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yay sustainability! - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2006-07-21 19:56
yay sustainability!
Public
activism, sustainability
Gah, our fancy "enterprise" DSL is only half as fast as it should be and seems to die at least twice a day. So, I'm taking advantage of a moments of connectivity before going back to reading papers ...

I've been starting to outfit our new place with sustainable stuff. The lightbulbs were the first to go; everywhere but the dining room (which has a weird light fixture with little bulbs) has compact fluorescents now. The garden already has a nice (but insanely complex) drip-sprinkler system that seems to come on every other night, so I'll just leave that alone since any tampering would be likely to mess up the many layers of filtering and timing mechanisms. (But I DO need to figure out what the white mossy fungus growing in the lawn is and do something about it. tlaad? :~)) I'd like to build a passive solar water (pre-)heater, but haven't determined yet which part of the roof actually gets a decent amount of sun or how complicated it'll be to hook it up to the gas-powered water heater, so that'll be a while.

I fixed all the screens so we can open the house up at night and close it down during the day, and between that and the huge trees shading the property, it stays nice and cool in here as a result. (I grew up in a brick house surrounded by large trees and this worked like a charm, even on 100+F summer days.) I planted my poor little bougainvillea under the window that gets the most sun so eventually it may actually provide some shade. Hopefully I won't have to uproot it again, as I had to do when we moved. (It was either that or leave it to die, so I stuck it into a too-small pot and hoped for the best ... and it's still alive, despite dropping most of its flowers and turning pale green in protest of its mistreatment. It did that when I first repotted it and bounced back okay, so I think it'll pull through again.)

I ordered a retractable clothesline so I can give indoor hang-drying a try, since there's a nice utility room where I can mount it. (I've had bad luck with line drying relatively recently -- think uber-itchy clothes infused with pollens and other allergens -- but it's drier down here than in Berkeley so indoor drying might actually work and hopefully be less allergen-prone too. We'll see. I've also heard that five minutes of "fluffing" in a dryer after line-drying can help the allergen problem.)

I stocked up on environmentally-friendly cleaners since we used up most of our old cleaners in moving, and even found unbleached toilet paper. (I've seen it in other countries and always wondered why we insisted on wiping our bums with pristine white toilet paper. Well, now Seventh Generation sells the brown stuff at Whole Paycheck Foods, and you can even get the "double rolls.")

And finally, since we've been getting several pieces of junk mail every day, I'm sending "knock it off already" notices with my new address to every direct marketer I can. If you haven't done this, it works pretty well -- I got several of the big direct marketing firms to stop sending mailers to my last address, reducing our junk mail by a factor of ten. In case you're interested, here are the addresses I've compiled from various websites. Anti-junk-mail sites recommend printing the address and letter body on the upper-third and lower-third of a single sheet of paper, respectively, and then sending this single sheet folded in thirds and taped or stapled shut.


Letter to send


Date: 07/24/06

From: The persons indicated on the return address of this envelope, residing or formerly residing at the addresses listed below ("us")
To: ____________________________________________ ("you")

Please stop sending us unsolicited mail to ANY of the addresses listed below. This request applies to all residents at these addresses.

Also, cease providing to any other entity information about ANY of the households whose addresses are listed below. This request also applies to all residents at these addresses.

First address: <current address>
Second address: <previous addresses> ...

Please acknowledge by mail this notification to you, which remains effective unless you receive further written instructions from us.

Signed,


__________________________________


Return addresses on junk mail we've already received at our new place


Earthlink Inc.
1375 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 303039

Bed Bath and Beyond
110 Bi-County Blvd
Farmingdale, NY
11735

Advertex Communications Inc.
151 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

Mail Order Department
Re: PBTeen, Pottery Barn, etc.
PO Box 7044
San Francisco, CA 94120-7044

Wise-Buys Direct Mail Advertising
Therese and Steve Marcus
1534 Plaza Lane, PMB 114
Burlingame, CA 94010

Money Mailer of Palo Alto/Los Altos/Mountain View
Alex and Judy Maille
2310 Homestead Rd., #102
Los Altos, CA 94024

Palo Alto Weekly
PO Box 1610
Palo Alto CA
94302

Palo Alto Weekly
703 High St
Palo Alto CA
94302


Addresses of common mass-mailers, gleaned from the web


Data Base Operations
416 S. Bell
Ames, IA 50010

Equifax Direct Marketing Solutions
Attn: List Suppression File
26955 Northwestern Hwy.
South Field, MI 48034

Online Privacy Team
Experian
475 Anton Blvd.
Costa mesa, CA 92626

TransUnion Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288

Circulation
C/O Pennysaver
2830 Orbiter Street
Brea, CA 92821

ADVO-System, Inc.
Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 249
Windsor CT 06095

Val Pak Direct Mktg Sys, Inc.
Attn: Opt-out
8605 Largo Lakes Drive
Largo FL 33773

metromail Corp.
Attn: Consumer Services
901 West Bond Street
Lincoln NE 68521

Certified Ad Services
Mailing Department
909 West Nielson Ave.
Fresno, CA93706

Carol Wright Gifts
Customer Services
P.O. Box 7823
Edison, NJ 08818-7823

Harte-Hanks, Inc.
Attn: Opt Out
2830 Orbiter St.
Brea CA 92821

Database America
Attn: Opt-outs
470 Chestnut Ridge Rd
Woodcliff Lake NJ07677-7604

The Polk Company
Attention: Opt-Out Coordinator
26955 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI48034-8455

Acxiom Corporation
Attn: Opt-outs / Consumer Advocacy
PO Box 2000
Conway AR 72033-2000

Abacus Direct Corp.
Attn: Opt Outs
PO Box 1478
Broomfield CO 80038-1478

InfoUSA
Attn: Product Quality
PO Box 27347
Omaha, NE 68127

Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
Post Office Box 643
Carmel NY 10512-0643

Trans Union Corp.
Attn: Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 97328
Jackson, MS 39288-7328


For Bank of America


Bank of America
Customer Information Operations
P.O. Box 27025
Richmond, VA 23261-7025


Date: 07/24/06
From: The person indicated on the return address of this envelope ("me")
To: Bank of America, its affiliates, successors & assigns ("you")

NOTICE TO ADDRESSEE:

I do not wish to receive solicitations, whether by mail, email, phone or any other medium, from you or companies to which you might disclose information about me.

I am also asserting my rights under the Financial Services Modernization Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act to "opt out" of the following two uses of my personal information. You do not have my permission to:
(1) disclose personally identifiable information with your unaffiliated third party companies or individuals; nor
(2) disclose information about my creditworthiness to any affiliate.

Further, I do not want you to:
(3) disclose any of my transaction and experience information to any affiliate of yours; nor
(4) disclose any information about me in connection with marketing agreements between you and any other company.

Although (3) and (4) may not be required by current law nor even currently offered as an option by you, I am requesting them nonetheless.

Please reply by mail stating that you will comply with my instructions.

Signature: _______________________

Name: ____________________________

Phone: ___________________________

P.S. Please stop spending money lobbying against privacy rights;
lower your fees instead.




Anything else you think I should try?
Comment | 14 Comments | | Link






Jeff
lbchewie
2006-07-22 03:30 (UTC)
(no subject)
*Sighs* I've walked right past the Earthlink on Peachtree street! Probably a dozen times... Bah! Would you like me to deliver your opt-out mail personally? haha j/k

Small world!
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The Water Seeker: house
plymouth
2006-07-22 05:45 (UTC)
(no subject)
picture_keywordhouse
I've been having a lot of fun with composting lately. Even if you live somewhere without enough space in the yard you can still do worm composting to get rid of your food waste. Done properly it doesn't smell at all and you can keep the bin inside. Down here in the south bay they teach classes on this but they may have something where you are too.

I live somewhere with a pretty big yard so I'm doing hot composting outdoors. This is a pic of my compost bin the day I set it up. Only a week ago - hard to believe!
http://pics.livejournal.com/plymouth/pic/000eqya2/g13
My yard seems to generate a ridiculous amount of leaves and grass clippings so I expect to fill it pretty soon but if I am good about turning it and keeping it moist it should generate useable compost in a couple of months and then I can start over.

Santa Clara has a helpful site here.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-07-22 19:01 (UTC)
(no subject)
Cool! That's the exact one (or maybe a newer version) of the one we used at my house through my childhood. I was never in charge of maintaining it, but at least I can ask my mom (or one of my aunts; I think they all have the same one too).
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Kris
anemone
2006-07-22 11:23 (UTC)
(no subject)
I got a Green Cone for food waste disposal.

It's a pain to dig the hole, but once installed, it's sorta blends in (or better than I thought a large green cone would), and it doesn't have an odor unless you open the lid. It's also much easier than a worm bin--just dump in food scraps. You can put in anything, though John and I, not eating meat, haven't put in much meat.

The theory is that you get two, fill one up, (takes 6 months-1year) and switch the other one to let the first one rot down. We only just got our second one, so I don't know if the cleaning-it-out part works okay.
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tokyorose329
tokyorose329
2006-07-22 15:39 (UTC)
(no subject)
Yay for line-drying! My parents have been doing it for years. Yes, five minutes in the dryer gets rid of pollen and allergens very, very nicely.
If you're buying new linens, you might want to consider sheets that haven't been resinated. You can find them, along with lots of good green stuff and efficiency thingies at the Vermont Country Store website,
http://www.vermontcountrystore.com
Happy nesting!
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-07-22 18:59 (UTC)
(no subject)
Thanks! I grew up with line drying until my allergies showed up out of nowhere when I was 16 or 17. (Sucks to be suddenly allergic to even your pets, let me tell you ...)
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paul
paulschreiber
2006-07-22 19:56 (UTC)
(no subject)
There were three things I did to get rid of junk mail
1. write the DMA
2. opt out of credit card offers (888-5OPTOUT)
3. when people didn't listen, filed a prohibitory order with the usps (down form "PS 1500")

I even got rid of the Pennysaver. :)
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-07-22 21:46 (UTC)
(no subject)
The credit card thing is supposed to carry over from our previous address - hopefully it does. DMA doesn't, though, so I've sent that one in again. I heard about the prohibitory order option on a couple of anti-junk-mail sites; I'll keep it in mind for any particularly difficult cases. :~)

Interestingly, almost all of our junk mail at this address so far is from Palo Alto Weekly. They've been mailed, too.
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Chris
soulrefraction
2006-07-23 01:49 (UTC)
(no subject)
I'm not a huge fan of the compact fluorescent lights, so I just ordered 4 LED bulbs... see how that works. Hoping they produce both enough light, and more firendly light. They're much lower power than the fluorescents even.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2006-07-23 09:05 (UTC)
(no subject)
Ooh, let me know how they work out!
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rubrick
rubrick
2006-07-24 19:54 (UTC)
(no subject)
I could cut down my junk mail flow by at least 50% by simply getting around to telling either the Post Office or the Scientologists that Lantz Johnson has not lived at my address for at least three years. Not so useful to anyone else, though.
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2007-03-01 14:10 (UTC)
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2007-04-03 16:59 (UTC)
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2007-05-07 18:32 (UTC)
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