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First-Market Consumerism

I try to shop at Goodwill whenever I can, especially when I need something I know Goodwill will have, like clothes, dishes, and glasses. I don't have to shop at Goodwill out of economic necessity, though I am a big cheapskate and like to save money. I choose to shop at Goodwill because I like the idea of buying something that did not exploit raw materials for my use only. When I read about The Compact last year, I thought it was a great idea and really wanted to be more like that in my everyday life. The thing is, "first-market consumerism," which The Compact's spokespeople say they are trying to curb, isn't really a term, or not a well-known one, if it is. Freecycle works on the same principle -- speaking of which, I really need to join the Acadiana Freecycle group.

Anyway, I wish someone in The Compact would create an information page defining the term "first-market consumerism," intuitive as it may be, and lay out what the problems are with it (supported by sources). I don't do a very good job explaining it myself.

Reduce, Reuse (and reuse and reuse) and Recycle

I just realized that I have used the same cardboard boxes (salvaged from grocery and other retail stores) in not one, not two, not three, but FOUR MOVES:

Portland Ave. apartment in St. Paul --> Cushing Cir. apartment in St. Paul

Cushing Cir. apartment --> Decatur, GA

Decatur, GA --> Greenville, NC

Greenville, NC --> Lafayette, LA

Hooray for me. Four will probably be it, though, because I don't think we have a dedicated storage space for them in the new digs.

Environmentally Friendly Google

Using Blackle instead of Google will save energy -- quite a lot, if everyone used it, according to Mark Ontkush:

Take at look at Google, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let's assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. Assuming that users run Google in full screen mode, the shift to a black background will save a total of 15 (74-59) watts. That turns into a global savings of 8.3 Megawatt-hours per day, or about 3000 Megawatt-hours a year. Now take into account that about 25 percent of the monitors in the world are CRTs, and at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, that's $75,000, a goodly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few color codes.

Via Treehugger.


Anyone going to SAMLA in November? It's in Charlotte, NC this year. If so, come on to my panel:

50. Sexuality and Visual Rhetorics in the Advanced Writing Curriculum
Advanced Writing Session
Regular Session
Saturday – 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Chair: William P. Banks, East Carolina University
Secretary: Michele Eble, East Carolina University
1. Attracting Readers: Sex and Audience in the Blogosphere – Clancy Ratliff, East Carolina University
2. Sexuality and Visual Rhetorics in the Advanced Writing Curriculum – Misty Carmichael, Georgia State University
3. Does Sex Have a History? Toward a Sexual Literacy in a Writing-Intensive Course – Robin Martin, East Carolina University

And/or, we could have a SAMLA/Charlotte area blogger meetup. Let me know.

Also, read this article about a guy who decided to take an "energy diet," in which he and his family consumed less carbon dioxide and energy. I LOVE IT. I wish similar articles were printed in newspapers once a week or so.

Science Cartoons!

Vote for your favorite science cartoon in Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest. Here's my favorite:

And this one gets an honorable mention despite the somewhat heavy-handed pun. You can probably guess why.

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