SEO: Search Eco Optimization

So via SEOmoz I just learned to-day is Blog Action Day. Here then is my drop into the "speak out" hat, pond or cloud, or whatever your symbolic fancy. Like most Web Marketing bloggers I don't normally post anything personal, but perhaps I've posted enough more usually appropriate material to have earned myself a first indulgence at this juncture:

  • If you've worked at all closely with me and/or paid crazy close attention to this blog since its inception, you may have picked up already that for a variety of reasons I'm a vegetarian, have been since my mid-teens, and make few exceptions to that routine. Apparently that helps minimize the environmental footprint of my diet substantially, compared to that of omnivores (e.g. H20 and land consumption, cows belching and farting out methane etc.). I've not looked into it much, but in the meantime I normally don't eat flesh - especially that of mammals - because I simply feel better when I don't. I don't like that "at-the-moment-of-violent-death" adrenaline coursing through my veins. I've enough of my own. Turn the clock back in time when I was on all fours, my canines were sharper, my bowels were shaped differently and my gait much nearer the ground, and would probably be a different story. I won't pretend I don't find the notion of it being generally better karma appealing, but I also won't pretend I wouldn't eat animals or other humans if I had to do so to survive. Partly, and particularly with things like hunting and medical testing, I think it's a cheap shot - picking on innocent creatures not one's own size, moreover in a globally mechanized and institutionalized way... Ever notice the similarities between factory faming and the Nazi death camps of The Holocaust? Maybe the world would be a more civilized place with more of us sticking to a "no meat if not of my own species, killed by mine own hands and out of justifiable necessity" rule. Sounds sick? Eat me. Anyway, being apparently gentler on the environment is a nice thing to come with it, too.
  • I normally don't drive. I currently walk and take public transportation almost everywhere, as I live and work in and rarely venture beyond San Francisco's borders. Driving within the city when one needn't proves idiotically masochistic easily half the time. I like it very much and am still trying to enjoy it as much and for as long as possible. San Franciscans are a fine people who often make me wish I'd only moved here sooner than I did. One feels connected to one's community by not having to be in a car, sharing the gridlocked road with a lot of other understandably miserable (crowded and hurried) people. In this country and in this part of it especially, we waste much of our lives and our potential happiness, in cars. If the day comes when I have to commute regularly isolated in a little box of metal and plastic again, I will do so off-hours. I enjoy the act of driving fundamentally but find a lot of people carry themselves very poorly on the road. There are few things that I have a very strong, essentially non-negotiable intolerance for. Sitting in traffic - polluting emissions or otherwise - is one of them. Getting a good mile or three of walking logged in most days, especially in a hilly city, turns out to be involuntarily great for the legs and ass too. Love handles? Alas, that's another matter altogether.
  • I do own a car. It's a Prius. I know Toyota has come under fire of late, reportedly for not being as green as they claim. I've not followed that story but anyway, hybrid engine technology has been a start toward more cleanliness and energy efficiency. The gadgets and the design of the Prius are things I found charming when I tried it (though I was skeptical about the thing when I was last car-shopping), and being able to use the carpool lane even while driving solo has been a fun occasional "nyah-nyah!" ...I still need to get the thing hacked and modded, to fit an iPod and also make the navigation system usable while the car is moving. Whenever I'm in it there's almost always someone riding shotgun, so that safety feature has been a real nuisance.
  • I quit being a casual / occasional smoker about 3 years ago.
  • My household uses almost exclusively energy-efficient lighting, and many of our appliances are such as well. One of the first things we did upon moving in was change out the old, less efficient heating system. We also took our water heating tankless. As the price of solar comes down, I'm keeping an eye on that. We still use a lot of water and electricity sometimes, but are working on it.
  • We buy mostly locally produced food. Some things we take organic. The more we can afford to, the more we will. Same thing with an eventual return to Veganism I plan to make.
  • We recycle a lot. For many years I've been in the habit of putting things in the recycling bins that I think should be recyclable, even if they definitely or possibly aren't yet. I still do that, even if nobody's getting the message directly. We don't reuse nearly as much as we could, but we're working on it. We did pretty good on Wired's carbon test, so hopefully that's a good place to start.
  • I know I've got a lot of work to do that will never be finished. As a middle-class American, by corporate definition and design I'm an ignorant glutton compared to the average global citizens... Some of the leather I wear ain't fake. I live and play via electronic toys, mostly computers - the manufacturing of which is highly toxic. There are things in my life that I experience as clean, that are borne of and/or produce nastiness elsewhere. I'm nowhere near pure nor is anyone I know. Things like purity and perfectionism are about endlessly looking and never settling for finding, IMHO. Self-righteous Eco-fascism annoys and/or bores me as much as any other kind of absolutism, but I do believe in pursuit of an extended degree of "live and let live."

So that's my world on this, mostly. I know there a lot of debates around what's fact or not if/as one delves into the detailed muck of environmental issues. I'm often pretty busy, so instead the way I like to live is by a simpler approach. I like trying to live with cleanliness, comfort, efficiency and a degree of quiet. I don't like living loud, obnoxious, stinky and/or clunky. Some living I like simple, other living I like complex... There are some things that have reportedly become increasingly politically correct nowadays that I participate in largely as I find they have an appealing grace and/or glaring common sense. If these are things that happen to minimize the damage I'm doing while I'm here, all the better... I try to err in favor of "just in case" and "small changes aren't so hard and inconvenient, and much can be made second nature fast." Like everyone else I didn't ask for this life, but even had I no direct stake in how future generations live, I'd like to think life's worth trying to live without too much selfishness. By dumb luck, I'm an American living happily in one of the best places in America so I have an obligation to try to be neither whiny or spoiled and do whatever I can to be responsible. Fewer things to potentially lose sleep over is a good thing... and if we're going to Hell in a hand-basket... if I can't be one of its daemons I prefer to at least end up in one of the less punishing circles of it.

Spread His Word

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