'Early Show's' 'Clean and Green' Family Takes Extravagant Carbon-Curbing Measures
The global warming fearmongers apparently claimed more casualties â€“ but this time the victims, a Florida family of seven, have taken extraordinary measures to ease their consciences.
â€śWeâ€™re truly concerned about what we are doing to this planet right now,â€ť said Bill Weinaug on the September 27 CBS â€śEarly Showâ€ť â€śClean and Greenâ€ť segment. â€śIf we keep on the path weâ€™re going on, itâ€™s not going to be good for our kidsâ€™ kids.â€ť
What have the Weinaugs done? Theyâ€™ve managed to reduce their carbon footprint by 90 percent, the show said. Judging from the report, it wasnâ€™t cheap â€“ and CBS contributor Danny Lipford didnâ€™t disclose how much they spent.
The Weinaugs built an elaborate rainwater harvesting/irrigation system that includes three large cisterns and a system of downspout gutters and irrigation conduits.
â€śWe redirected all our gutters, piped them to big above-ground tanks,â€ť Bill Weinaug said. â€śWeâ€™re actually changing all the planter beds around the house to a drip-mist irrigation system that actually just waters the plant, not like the entire area. That will save a considerable amount of water.â€ť
But how much money will it save? Lipford said it will save â€śa lot of money,â€ť but that doesnâ€™t seem add up.
Specifics of the Weinaugsâ€™ rainwater harvesting system werenâ€™t clear from the report, but such a system can range anywhere from $1,500 to $7,000 to install according to the City of Portland, Ore., Office of Sustainability.
However, the average residential water bill for the familyâ€™s area, nearby Hillsborough County, Fla., is only $33 a month â€“ suggesting it might take awhile to recoup the initial investment of the rainwater harvesting system.
The Weinaugs also purchased a hybrid vehicle. That can be expensive as well. A Toyota Prius has a manufacturerâ€™s suggested retail price (MSRP) in excess of $22,000. The MSRP of the comparable 4-door, 5-passenger Toyota Corolla is $14,405.
Their other vehicle is a diesel Ford F350 and that â€śisnâ€™t necessarily the greenest vehicle on the planet,â€ť according to Bill Weinaug. So how will he rectify that carbon-belching indulgence? â€ś[W]eâ€™re seriously looking at biodiesel, either from a retail pump or weâ€™re even looking at vegetable oil,â€ť he added.
According to CarJunkie.com, bio-diesel conversion kits are priced from $650 to $1500. And if Bill Weinaug wants to purchase bio-diesel from a retail pump, heâ€™ll have to drive 23 miles from his Apopka, Fla., home to Groveland, Fla., the nearest bio-diesel pump according to Biodiesel.org.
The Weinaugs have also taken some other measures that included considerable expenses. They bought new appliances.
And what about the small stuff?
â€śRecycled paper for paper towels and then our garbage bags for our garbage cans are made of corn,â€ť said Weinaug.
The lesson from this CBS â€śThe Early Showâ€ť report: If you want to â€śgo greenâ€ť and reduce your carbon footprint â€“ bring your checkbook.