Friday, April 22, 2011

Chattanooga...Then and Now



Today is Earth Day and so naturally there has been more and more in TV and in the news about 'going green'. I was born in New Orleans, but currently live in Chattanooga, TN. Chattanooga is a city that is making efforts, like I am sure most cities are these days, to be able to label itself as 'green'. Currently the city is participating in trails for public plug in stations for electric cars, it has revitalized it's riverfront and downtown area's, including electric buses, and we even have the county's first certified 'green' movie theatre, The Majestic. We have a pretty decent Farmer's Market, and finally are in the works for establishing Chattanooga's first food co-op. Chattanooga wasn't always this this way though. In 1969, Chattanooga was named the country's most polluted city. People who live here then reminisce about how bad the aired smelled. They tell stories of having to drive through the city during the day with lights on because of the smoke and haze. People would go to work with white dress shirts on, and at the end of the day their shirts would be stained yellow from all of the sulfur in the air. It even cause holes to form in ladies pantyhose making them look like Swiss cheese. But our little city on the river has come along way. Chattanooga has changed it's industry from factories to tourism. If you like the out doors, you can do just about anything here. I am incredibly proud to be a New Orleans native, and I do sometimes miss the culture and the seafood, but I love living in Chattanooga, and am proud to call this place home now.

Last year, on Earth Day I posted a link to calculate your carbon footprint. That is how many tons of CO2 you are responsible for a year. Last year our footprint was 47 - that's for a family of three - which is below the US average of 80 tons for a family of three. I just re-calculated and we are down to 36 tons, which I fell very good about. The US average is still 80, but the world average is only 17 tons per year. The biggest help for us was that we had new energy efficent windows intsalled on our house this year, which not only saves energy, but money too. It has really helped our power bill! We buy mostly organic and local foods, recyle everything possible, and compost most everything else. We've also been driving a hybrid since 2005. If you want to calculate your carbon footprint ,,,,Carbon Footprint calculator

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