Readers speak: Reducing your carbon footprint

05/26/2010 12:00 AM |

In his column on reducing his carbon footprint last week, Troy Gustavson called for readers to share with him innovative ideas for conserving energy.   Read original column here

Mr. Gustavson even guaranteed two round-trip Hampton Jitney tickets between the North Fork and Manhattan to the most original energy-saving suggestion. Well the readers have spoken.


Thanks for your piece on living green. So I live in Southold and work in West Islip! I live here for the same reason you live here … it’s a beautiful place to live. I work in West Islip because, well, that’s where my job is. So on to energy savings. I commute 125 miles a day, five days a week. My commuter cars are a 1983 Mercedes or a 2002 VW Golf.  Both are diesel cars and both run on bio-diesel. The Mercedes not only runs on bio-diesel, but it also runs on waste vegetable oil.  So any given day I can drive those 125 miles on about one gallon of bio-diesel and the rest on veggie oil.  Does it smell like fries … yes!  But the savings to the environment, as well as my wallet, is significant.  Just doing my part to be a bit greener. 
Bob Scott
Limiting the current Oysterponds BOE president’s answers to a “Yes” or “No” during meetings, thereby guaranteeing the attendees of such meetings a reasonable bedtime, assuring: a) Porch lights are dimmed before midnight.b) The energy sucking school gymasium lights are put to rest.Why do I not think I will win two bus tickets? Oh, yes, must be because we actually need four tickets to head to the Tut exhibit later this month. Great idea, this contest. I am sure the boys will submit ideas of their own tomorrow.
Deborah Kusa
I suggest that you environmentally upgrade from the scooter to a velomobile. These are light human-powered vehicles, typically with full fairing to protect from wind and rain. They don’t use fossil fuel, can wash triglycerides from the bloodstream, and are practical in all but the most severe weather. It is mainly a European phenomenon at the moment, but interest is building here. There are a few good Web sites and the vehicles are sleek and futuristic.
Joe Pozzolano

Not only the most original energy-saving suggestion, but possibly the most important (at least if you want to help save the planet earth), is to plant natives.The ultimate solution to global energy management will be successful only if we reverse the spread of alien planting and focus on planting native plants in their rightful places.Native plants are attracting increasing interest. But there is still a long way to go before native plants are integrated into mainstream agricultural and landscaping practices. There is not yet even a consensus on the benefits of preserving native flora, nor even on a definition of native. Benefits of native plants include less needs for fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation, and energy. The vast reduction of natural habitats on earth due to human actions has resulted in an urgent widespread need for planting native plants to promote bio-diversity (see “Bringing Nature Home” by Douglas Tallamy).Almost all energy used by life on earth comes from solar power photosynthesized by plants. Only native plants produce energy in forms which can be utilized by natural ecosystems. All life on earth, including human, depends on natural ecosystems for survival. Oil, coal, nuclear power etc. are all important, but are secondary to the issue of living energy.
Again, check out Douglas Tallamy’s “Bringing Nature Home.” 
Here are some links worth checking out: