I was recently commissioned to write an e-book titled 101 Ways to Help Save the Planet Every Day. We've all seen guides like these before -- it's so vogue that everyone from, well, Vogue, to your electric company, to every boomer with a website have added their own "10 Tips" article to the mix. The problem, of course, is that it's usually the same 10 tips: get compact fluorescent light bulbs, use canvas bags instead of paper or plastic, recycle your trash, shut off the water while you brush your teeth. I'm not saying these are bad things, and certainly they're easy enough for us all to do (which, presumably, is why they're repeated ad nauseum on list after list), and I admit that they're in my book as well. But today, rather than focus on the been-there-done-that, I thought I'd highlight some of the, er, quirkier ideas I came across while researching the book. Some are more viable than others, but don't be too quick to dismiss the possibilities.
May I present... Ten Tertiary Tips for Saving the Planet
1. Buy a goat. Seriously. Those guys will eat anything. Don't want a smelly compost heap? A smelly animal is much cuter. Plus, free feta cheese, and something to do at those 4-H meetings.
2. Turn up the heat in winter. By which I mean, shut off the thermostat and have sex instead. Guaranteed to keep you warm all night long*
*Your man's mileage may vary
3. Turn up the heat in summer, too! You guessed it: show some skin! It's cheaper to walk around nude than to cover up and blast the air conditioning. Just be sure to do it in the privacy of your own home or at a designated nudist beach/colony.
4. Or if you don't want to get nekkid . . . Eat spicy food. Capsaicin, the chemical that gives hot peppers their kick, makes you sweat. Then that sweat evaporates, cooling your skin naturally.
5. Piss off, grass-waterer. Watering your lawn is wasteful. Flushing your toilet wastes water, too. Why not solve both problems by urinating in your yard? Your grass and plants will love the nitrogen and water in your urine, and you will love the savings on your water bill. Just beware that creepy neighbor and local indecency laws.
6. Shower Pals. I don't mean your rubber ducky, either; share your shower each day with your significant other (or a hot, willing stranger) to cut your water waste in half (or triple it, depending on how hot that stranger is.)
7. And speaking of showers . . . They make great urinals! If that creepy neighbor makes it impossible to pee on your lawn, then pee while you wash. You'll get cleaner than you ever could with toilet paper and it's all going down the drain already, anyway.
8. Kill animals. And then eat them. Three big advantages here: First, you'll save potentially hundreds of pounds of carbon emissions by eating food killed locally rather than meat that's been packaged in Styrofoam and plastic and taken a 5,000 mile trip round the globe. Second, you'll help save the rainforests by buying less meat that came from animals grazed via clear-cutting Brazilian forests. Third, a large percentage of funding for state and national parks and wildlife and game preserves comes from the money you pay for your hunting license.
9. Live in a cave: Underground houses are super energy efficient, as temperatures stay a steady 55-60 degrees year round. Added bonus? Less likely to be swept away by a hurricane or tornado. Watch out for flooding and giant sandworms, though . . .
10. Watch porn. I couldn't make this up if I tried -- just go here (NSFW) and see for yourself.