Sunday, January 07, 2007

The week in review

Well it has been a tough four day week back at work after nearly two weeks off. Between getting back in the flow of work, announcing my global warming/cycling goal for 2007 and yet another snow storm in Denver I’m a little surprised I’ve had time to think.

I’ve been inundated with reading suggestions on environmental topics and thus far have just started to read some of the titles I’ve been sent. The first book I’ve started is Natural Capitalism (, which has as a hypothesis that the business world is changing from an industrial revolution to a more environmental focus. Basically it says business can be successful, profitable and use fewer resources if it is arranged correctly. I’ll follow up with more on this as I dig in deeper, but thus far the logic and theories seem sound. I also read an article sent to me by my friend Bob (who was one of a few to recommend Natural Capitalism) written by Thomas Freidman in the NY Times (12-31-06) that says green energy sources can become as cost efficient/cheap as current sources with scale. He discusses a few new Wal-Marts that have been built green and feels the more green Wal-Marts the more scale green energy solutions will have. Since my job is consulting with companies on how economies of scale effect their pricing the logic in the article sounds like a report I’d write on mutual fund pricing, so get out there and buy some energy efficient light bulbs.

On a practical note with the energy efficient light bulbs, here are some practical numbers for you. I bought a four pack of spotlight energy efficient bulbs this weekend for $13.00; normal bulbs would have been a little less than half. But the good news is the energy efficient bulbs are suppose to last three to four times as long, creating a cost savings already, and are suppose to save me over $100 on my energy bill during their life span. This is a practical and cost efficient way all of us can go green. As your light bulbs burn out switch over to low wattage/energy conserving bulbs and get the two fold benefit; help reduce your energy use and (maybe) more importantly save money. On other green notes this week I’ll give you a rundown on easy and free (or better yet money saving) choices I made this week that help reduce waste. Commuting home on the bike two days this week for a reduction of at least 16 miles of car driving. Why do I say at least? Well Ade and I carpool in on the morning commute (so she can leave early and pick Seamus up after school) so in practice if I didn’t ride home and drove instead my driving reduction would be 32 miles. A key thing to remember with the commute this time of the year (and my low total) is that most roads are still ice-packed so riding isn’t easy, but sure is fun. Check out the commuting bike in all the glory: lights, fenders, wide knobby tires, this bike rocks in the snow.

Second easy and money saving green tip of the week, a reusable coffee mug. Cups of coffee, too many to remember (yes I have a strong coffee addiction) but at least eight or nine. For each cup I save between $0.10 and $0.25 depending on the coffee shop. Now I’m going to buy the coffee no matter what so saving the money is a nice benefit. The coffee shop I frequent most sold the cups (travelers) for $2.50 originally, that’s been paid back many times and no wasteful disposable cup every day.

The snow didn’t keep my riding down very much either. I put in 11 hours of training this week, including 4 hours of the weekend on cold and snow-packed roads. I wanted to ride about 13-14 hours but couldn’t bring myself to ride the trainer in the basement. If the conditions stay the same I guess I’ll have to soon, but for now a few less hours in the snow will have to do.

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