Closing coal plants, eliminating phone books and green gyms

Last week, I saw this interesting headline in our local business paper:

Xcel takes unusual step to shut down coal power plants

The full article is only available to subscribers, I believe. But the gist of it is that our power company, Xcel, is shutting down two coal power plants, both of which are in residential areas. They will instead use natural gas to create power.

It might be a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul. This Wired article says that natural gas is cleaner, but …

“People talk about natural gas emitting four times less greenhouse gases than coal, but that’s only when the gas is actually burned for energy,” Glynn said. At present, most greenhouse gas calculations don’t take into account carbon dioxide emissions that occur when natural gas is pumped from the ground for storage and transmissions.

At any rate, hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.

Phooey on phone books

I’ve been busily working to eliminate junk mail, so it’s super frustrating to hear the telltale THUNK of another phone book hitting the porch.

Remember when only the phone company produced the (lone) phone book? And you actually used it to look up numbers? Now I use the phone book for several purposes:

  • As a booster seat for visiting toddlers.
  • As a step for calf-raise exercises.
  • As a weight to hold a damp cloth onto a carpet stain for maximum absorption.

Yeah … not exactly its intended purpose. I’m not even sure if anything is written on the pages. Oh, I forgot, it’s a source of advertising revenue, therefore it must be inflicted on us.

Well, then Wise Bread wrote about a source for opting out of phone book deliveries. I have called individual companies to opt out, but I missed the one that hit me this week. Perhaps the YellowPagesGoneGreen site will help.

Another reason Portland is cool

If my family didn’t almost all live here in Colorado, I’d pack it in for Portland. Yesterday, Focus Organic wrote about a green microgym that’s opening in Portland. It will be powered by the exercisers and solar energy, with a lot of eco-friendly interior finishes. That would indeed be a big improvement on my plastic-filled, energy-sucking gym, sadly.

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5 thoughts on “Closing coal plants, eliminating phone books and green gyms

  1. cheaplikeme says:

    @Jefferson – Hmm, the Biz Journal article is only two days older than the Rocky … and when I look closely again, it says a decision on natural gas “has been postponed.” The Rocky piece seems to sort of leave it open as to whether they eventually might use natural gas … but in the meantime they are adding more sustainable sources. I wonder about being “forced” — they seem to be getting lots of mileage from their renewable energy efforts. Thanks for the correction.

  2. Jenna says:

    I gotta confess, we grab all the phone books from our friends that they want to hand over. Deperate midnight phone number searches? Nope. We bought a paper brick maker from an online company, and have found a few minutes spent everyday on the porch ripping up the books and loading them into the form give us fire bricks far superior to anythingwe could buy.

    One brick will burn for 15-20 minutes, and two loaded in at the begining of a burn will insure even the hardest log of oak will catch. No more chemical soaked fire starters, no more eons spent with a lighter trying to get the wood alight. Another bonus? No more questionable chemicals getting into our garden and yard (we till in the ash each spring into the garden and use the rest during the winter as snow and ice melt.).

    On the other hand… I can’t think of the last time I actually opened one to look something up!

  3. Tim says:

    I happen to be one of the owners of MyJunkTree and as a new company I search the web to see if we are getting any visibility out there and I post on relevant blogs.

    We launched the company because we were tired of all the junk mail we were receiving and we personally did not want to bounce all over the web to contact all the different companies to stop it all. First and foremost we wanted to let people choose what they wanted to let come to their home knowing that some people really do like some of the coupons and catalogs. So our clients choose what they want stopped.

    We also had to provide a service that is different than the other services out there, so here is what we offer:

    1. We have a database of over 1300 catalogs that you can choose to stop.
    2. We have over a 4000 charities/Non-Profits that you can stop solicitations from.
    3. Stop the delivery of the national phone directories.
    4. Stop the delivery of the weekly coupons.
    5. Stop the general credit card offers as well as the ones from your own major bank.
    6. Stop the miscellaneous junk mail from the data brokers.
    7. You can register on the National Do Not Call Registry from the website.
    8. You can order your no strings attached free annual credit report right from the website.
    9. We plant trees with every new membership.

    And, yes we are a paid service and yes you can do everything that we do for free, if you want to do all the research and spend the time contacting the companies yourself it can easily be done. We have just done all of the legwork for our clients and feel there is value in the service we provide.

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