I’m “Going Green” – Here’s How

I’ve been ever more attracted to a "green" lifestyle recently, and here’s a list some of the things I’m doing and planning to do.

Alternative Transportation. I love driving, and I love my car. However, it’s really expensive, and usually not necessary. I just fixed up my bike, which I rode yesterday, along with Caltrain and the Highway 17 Express bus to get to class at UC Santa Cruz. Total cost: $16 (versus est. $22.50 for gas, plus $4 for parking). And I get some exercise as an added bonus.

Of course, I do need to drive sometimes (I can’t really carry large objects on my bike), and I’m really attracted to electric vehicles. Mainly because I could charge an electric car from solar panels at home (which I don’t have yet either).

Alternative Energy. I want cheap solar panels. And they’re apparently coming, from Nanosolar, a startup right here in Palo Alto, who’ve developed a new way to manufacture solar cells at 1/10th the cost, and reduce most of the waste and energy involved in traditional solar cell manufacturing. Hopefully we’ll start seeing some consumer products soon. Once I have solar cells on my roof, I’ll have an abundant, and essentially free source of electricity. I want to replace gas-using appliances like the old stove, but also maybe use electric instant hot water heaters instead of that big tank outside.

Alternative Eating. Food prices are going up, and America is slowly starting to realize that our society is not eating right. Maybe hamburgers are not good for you. Wouldn’t it be great if we could grow all our own food? (and cut out all the transportation costs!). Well, you can either move to a farm if you want to eat meat, or, start eating primarily fruits and vegetables, and grow them in your garden. Tear up that lawn and plant some tomatoes and carrots.

I’m probably extreme here, because I’m trying to eat only raw fruits and vegetables, and maybe nuts. This is the raw food diet that I’ve written about before. However, you probably already eat some raw food, like apples, bananas or oranges. Supposedly raw food is much healthier to eat. (for example, I heard a story that a farmer tested feeding his pigs raw potatoes instead of boiled potatoes and even though they ate the same amount, they lost weight instead of gaining like usual).

Ultimately, the goal is self-sufficience, or living "off the grid". Here in suburbia I’ll still need to use the sewage system among other services, but someday I hope to build a place on a hillside where I can take care of even that, and my only reliance on "civilization" would be an internet connection.

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