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Teste Rambles About How To Be Green Or Quot Spah Sappin Mah Earth Quot

Being green isn't a likely thing for overclockers to discuss. After all, in the pursuit of performance, many of us are care-free about murdering processors and video cards in the name of pointless e-peen. But that doesn't mean we can't discuss it.

Now, what actually is green and what the media would like you to think is green differs considerably. For example, the media thinks the Prius is green. But all you have to do is research the mine the battery's metals came from and you can shoot that theory down. They also claim CFL bulbs are green, but those suckers have nasty mercury in 'em. It's just a drop per bulb, but with the amount of those things getting thrown away it adds up.

So here's TestE's protips for being green!

1: Used car. Used appliances. Used tools. Used lawn equipment. Used electronics. Buy used, not new, and you keep the old stuff out of landfills. You also save a ton of money.

2: Keep your car from leaking. Buying a green car often means buying one that's bloody ancient, and with the age comes leaky gaskets. You will quickly erase the greenness of that '85 Rabbit TDI you just bought if the motor leaks more oil than the Exxon Valdeez! So plug those leaks!

Motor oil is really nasty stuff. It behaves just like a crude oil spill, same environmental issues. You don't want that. Coolant is quite toxic and, apparently, highly delicious. Never tried the stuff myself. Anyways, animals have a habit of drinking it, and the way they go is not a pretty one. Gasoline...well that's just a fire hazard.

3: Get a reliable car. The less parts you have to replace the greener you are. Sure that sports car might look nice, sound awesome and undo panties in a hurry, but if it's in the shop more than it's on the road it's an environmental time-bomb. The chemicals used to put the parts on, clean them, the old parts, any old fluids that have to be replaced, they all add up.

4: Buy a stickshift. Automatics require frequent fluid changes. The trans in my mom's van has a 30,000 mile interval. The manual in my F150, by comparison, only requires it's fluid changed once every 100,000, and even that's optional. I think it got it's first change ever at 265K. It still works perfectly. That stuff was nasty when it came out . Oh, and you'll get 3-4MPG better city, so you save on greenhouse emissions and money as well.

5: Repurpose your old junk. Got an old CRT monitor laying around? Trust me they make excellent self-heated stools. If they're a nice one, like the one I use on my computer, then keep 'em in use. Sure they use a fair bit of power but it's way better than having it pollute a landfill.

6. If you can't repurpose it, re-sell it. People will buy ANYTHING. Literally. Put it on eBay, craigslist, whatever. You never know how much you'll get.

7. Waste not want not. Do you really need to throw away last night's leftovers? No. Eat 'em instead. If you can't resell or repurpose it, recycle it. Aluminum cans, for example. We're all big on soft drinks of some sort. Well, most of us. Those things add up, and recycling them will do less damage than just chucking them into a landfill.

8. If 5, 6 and 7 don't work, perhaps Goodwill will take it?

9. Dimmer switches. They are a godsend if LED bulbs are hard to come by. Your typical incandescent bulb is quite a power hungry little device, so throwing it on a dimmer and running it at partial power, I keep the one in my room at about 25-30%, will save a ton of juice. Just don't stab an LED or CFL bulb into a dimmed circuit and expect it to get along with the dimmer switch. It might work when it's fully on, but they definitely will NOT dim.

10. Buy LED bulbs. They use all of three watts or so and are so blindingly bright you'll see 'em from miles away. Oh and they last forever. Lastly when thrown away they are inert. They don't poison the world any more than a chunk of granite would.

11. If you can't get LED bulbs, get incandescent ones. They're greener than CFLs on the basis that they contain a small strip of tungsten, some steel, some glass, and a schmidge of phosphorous. They're way better than CFLs in this regard. Also, they work well with dimmer switches, which means you can throttle them back down to a wattage about the same as that CFL bulb.

12. Don't be afraid of the dumpsters. I scored my Viewsonic CRT because I noticed a school system dumpstering a bunch of old IT gear. I figured "Eh, why the hell not? It works". Glad I snagged it. You can often also score lawnmowers and weedeaters this way. Many of them are thrown away for piddly reasons. Clogged air filter, fouled spark plug, sometimes simply because they can't be assed to put more fuel in the damn thing. Whatever the reason, the repairs often don't take very long.

Don't buy into the media hype. It's been proven time and again America's media is about as trustworthy as that shady guy selling bootleg DVDs behind the Wendy's. If you want to be green, buy all the junk people going to the media's standard are throwing away.


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