Monday, November 13, 2006

Week Four:  Clothing

Congratulations—you have taken the Week Four Action Quiz. Your score is 622, which means you've promised to take the annual equivalent of 0.06 cars off the road.

"Chances are that a good portion of what's hanging in your closet is made from cotton. The fiber is tough to grow, so cotton farmers use enormous amounts of energy-intensive, CO2-emitting chemicals and fertilizers. To produce one pair of regular cotton jeans takes three-quarters of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides. Each T-shirt takes one-third of a pound.

>>The average American disposes of about 66 pounds of clothing and shoes each year, according to the Gaia Movement Trust. Donating instead of tossing saves about 165 pounds of CO2 emissions per person per year.

>>Using only cold or warm water to wash your clothes saves energy and about 150 pounds of CO2 per person per year.

>>Swapping the dryer for the clothes line saves 350 pounds of CO2 per person per year.

>>Purchasing an Energy Star washing machine saves an average of 257 pounds of CO2 emissions per person per year."

I pledged to donate unwanted clothing instead of throwing it away (already do this), wash my laundry in cold water instead of hot (check), run the washer only when full (check), and buy Energy Star appliances next time I shop for a washer or dryer. I would've been awarded "extra credit" if I'd agreed to line-dry my clothes, but I feel that was a little unfair. I live in an apartment, and it's nearly winter. Where exactly am I supposed to line-dry my clothes? Also, I buy nearly half (maybe more than that) of my clothes at thrift stores and consignment shops, yet I got credit only for donating to secondhand shops, not for patronizing them. That just doesn't seem right. Oh, well.

Reading: Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Playing: Black Holes and Revelations by Muse

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