Posts Tagged ‘green citizen’

What interests me most about Al Gore‘s new “we” campaign, is the movement it aims to create with citizens. Finally, there is a place from where to channel global actions from the bottom up. The site taps into the power of petitioning the powers in charge, similar to what the Swiss did a few months ago

There are currently four main initiatives that citizens can participate in:

Sign the petition for a global treaty on climate change

Tell your friends about our latest video

Urge the Press to Ask About Global Warming

Ask lenders to consider climate impact when funding new coal plants

I urge you to become a part of the “we” movement. If you are a blogger, maybe you can write a post about it, or copy this one? If you are a reader of blogs, maybe you can click on one of the four links above and do your share as a citizen? No matter what, this is too good of an initiative to be ignored.

May the “we” movement spread and ignite the people at the top!

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Yesterday I reported on the obvious energy waste I observed on the Stanford campus. Reporting is one thing, acting is another. Today, I took upon myself to write to the Stanford Campus Energy Manager:

Hello Susan,

As a citizen of Palo Alto and frequent visitor on the Stanford campus, it has come to my attention that the University does not seem to enforce its energy conservation policy in quite a few public places. This is especially apparent during day time, when lights are being turned on at sporting events. Below is a link to a video and blog post I published yesterday in my environmental blog, reporting on my experience.


I would appreciate hearing from you soon,


Marguerite Manteau-Rao

Let’s see what Susan says.

Imagine what would happen if we all acted as stewards of the micro-worlds we live in?


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Here is the link to my latest post on Environmental Graffiti:

State of California Wins Major Fight Against Auto Industry

Again, California is leading the way on the environmental front . . . I must say I am very proud of the role played by E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) in the passing of the AB 1493 California Clean Cars Bill, the same law that could, if all goes well with the recent ruling, set the standards for cars emission, nationwide. I am a member of E2, and it is largely in part due to E2’s advocacy efforts, that AB 1493 got signed. What it takes as a citizen: supporting E2 with my yearly subscription to NRDC, attending E2’s monthly meetings, and signing E2’s petition letter, along with all the other E2 members.

Small effort, huge payout.

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Day 22 of Daily Footprint Project. The numbers about the top three contributors to greenhouse gases emissions have left a permanent imprint in my brain cells. And are fueling my determination to get a bike.

Big step today. I visited the bike shop down the street, in search of a used bike. I refuse to get a new bike. And I don’t want to pay too much for it. The guy at the shop, told me this is a bad time to look for a used bike. All the new Stanford students wiped out his entire inventory at the beginning of school.

Next step: Craigslist.


Daily Footprint Project
Daily Log
Day #22


flush toilet 3
wash face 2
brush teeth 2
wash hands 5
shower at pool 2
rinse dishes 3
wash fruit 3


electric toothbrush 2
microwave tea 2’
microwave oatmeal 4’
laptop on all ½ day


organic milk
organic orange
organic oatmeal
organic persimmons 2
leftover turkey
Indian bread 1
organic yogurt
dinner out Italian restaurant


toilet paper
3 newspaper plastic wrappers
turkey stuffing leftovers
sweet potato puree leftovers


new boots box
2 papers
junk mail


drive to pool  6 miles
drive to renters’ house 6 miles

Non food shopping


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Right now, our government is like a lenient, neglectful parent, that lets us run wild with our consumerist urges. There is no structure to let us know when we have gone over board, no consequences for our ‘not so green’ actions. If we stay with the parenting metaphor, you and I both know this is a sure recipe for disaster. I also realize I go back and forth, between the need to take personal responsibility, and the need for a Big Daddy to keep me in check. My ego would like to think that I have the strength to be a responsible green citizen. When I get real, I get in touch with my weakness, and my need for help from something greater than me. Bid Daddy? The patriarchy is still very much a part of our lives, isn’t it?

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Last night was Back to School night at my daughter’s high school. I got a chance to be impressed by all her teachers. Her dad and I thought of skipping the Living Skills presentation. It is not a ‘serious’ class. Not like Maths or Humanities, or Social Studies. It turns out I was very happy we went. Living Skills is the class where kids learn about ethics, and civics, and values, in addition to other important stuff like what it’s like to have a baby, how to say no to drugs, how to have safe sex, how to balance a checkbook, . . . This is a class that teaches them how to think about what it means to be a good citizen.

I am not sure what Catherine will take out of the class, but it surely made me think. Citizen is an old fashioned word, a remnant of the French revolution. Being a good citizen has never been something I cultivated consciously. I strive to be a good person, but a good citizen? ‘Instruction Civique’ was on the curriculum in my eigth grade class, back in France. My father was teaching it, and he was very bad at it. Boring . . .

What I need: Now that Robert Reich has put some new life into the word, I am looking at being a good citizen, as a moral duty of the highest order. Green citizen that is. And it strikes me that I could benefit from green living skills education. Not in the form of a lecture, but rather a structure for thinking about my role as consumer, and green citizen. And making informed choices about who I really want to be, a consumer, a green citizen, something else?

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Still jet lagged from the plane trip, I find my green consciousness waning. This morning, at the market, I did not protest when the cheese man insisted on wrapping his goodies into double plastic bags. I had done my share, by taking one of Christine’s big wicker baskets along with me. Once home, I did not bother with recycling, and threw it all, plastic bottles, newspapers, and used paper bags included, into the garbage. Thoughts about looking into the ifs and hows of recycling at Christine’s building, quickly brushed aside, I went on with my business of preparing a real French breakfast for the girls. It is harder to be green, when one is tired, be it physically or emotionally. The environment also plays a role. Here I do not feel the same pressure as I do, back in California, to be a good green citizen.

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