i think i read a while back about ireland going ahead w/ this, and i’m sure other places in europe, being way more progressive environmentally than the US, have instituted this already. San Francisco has just become the first city in the US to ban the use of plastic bags at grocery stores. Wonderful! Finally! plastic grocery bags are such a ridiculous nuisance, such a waste of resources, such a source of trash and pollution. they litter streets, nobody recycles them (sure, bring them back to the grocery store – nobody remembers to do that, or it’s too much of a ‘hassle’). instead, bring your own reusable bag. they’ve been doing it the world over for thousands of years – the ‘market’ that we americans love to patronize as tourists b/c it’s so quaint and filled w/ history – how do you think they brought those fruits, veggies, and meats home?
this is a move that will surely be followed by other cities, though it will likely take some time for those dominoes to fall. the more we realize how dependent our society is on petroleum products, and the more we try to cut back on its frivolous use, the more we’ll see things change toward (hopefully, as long as desireable alternates exist or arise to fill the gap) a more sustainable lifestyle.
the interview that i rocked the other day is leaving me kind of bummed. during the interview, my interviewer practically said he would be extending me an offer. today, though, at a networking event he talked about how my timeline (taking one month off after graduation to relax and get my travels and life in order) was too far out him, and that i should keep his firm in mind if things change or if i continue looking later. so that’s a bummer – i don’t think i should expect an offer from them so soon. it would be disingenuous of me to not give realistic expectations of my timeline, but at the same time, i think that i could have been vague about my start date for a little bit longer.
on the other hand, i had 3 interviews since friday, another one tomorrow, and i’m trying to get 2 more in the pipeline. of my 2 interviews yesterday, i really liked one of them, and my interview today i felt was a smashing success. i think that i might honestly prefer today’s firm out of all the ones i’ve interviewed w/ so far. really good vibe from the principal, and my sustainable design focus is serving me very, very well. my interview tomorrow seems exciting as well – i have a friend who works there and has talked it up. they are a small satellite office looking to grow, and the firm itself is international and 6000 people strong. let’s hope for good things tomorrow.
so my decision to go ‘low-impact’ last week has resulted in my first step: no more paper towels. i bought a bunch of cloth napkins and dish towels (we already had a few, but we definitely need more now) and now use only those when eating and cleaning up around the kitchen/house. i also discussed this w/ my wife, and how it would impact her as well, and she was surprisingly supportive. she always is about these things, knowing that it’s very important to me and also understanding that it’s really everyone’s responsibility to try to make these types of changes. the key is to make it so that it isn’t too inconvenient. paper towels and only having one car in the family isn’t too drastic – there will surely be more difficult changes in the future.
just had my first job interview this morning, and i rocked it hard. there are 4 more next week, and i’m going to try to get an additional 2 or 3.
one of my best buds just published his first book, National Darkroast Day. a satirical jab at American coffee culture and corporate greed/automatons, it’s most definitely worth a read! pick it up online at iUniverse.com and Amazon.
i just discovered, in watching a documentary on the evolution of his work, that Frank Gehry is Jewish. his original last name was Goldberg. i also discovered that his firm website doesn’t have any email addresses for contact. so i have to extend my invitation to Passover Seder on this blog. Frank – my wife and i would love to have you over for Seder if you happen to be in Austin for any reason. you can respond in the comments. looking foward to seeing what shapes you’ll be able to create out of the matzos!
i just read a few posts from a new blog titled No Impact Man. it’s a truly admirable endeavor – No Impact Man is attempting to be the human equivalent of a net zero energy home. it’s a one year experiment taking place within NYC, making it particularly challenging. being a self-professed enviro-hippie, i’m generally the one within my group of friends leading the more environmentally friendly lifestyle. i ride my bike and the bus, try to buy organic, have switched most of our lights to CFLs, recycle (with 3 bins every week, the most on our block), and have started a compost. those are nice baby steps, but i still drive our car (there’s really no way not to in austin), still have some incandescent bulbs burning, leave electronic components on too long, and use paper towels way too much.
despite the fact that i’ll be graduating this may with a masters in architecture specializing in sustainable design, and knowing full well the lengths to which i can go to decrease the size of my ecological footprint, i’ve held back from making any type of large scale commitment to changing my way of life. i’ve generally felt that technology will take care of the majority of society’s environmental ills since technology is what created them (this sentence could very well produce loads of comments decrying my naivete, but at some point in the future i’ll post in depth on my view – it’s not as naive as it sounds and is much more generalist). it’s been my belief that new methods of energy production and product development will come around and create a more cradle-to-cradle approach to life cycle costing. i also have felt that any real change requires active participation and change from the ground up, meaning that we, the everyday joes, have to re-evaluate many of the conveniences of our modern lifestyles. the only problem for me is that i’ve kind of plateaued with the items i’ve listed above. so now it’s time for me to take it to the next level and really commit to some serious change. it will definitely be slow, but i’m looking to make many of these changes life-long.
as this is going to be a huge endeavor (one that i have yet to discuss w/ my wife, as it will surely affect her), i have created a new section of my blog dedicated to tracking this change. unfortunately, wordpress.com doesn’t allow posting in additional pages, so that page will merely link to all posts tagged low-impact. hopefully some of my family, friends, or random visitors will take this initiative to heart as well and also change some of their habits.