racks in the house in our furnace room. At least 1/3 of my cloths are air dried and never see a dryer.
  • My lobster traps use mostly a renewable wood source, and not wire and plastic cases. (Except for the webbing and escape hatch)
  • I planted apple trees for local apples.
  • I switched to a smaller BBQ that uses half the propane of the larger grilles I used to use.
  • We often shower together as a couple. 😉 To much information. Saves fuel energy and water.
  • We assure computers and monitors etc are turned off when not in use.
  • I don’t buy excess clothing. Especially dressy cloths. I have a few basics and that is it.
  • We give things away for reuse, rather than toss them in the waste system. We have Free things at the end of our driveway all the time. And they are always taken for use by others.
  • We donate cloths instead of tossing.
  • We take worn out cloths and cut them up for re-use rags.
  • We hand wash our vehicles instead of using commercial car washes.
  • Stopped buying plastic straws.
  • Single ply bathroom tissue, that is highly bio-degradable type also.
  • Not to mention my province has one of the most comprehensive household recycle, compost, and waste management systems in Canada.
  • I pay fees for proper and environmentally good disposal of my fishing business waste as well, and the fees are high.
  • My cardboard bait boxes are saved, bundled and dropped for recycle each day.
  • I use bait bags on my lobster traps (When many other fishermen here won’t- refuse to use them – and mock me for using them, saying I will catch less) that preserve my bait better so that I purchase less bait, less bait is frozen using carbon energy and less trucked to me. Less boxes made for bait I don’t need to buy.
  • I build my own fishing gear and purchase local trap supplies, so much less of my equipment is trucked to me from vast distances.
  • I recycle and reuse net floats and sinker rope.
  • I donate my polyrope that is at its life end for me, to oyster aquaculture men who can reuse it years longer than i can for their purposes. It is not sent to the landfill and the aquaculture folks are not buying new rope. It’s petroleum based.
  • I manage my own boat, hydraulics, engine maintenance and repairs whenever possible. So that I am not calling a service man to make costly energy trips to my boat, and I save money in the process.
  • I drive my commercial boat at the most energy efficient speed at all times, 16 knots or 2000 or less rpm. My fuel consumption is much less than many of my fishing buddies as a result.
  • We maintain one property home as a choice. We actually, thought about getting a cottage, and we rejected it for ecological reasons.
  • I rust check every vehicle every year so it lasts as long as possible, so I don’t have to buy a new one as often.
  • We use a slow cooker often instead of an oven, and a Pressure cooker that cooks faster saving energy.
  • I stay married. I don’t cheat on my wife, respect her as a woman so that she does not divorce me, which would cause us to set up two separate homes with two huge carbon footprints indtead of one. Living as a life long couple is environmental friendly.
  • I am renting space for my fishing gear in an existing building and will only build when or if have to. I have already decided to purchase and reuse an repurpose a discontinuted tractor trailer truck box (55ft that no longer passes inspection) or discontinued container, for storage rather than building a storage building. As a result, no products will be purchased that expend carbon in its manufacturing, then shipped half way across the country to my local building supply, then reloaded to be trucked to my lot for a construction i will now not require, because we are repurposing a tractor trailer box instead.

I am not even going to get into how simply we lived and worked in Mali for four months a year over the last seven years. At times barely above village levels, very little power, no appliances but a refrigerator, bucket showering, bucket laundry, and driving $1000 motorcycles to do our work, versus the $75,000 to $100,000 4*4 vehicles like every other humanitarian agency or worker had and used.

So, Justin Trudeau stop with the heavy handed approach, implying I am not doing my part. I don’t need nor want your carbon tax. Look in the mirror. Look after your footprint. I’m already working on mine. So leave me alone. Please!

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