Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wild Weather

Hi  Everyone. Sorry for the late post, it was a rough week last week and I am still a little devastated. Okay that might be a little bit of an exaggeration but it definitely wasn’t a fun couple of days last week.
I am sure you guys have all heard about ravaging effects of Hurricane Sandy on North America. Here in Niagara we did not get anything close to the devastating conditions that New York was hit with, but we got A LOT of rain and very strong winds for a good four days straight.
If you haven’t heard, here is an idea of what effects Hurricane Sandy had on New York:

(Picture taken from
So how did this affect me? Well we got water in our basement (…again) and what looked like a free swimming pool in the backyard. It was more of an inconvenience than anything. My prayers go out to the people of New York City and the surrounding states that lost their homes or worse their lives because of this super storm.
All of this crazy weather got me thinking. When was the last time a hurricane of this magnitude hit North America that far north? From my Wikipedia reference, the most recent deadly hurricane to hit the New York City area was 1938. 74 years later, 55 people died.
I find weather very interesting and completely believe in the ‘greenhouse effect’ or what is commonly called global warming. The United States alone emits 20% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Actions in our daily lives are effecting our environment in ways that most people wouldn’t even begin to imagine.
·         Driving your car. Driving automobiles is one of the biggest factors human population is having on the environment and the use of fossil fuels.
·         Using electricity. This includes everything from using your toaster in the morning, using your computer all day at work, to using the stove to make dinner.  
To put it into perspective a bit, burning fossil fuels is not bad only because it is negatively effecting our environment through the emission of greenhouse gases, but fossil fuels are a limited resource. In North America, we are importing up to 94% of our fossil fuels. There is a risk that the world’s supply of fossil fuels will not be enough to sustain our use.
Rather than waiting for industry to catch up technology wise, we need to take steps now to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. So what can we do?
·        Turn off your computer monitors when not using them. A lot of people think to turn off their computers at the end of the day but how often do you think to turn off the monitor as well.
·        Ride a bike. If you are just running to the Tim Horton’s on the corner or to the corner store, why not get out your bike or take a walk. And while I realize that isn’t a realistic alternative for most people, if you take a second to think about what the emissions from your vehicle are doing to the environment, you might consider it.
·        Car pool. Car pool where it is an option. Do you live in the same city as a co-worker, could you drive to work together and alternate weeks/days?
·        Take the bus. Public transit has developed in most cities and it is easier than ever to use.
·        Do you go to the gym after work? If possible, get a gym membership for a gym near your work so you don’t have to drive there.
·        Ladies, leave the straigtener off until you need it. We all know the straightener takes less than a minute to heat up, so why do we often turn it on 5-10 minutes before we need it so it is ready to go?
·        Unplug appliances when you are not using them. Even when off and plugged in, an appliance will still be drawing on electricity.
There are many different things you can do to be more conscious of your use of fossil fuels, so just take a second to consider other alternatives available.

Have a great week.

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