Monday, April 2, 2007

News Roundup

Planes, Ashes, and Toilet Paper
ARFE Management is looking at a full summer of flying. It's probably the least environmentally sound choice we can make, but it's almost impossible for us to get by without it, what with people getting married in far-away places, staff trainings going on in far-away places, and family living farthest away.
We've already purchased a whole year's worth of carbon offsets to get us through, but we were happy to see travel companies following suit: Now, when you buy a plane ticket via or, you have an option to tack on a practically negligible $5 to $30 to offset the carbon cost of your travel. (Obviously, the donation depends on how far you're going.) We think it's easier to just offset your whole year, but this is a good option, too.

The good people at Boeing are working on getting the Dreamliner in flying shape for 2008; the new plane will hold about 280 passengers and travel at about the same speeds as current passenger planes, but it'll use about 20% less fuel. The key is its much lighter body: half of the plane is made of composite materials. You know, like carbon fibre. Mmmmm, carbon fibre...

We couldn't actually find any real information that laid out what kind of composite material the plane's engineers are using, but we're happy that it's light enough to reduce fuel usage.

We spotted this very weird item in the Times the other day: A small company that wants to scatter human ashes in the wilderness is running up against US Forest Service guidelines that prevents exactly that. Boy, those Forest Service folks think of everything, don't they? Now, if only we could get them to think of adventure races in a good light.

These ladies in white look innocuous enough, don't they? The Forest Service didn't think so.

Then we ran smack into a funky story about a family living in New York City that is trying its best to live a no-impact lifestyle. The blog from the man of the house, No Impact Man, is an interesting read. And they admit that they're being radical on purpose. Fine. We have to say, though, we think you're using a lot of water by opting not to use toilet paper. And, ick.

Perhaps a better read is Time Magazine's List of 51 Things You Can Do. How many of these are you doing?

Next week, a look through the ARFE household and how many of these things we're pursusing, and our own experiences with trying them out.


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