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Living Less Unsustainably: Half

A green rotary mower
Joice Rivas

Doing a job halfway may not seem like a great idea. But changing the way you do something to reduce climate gas pollution halfway is a good step on the path to 100%.

Let me give you an example. After years of using a gas mower to cut my grass, a friend gave me an old reel style push-mower; the kind my parents used 50 years ago. That sound from my childhood, and the lack of noise and pollution from the gas mower convinced me to give it a try, and I have done all my mowing by hand this year - with zero pollution - unless you count sweat. I may have to resort to gas after a trip, and have an electric mower in my sights, but even if I do have to use them, I have cut way back on emissions. 100% reduction so far, but even mowing by hand half the time will make a big difference.

If you drive to work, walking, biking, or carpooling could make a big difference. My father drove once a week with four co-workers. If you drive a child - who probably could be walking - to school, hook up with others to make it a carpool.

Going halfway on plastic bag use is easy - use them twice. Make it ten times for a 90 percent reduction.

It seems unlikely that you have not switched all your lights to LED bulbs. If not, start today for an 88% savings over old incandescent bulbs, and a 50% savings over the CFLs. The color issues have been solved too, so don't let that stop you.

Rinse the dishes with cold water for a 100% savings on heating, or warm for a 50% savings.

Come up with your own half off ideas, and share them with your friends and me.

If half the people cut back by 50%, we'd be a quarter of the way to our climate goals with just a halfhearted effort.

I'm John Fischer for Living Less Unsustainably.

John Fischer is a Master Gardener and Master Recycler and the host of KLCC's Good Gardening and Living Less Unsustainably.