Friday, May 29, 2009

My President is GREEN!

I'm really excited about the new mileage standards introduced by Pres Obama. With gas on the rise and the economy in the dumps we could all save a little money. And isn't it great that we can help the environment at the same time?!

The New Obama mileage standards, which will take effect in 2012 (which is not that far away), will require cars and light trucks to get an average of 35.5 miles per gallon. DAYUM!!! Right now the only kind of vehicle that gets that type of mileage is a hybrid or smart car. But imagine being able to get that mileage in a car you WANT to be seen in!! I mean, I don't mind hybrids personally. But honestly folks, can you pick up dudes (or females) in a hybrid? They just don't have any swag. Now lets flip it and make it so your BMW 3 series now gets 30 mpg. WHAT!? That will be sooo tight!

But seriously folks, most countries in the world already have more stringent mileage standards in place. So in actuality, we are just playing catch up. As you can see on the chart above, the only folks we are doing better than on our projected mileage standards right now is California, go figure! And of course this will cost us something ($1500 extra per vehicle) but would you rather pay for it in your car payment now or in your taxes later?

Brown Tip
Wind Power!!!

I joined a program through my power company (BGE) to get wind power and it's about a penny cheaper than regular electric! Check it out

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

(Plastic) Baggage

Two weeks ago I took a trip with the Commission (the Prince George's County Solid Waste Commission that is) to the county landfill and composting facility. The purpose of the trip was to give the Commission a better idea of how the county manages it's solids waste. Both facilities were pretty cool and the tours were very informative, but there was something(s) that just kept bothering me. THESE DAMN PLASTIC BAGS!!!! (in the mommy dearest wire hangers voice)

There were plastic bags everywhere! I can't say I was surprised to see them there but I was surprised to find out how much they cost the county. At the composting facility, the managers had to buy a special plastic bag shredder (about $500K worth of equipment) and use workers to collect the bags. At the landfill, the managers have a difficult time keeping the bags on the landfill because they are so lite they can just fly away, so they too have to take extra time (and money) to collect the bags around the landfill.

I understand some people think that outright banning plastic bags and making people pay for reusable bags is not the answer. But I would ask those people this: do you want to pay for the bag now in the store or pay for it later in taxes? You decide.

"I brought my own bags, thank you!"

Reusable bags are so cheap now, most companies give them away for free. Keep them in your car, at your desk, or even in your purse. Just use them! They really do make all the environmental and economic difference.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This past Earth Day, I had the pleasure of participating in a clean-up at Anacostia Park. Now I know what your thinking, "How can THAT be pleasureful?!" but it really was. Outside of me getting to know Styrofoam plates and the tips of black and mild cigars way too well, I met some young people that take part in the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC).

ECC is a non-profit that works with at risk young adults (17-24) in Washington, DC. They teach the ECC participants about the environment while giving them life skills. The program lasts a year and, according to one of the program managers, there is a waiting list to get into the program. To teach the participants about the environment they do neighborhood clean-ups, discuss the importance of environmental protection, and hold workshops so the participants can get green job skills.

During the clean up I talked with a 21 year old girl named B (not her real name) and asked her how she felt about the program and why she joined. She told me the program saved her life! B had been in and out of jail (12 times) as a young adult. She said she had no motivation to do anything but get money illegally and hang out. But then she got tired. She said she never really thought about what she was going to do with her life until she got in ECC, and it has kept her off the streets. Once she finishes the program she going to get her GED (which ECC will help her with) and start running her own ice cream trucks. She said she wanted to be a better person for her sister, who is starting to go down the same path as her. DAYUM!!!!

Dude, programs like this really get to me. There is one thing to save the environment, but to do that while saving a life...... I could really really appreciate that. There are so many young people lost in this world, and if teaching them about the environment helps them find themselves then I would say that's a win win for all of us.

Brown Tip
Give Back!

If it's the environment, mentoring, helping old folks, whatever you are good at, do something! In these hard economic times people really need to see peoples goodness and showing it doesn't cost anything.