Blog, No Drive Sunday, Year in Review

We have made the move south of Portland to Corvallis, Oregon. The blog will be up and running again in 2013 after a very busy last 6 months. The No Drive Sunday FB page is also back up for your viewing pleasure and we hope to grow in the new year.

I was accepted into the Master Recycling Class at Oregon State University starting in January 2013. I look forward to the two month class and learning even more about Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.

Besides moving to Corvallis I was able to continue a bit of acting with background roles in NBC’s Grimm, TNT’s Leverage, IFC’s Portlandia and even some foreground work in a movie with Ron Jeremy called “Bad Signs”

Looking forward to more writing and learning in 2013. Happy New Year.

http://www.facebook.com/NoDriveSunday

 

Earth Day 2012

I know, I know it’s been a long vacation from my blog.  We wrapped Season One of NBC’s Grimm last week and we have about 6 weeks until we start Season Two.  We have also been planting our spring garden, taking care of two kids and living the background acting dream on Grimm.  Today is another Earth Day 2012 and I hope everyone got out and did something positive in their communities today.

I hope to start sharing more Green stories in the weeks and month to come.  Please come check out my new Facebook page on something our family started doing a few weeks ago.  It’s called “No Drive Sunday” which encourages people to take one day a week and leave the car in the driveway.  Click the link below to learn more and please share with your friends.

No Drive Sunday

 

Super Bowl, NBC’s Grimm, Recycling

NBC's Grimm February 3, 2012 Image caputured from full episode

Just a quick update from the Pacific North West.  Life has been busy to start 2012.  I continue to play a cop on NBC’s Grimm while my real job is a stay at home dad in Portland, Oregon.  As we all get ready for what we hope to be a great football game I envision all the bottles, cans, glass, metal and plastic going into recycling bins across the globe.  Just think of how many jobs we could create in the USA alone if we each put one more thing in the recycling container.  So if your at a party today or trying to catch a half second glimpse of me on Friday nights (NBC 9pm) please look in the trash.  Did your party recycle everything it could?  If not then bring up the discussion, pull that wine bottle or beer can out, rinse and recycle.  Every can, bottle, milk jug, metal tin and wine bottle not thrown into a landfill saves natural raw materials.  I must now get back to being a dad but I look forward to hearing your recycling stories here on my blog.  Go Buffalo Bills…..who said they lost four Super Bowls in a row.

IKEA Goes Solar

More great news from the world of solar and electric cars.  IKEA, the world largest home furnishing retailer has announced today 5 more stores in the USA will be adding solar panels to it’s stores.  This will help IKEA become a leader in “Green Energy” and increase it’s solar presence to nearly 85% of it’s US stores.  In Portland, Oregon installation has begun on solar panels which will go great with it’s already installed 2 electric car charging stations.  IKEA has become a leader in “Green Energy” with recycling waste material (paper, wood, plastic,etc.); incorporating environmental measures into the construction of buildings in terms of energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water conserving restrooms; and operationally, phasing out the sale of incandescent light bulbs and facilitating recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs.  Also, nine western U.S. IKEA stores have recently installed electric vehicle charging stations.

Information for this story was used from IKEA press release dated January 12, 2012

For more information check out IKEA’s web site IKEA

IKEA Solar Panels

2012 is looking Green

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012.  It’s been a great holiday for our family and I completed many home improvement projects. I have missed writing and wanted to share a few tips to make 2012 a more sustainable year.  My son’s school is recycling Glue sticks and as of January 1st we have recycled 728.  Besides the glue sticks, Chief Joseph Elementary in Portland, Oregon recycles all plastic, paper, cardboard, magic markers, glass, ink cartridges and used batteries.  If your interested in helping your school recycle, check out Terracycle or just contact your local recycling companies.  Chief Joe Elementary School has reduced it’s trash by over 50% in just one year and hopes to do even better in 2012.

I’m excited about the new electric car charging stations going in all over the Pacific Northwest and around the country.  Electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and the Ford Focus are averaging 100 miles on a charge. Fast charging stations give you a full charge in less then a half hour.  I look forward to the day when we dump the oil and gas and plug in the family car.  Several other Green projects have me excited going into 2012.  We now compost all food scraps in Portland, Oregon and have garbage pickup only twice a months.  We have solar and wind power going up all over Oregon and Washington and a bottle bill in Oregon that will include almost anything that holds liquid.

Thanks for reading my “Green” blog in 2011.  I look forward to your thoughts and idea on how we can reduce, reuse and recycle even more in 2012.  I feel in today’s world there is no reason to throw much of anything away.  The earth is warming at an alarming rate and we all need to step up and do what we can to help the environment we live in.

Two blue bins full of recycling in Portland, Oregon.

Next car to be Electric

The days of this family driving a car that runs on gas and leaks oil are numbered.  I have dreamed since I was 21 that I would someday plug my car in at night, drive it around and then plug it in again that evening.  No radiator, no oil, no spark plugs, no timing belts and no more stopping at the gas station. Today we get by with a 1996 Volvo with 240 thousand miles and a 1993 VW Westfalia, just getting broken in at 220k.  They are paid for and do the job when the weather is too wet and cold to use the bikes.  But as they get closer to the 300 thousand mile mark, I have been researching the new and first mass produced electric vehicles hitting the US market this fall.  Hybrids have been a nice start but the real answer is full electric cars and trucks that have no exhaust pipes.  Nissan has the Leaf, Toyota the new Prius, Mitsubishi I-Miev, Honda Fit and the 2012 Smart Car.  Most of these cars start around 30K which is way out of my price range but with a average range of 100 miles on a charge, it can only get cheaper.  The 2012 electric cars will recharge in an average of 4 hours on a standard 240volt plug.  In less then a few minutes, it will recharge on fast charging stations being built all over America.  Electric cars are here to stay and in the next 5 years will be a small but growing part of the automobiles on the road.  I can’t wait to never have to stop at a gas station again and to drive 100 miles for about 30 cents.  Then, after I install the solar panels, I will get to charge it for free.  Keep an eye out for an electric car in your neighborhood, it just might be me driving by.

2012 Nissan Leaf

 

 

Green Turkey Day

This is the first Thanksgiving in which my hometown of Portland, Oregon will be composting all food scraps.  Think about how many turkey carcasses are thrown in the trash Thursday evening ending up in landfills.  Well not anymore, just throw it along with any other left over foods, fruits and vegetable peels into your Green Compost roll cart and let the natural break down begin.  With our trash now being picked up every other week and our yard debris/compost picked up weekly there is no reason to help decrease landfill waste. For those of you not living in the sunny Pacific Northwest you can still compost in your yard with some great bins that even have lids.  Reducing your footprint this Thanksgiving can also include buying foods and gifts with less plastic packaging, recycling everything possible and riding your bike to grandma’s house.

After Turkey Day help local businesses by shopping in your community.  Spending money at local stores might cost a bit more but that money almost always goes back into pockets of other businesses in the same community.  Oh and please bring your own reusable bags, I have bags full of them if you need some.  Happy “Green” Thanksgiving.

Would love to see….Part 1

Sorry to be missing the last week or so, kids and raking leaves have been keeping me busy.  I have been thinking about writing a blog on what keeps me involved in green living and changes I would love to see made.  So here is my list of what makes me grumpy, makes me smile and in my ideal world the way things would work.

I’m 41 years old so I figure I have a few years left to get some of this stuff done.  The first thing I want to see is recycling bins next to every trash can in America.  There is no reason for plastic drink bottles and soda cans to ever end up in the trash.  I think if someone throws a cigarette butt out the car window or on the ground walking down the street they should be forced to spend the next ten days eating them for breakfast.  I bet that would cut back on the amount of clowns throwing trash out the window.  Next, if you drive a car that gets less then 10 miles to the gallon or 10 gallons to the mile you would pay a extra “gasoline” tax.  Gas stations would all be required to install fast charging stations for the millions upon millions of electric cars that get 200 miles on a 30 minute charge.  Just think how nice the air around would be to breathe if we all drove electric cars, rode bikes or walked to and from school, work, banks, grocery stores, libraries and parks. Buses, trolleys and trains would move people from town to town and gas powered cars would be as rare as free beer at the corner pub.  Houses with clear southern views would have solar panels for electricity, wind turbines would be small but generate lots of power and coal power plants would only be read about  in text books. All food scrapes would be composted at home and in restaurants, chickens would be more popular pets then dogs and cats and front yards would be all fresh food gardens. Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington come to mind as places that this will happen first and in some cases is all ready starting.

This is just a start and I know many of these things may never happen in my lifetime.  I imagine a world that everyone takes the time to protect the earth and takes the extra time to do what they can to help.  We need to change and we need to do it yesterday.  To be continued…..

 

Portland, Oregon Starts Curbside Food Composting

What a month October was for the City of Portland, Oregon. On October 15th the city banned the plastic grocery bag which was 3 years in the making.  Then on Halloween after a successful test run Portland begins picking up food waste once a week and pushing back household trash pickup to every other week.  It is estimated that food waste accounts for over 30,000 tons of garbage in Portland every year. Taking food waste out of the landfill and making it into fresh organic material for gardens and landscaping is great for the environment and reduces carbon dioxide emissions from landfills.  We have had a backyard composting bin for over 5 years but now with the curbside pickup we will be able to compost meat bones, food scraps and even pizza boxes.  So to all my friends in Portland, please start scarping that leftover food into your green compost bins.  Every little bit helps and if your not in Portland please start your own compost bin.  Encouraging your local city and state representatives to start curbside composting in your hometown is the next great thing and yes it creates jobs.  Do you compost food scraps?

Portland, Oregon composts

Burning Wood, Oh So Nice

As the nights grow longer and the air a bit colder, many of us are thinking about that first fire of the year.  Burning wood in a fireplace or wood stove can make almost anyone feel good.  There is a myth that burning wood is bad for the environment but actually it’s the opposite.  A few things to keep in mind are to always make sure your fireplace or stove is cleaned and never burn paper, cardboard, wet wood or anything with paint or glue on it.  Keep the fire hot, which reduces the amount of smoke going up the chimney.  Also, by closing down the damper to allow just the smoke to go up the chimney will keep more of the heat in the house.  Wood is a renewable resource unlike gas, oil and coal and if grown properly can be a great source of fuel.  When wood is burned the energy released is stored energy from the sun and the carbon dioxide is the same whether burned or left to rot on the forest floor.  When buying wood, buy local wood and stay away from the plastic wrapped bundles sold at the grocery store or gas station.  Most of that wood is not local, it is shipped thousands of miles and can even come from overseas.  So, go ahead and use wood to help heat the house, just keep it hot, use fat pine to start the fire instead of paper, and buy your wood from local suppliers.  Oh yeah and the people burning household trash in the country, now that is really bad for the environment…more information on that soon.