18 Tips Guaranteed to Save the Planet……and Make you Miserable!

Strictly adhere to the hundred-mile diet.    Which means no strawberries, pineapples, oranges, bananas, kiwi fruit, chocolate, mangoes, cashews, coffee, juices, tea, Irish Whiskey,  Champagne, most cheeses, and a lot of seafood.   … (Turnips from the root-cellar, anyone?)

Never go anywhere on vacation where you have to fly.    In fact, never fly AGAIN.  Jets leave a huge carbon footprint,  kill the ozone layer, and make Little Baby Jesus cry.   You can always enjoy the Grand Canyon or the Rocky Mountains from photos or post cards. 

Actually from now on, take ALL your vacation within walking distance from your home.    You don’t have to go anywhere to have fun.  Why not take those two weeks, and just spend quality time with the kids at the local playground?  (Won’t THAT be fun?).

Close all swimming pools, they waste space and use too much water.   Fill them in with compost and use them to cultivate organic lentils and lima beans.

Ban all forms of recreation that needlessly burn gas.   Like downhill skiing, motor boats, ski-doos, ATV’s,  hunting and fishing trips etc.    Let’s make “Walking” the new National Pastime.

Don’t exercise TOO vigorously, or you’ll burn too many calories and have to eat more, thus putting demands on our already over-stressed food resources.  

Don’t contribute to Urban Sprawl.  Sell your house and move into a Soviet-style apartment blocks with 150 square feet of living space.    Take the money you save and give it to Africa.

Consider shutting off your power at 9:00 PM, like North Korea does.

Stop having pets.   It’s unconscionable to keep animals, when so many people in the world are starving.    Make do with a stuffed animal, or pet rock instead.   

Get rid of Christmas trees, and Christmas lights,  Christmas presents, and the Christmas turkey.    Donate the money to PETA and celebrate the Holidays with a modest vegetarian supper.

And your car?  Are you KIDDING?  Get rid of it!    Walk everywhere, regardless if it’s  minus 30 or plus 100.

It’s unlikely that those Easter Bunnies are made from free-trade chocolate.   To avoid any doubt, just don’t buy them altogether. 

Dont’ use hot water when you bathe.   (Sure, it’s cold..but think of the ENERGY you’ll save!)  While you’re at it..give up shaving (both men AND women).

Save trees and by eliminating toilet paper or feminine hygiene products.   Make do without, like they did in the 1700’s.

With the planet as overpopulated as it is, it’s almost criminal to make babies.   Forget about raising a child of your own:  those days are over.   Only adopt orphans from a third-world country like Brad and Angelina did.

Get rid of TV.   It’s a waste of time.   There is plenty to do instead.   Like stringing popcorn, playing the spoons, or churning butter.

Give up blogging.  (Computers contain heavy metals and non-recyclable components, not to mention they use up a lot of electricity).

Brush the dog and save the itchy hair to make a shirt.   You can wear it in public as you act out the Eco-martyr.

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37 Comments on “18 Tips Guaranteed to Save the Planet……and Make you Miserable!”

  1. Am I still allowed to comment?

    My last two comments on your previous blog didn’t make it.

    And if this post goes through…. I WAS FIRST!


  2. veredd Says:

    The thing is, according to many experts, even if all of us were doing all of this, making all these sacrifices, it still wouldn’t change a thing.

    This topic gives me a headache.

  3. Friar Says:


    Okay..okay! You got FIRSTIES!!!

    (Dunno what happened to your comments on my last blogs…I never saw them)!


    And…(the point of my blog here), is how many of us would actually be willing to DO any of these things?

    Yeah. I got a headache too.

  4. Kelly Says:


    You lost me at #1. NO CHAMPAGNE?

    Look, I’ll wear locally-grown marsh-reed skirts for the rest of my days, walk barefoot to work on all the 105° days, and install carpeting made from recycled milk bottles. But I am not giving up champagne, pal.

    Funny, I just heard someone talking on public radio this morning about consuming less meat (which I could maybe agree with, health-wise), and explaining that if we all did it that would be great because the “production” of beef has a huge, multi-year carbon footprint, so maybe we could band together and reduce that by 1/3 or 1/2.

    Um, yeah. That would be great unless you’re in the 1/3 or 1/2 of the cattle farmers who’d then be out of business. In which case, *thud.*

    I liked the idea until he accidentally got me thinking about human costs. Then, like you and Vered, I got a headache.

    Well-said, Friar.



  5. Friar Says:


    Well, if you lived near a vineyard (California, our Southern Ontario, Oregon), you might be able to get local bubbly wine. But it wouldn’t be “official” Champagne, not the kind you get in France.

    And could you imagine all the poor souls living far from the ocean (North Dakota, Kentucky, Kansas). No sea-food…EVER.

    Hm…mabye a 500-mile diet is better. (Or 1000?)

  6. Kelly Says:


    Um, nope. I’d better start walking to France.


    Until later,


  7. Friar Says:


    Oh, don’t do THAT. Your purple boots will get wet in the Atlantic! 🙂

  8. davinahaisell Says:

    Hi Friar. You forgot about these: stop drinking coffee, lower your heat and wear layers, and use dryer balls… LOL I’ll NEVER stop drinking coffee!

    I just finished reading a post that listed about 50 ways to reduce your carbon footprint — too funny! I was surprised though — I’m doing a lot of them, without really thinking about it. I do care about doing what I can, but it is questionable how much difference this will make. I wonder just how much of this is just about jumping on the bandwagon?

  9. OK. I’m giving up exercise to save the planet.

    The Dogs won’t be hapy though Friar, and i’m gonna tell them it’s ALL your fault!

  10. I honestly do not understand the 100-mile diet. We’d freakin’ starve! Especially in the winter! Hello! Canada here. Nothing growing in minus 38 celcius.

  11. There is a greenhouse in the NorthWest Territories that produces enough food for their town. Its a coop so everyone contributes. If they can do it so can we, we have a lot more sun. It was in The Walrus Maganzine last month.

    I’m off to pour crude in the river now, then I have to clear cut a forest.

    Its minus 20 outside, I’m a HUGE fan of global warming. Its just not happening fast enough.


  12. XUP Says:

    I know this post is something of a light-hearted poke at this issue

    Strawberries, chocolate, juice, tea wine and cheese are all available within a 100 miles. Contrary to UP’s belief, we would NOT starve. People lived here for quite a while, quite well without importing foods from all over the world.

    I don’t think I’m mind too much never flying again. I avoid it as much as possible anyway. We could still travel by boat, right?

    If we were all good environmental watchdogs, we wouldn’t need swimming pools because our lakes, rivers and oceans would be clean enough to swim in,

    I’d love walking to be the new national past-time and I’d love the ban of ATVs, motor boats and ski-doos. And soon we won’t be hunting and fishing anyway since we’re rapidly depleting nature to build more mega malls

    Urban Sprawl – Yes, we should all say NO to 3,000 sq. ft. suburban homes

    I celebrate Christmas exactly like this!! Except I don’t necessarily donate the money to PETA

    I have no car.

    I don’t buy crappy commercial chocolate

    I have a teensy little TV with rabbit ears (no cable) because it mostly IS a waste of time.

    Computers don’t really use very much power at all.

    Anyway, we can just shrug and say that changing our wasteful lifestyles is inconvenient and won’t make any difference anyway. And we can mock and laugh at the people who ARE trying to be more conscious of how their actions are affecting other people in the world, other creatures in the world, the earth itself and our future generations. Right now, in this country, you still have the option to be cavalier and smug. Not everyone, everywhere does. And one day our children’s children or their children will pay for our excesses. But that’s not our problem, right?

  13. Friar Says:


    I think there are a lot of people who talk the talk about saving the planet, but how many actually “walk the walk”.

    I think it’s easy to say “Be Green”, but to actually live that way takes a Big Effort. And how many are willing to do this?

    I’m not keen on making huge adjustments to my lifestyle. I’m not saying that’s right. But I’m just being honest.

    @Three Dog Blogger

    Maybe you can convert your doggies to vegetarians….that could make up for it!

    Yes….it would suck, woudln’t it?

    I love these people who say they try to buy “local” to reduce their carbon footprint, but then they’ll get on a jet and take a vacation 4000 miles away.

    …I’ll have to check out that link you sent me on Twitter.

    As for global warming, there are some leading scientists who say that the earth is COOLING now. (So who knows…mabye some MORE minus 20C?).

    Strawberries…yes. For 3 weeks a year. And chocolate? Growing in Canada? How?

    Yes, people survived here 100’s of years ago without imported food. But how did they LIVE?

    Boring bland diets. And probably working every waking hour of the day to keep one step away from starvation. And there was malnutrition and scurvy. Life expetancy was 40. I, for one, don’t feel like going back to how Canada lived in 1830.

    And we live in a free country. I don’t want to live in a place where people want to ban certain sports or activities, or dictate what size of house I live in. That’s when you start going down a slippery slope…

    If gas gets to expensive, jet flights and skidoos will become unaffordable. The market will take care of itself.

    And who gets to decide? For example, I’m single. If you want to play devil’s advoate, I’m certainly leaving a smaller carbon footprint than a family with 8 kids. So mabye I SHOULD be allowed to fly to Australia. Or take my ski vacation out west.

    Oh well. To each his own.

    I give you credit…the way you live, you practice what you preach.

    (But will all due respect…if I lived the frugal way you did…I’d be a very UNHAPPY Friar!) 🙂

  14. Brett Legree Says:

    Our lifestyles don’t have to be wasteful in so many ways. We have the technology to build clean vehicles (including aircraft) that do not need to use non-renewable fossil fuels.

    Do we have the courage to do it?

    Expensive gasoline need not mean the end of air travel or recreational vehicles or automobiles – we simply change the technology.

    Whether or not that is “right” is not my call. I am lucky that I live in a country that provided me with the breaks I got to allow me to get a good education so I could get a good job and be able to afford to use these things.

    Should I deprive myself of these things, when part of my tax dollars are already going towards foreign aid, and when I am also giving some of my after tax money to various causes? I don’t know – everyone will have different ideas on this.

    I know people who have family going back 5 or 6 generations in this area (Ottawa Valley). Believe me, they did not do “quite well” on the diets they had available 100 years ago. Unless you consider “old” to be early 40’s. I guess I’m an “old man” then 🙂

    I don’t know. I don’t have the answers and this is not as simple as it seems.

    If I wanted to get all preachy, then I’d say something along the lines of “anyone who lives above the poverty line is greedy”. Seriously, if that’s all our social systems will give the unemployed, then anyone who is more comfortable than that should be ashamed.

    Of course I don’t believe that, but there you go.

  15. Friar Says:


    Yeah, it’s not a simple solution. It’s easy to say “save the planet”, but it’s not always about we in the West being greedy.

    Culture has a lot to do with it. Religious fanaticism, dictaators, zero human rights…women being treated like animals. Mabye THAT might have something to do why a country is screwed up…NOT the big bad North Americans driving their SUV’s.

    The old school of thougth in the 70’s was to spread the wealth from the rich countries, down to the needier countries. The rich get less rich. The poor get less poor. Spread the wealth, at the lowest common denominator.

    I’ve read that those ideas are recently being challenged. The lastest thinking is that the rich countries get richer, it may actually help the poor countries get UP to their level. The overal wealth of the world will INCREASE.

    Makes sense. If the West wasn’t so rich, …they wouldn’t also have those extra have billions to spend on AIDS research, medicine, telecommunications, new technologies for growing better food….etc.

    If the rich countries they didn’t do this…who WOULD?

  16. Brett Legree Says:

    If I had to try and put a simple set of words around challenges like these, the words would be:

    “Work smarter, not harder.”

    e.g. we don’t need to ride our bikes to work, maybe we need fusion reactors to charge our electric cars that are made of fully recyclable and renewable materials

  17. Friar Says:


    And/or lots more nuke plants (to generate electricty and hydrogen for fuel-cell powered cars).

    The only reason we’re not doing that right now is oil is so cheap. It’s cheaper than soda, cheaper than milk, cheaper than bottled water.

    Once the oil price rises enough, and people start paying 5 bucks a liter, THEN they’ll be a push to develop these technologies.

    Of course, we should probably start working on the problem NOW, but it’s typical human nature to wait until a time of Crisis.

  18. Brett Legree Says:


    Exactly – cheaper, and there’s the protectionism of course.

    Example – there is a Chinese company that makes a plug-in hybrid electric car. It has been on the market there since 2007.

    It had passed all the crash testing and emissions requirements to hit the US market for 2009.

    Then… credit crunch… auto crisis… government decided to postpone allowing them to sell it in US, until 2012!

    Why? Hmm… maybe to give Chevy time to perfect the Volt so they can sell it starting 2010.

    You know, give the home team the advantage to help them pull out of a nosedive…

  19. Friar Says:

    Yeah..gotta keep those assembly line workers earning their $33.00 /hour!

    Not a bad gig, considering it takes zero education or zero skills. (I should know…I WORKED on an assembly line as a student!)

  20. Kelly Says:

    It is SO unfair that rational people came along and made this perfectly good rant into something well-reasoned and thoughtful.

    So unfair.


    Until later,


  21. Brett Legree Says:


    See, it’s the opposite of your blog! You start out with something well-reasoned and rational, and we show up with 20-foot inflatable gorillas with big bananas.

    So logically, we do the opposite at Friar’s blog!!!

  22. Kelly Says:

    I’m going in my car to get some champagne and I am NOT coming here to play anymore.


  23. Duane Says:

    Ah bite me. I love my SUV and my new fishing boat with a 250 hp motor. Man she flies. And when I am done playing on the water, I love to head home to a cold beer and and some pizza. And yes I do have a second little car that is good on gas and does not pollute as much, which I drive the most of the time. But life is short and precious and to not enjoy it to the fullest is a waste in itself.

  24. Friar Says:


    Well…that’s what the Deep Friar is all about. You NEVER know what you’re gonna get!

    Though it’s pretty hard to have a rational debate about some other posts…like the “Open Letter to Lucky Charms”.

    I’ll still rant if you want, though.

    I’m going to drive to my Mom’s house this weekend. To organize my ski equipment for my vacation…AND go cross country sking

    Will it burn gas?


    Do I really HAVE to go there this weekend?


    But am I gonna still go?

    Hell, YEAH!

    Because I really enjoy the ski trails there…I look forward to this all year. It’s FUN.

    And if it makes Shaboo the baby polar bear fall off his melting chunk of ice and drown…..well, SO BE IT. 😀

    (…and I think I’ll have some BBQ’d brease of California Condor for supper tonight)

  25. Friar Says:


    Hahahah! Get off the fence, and tell us how you REALLY feel!

    You should give up your motor boat, and go out in a canoe. And try to FEED that bass, instead of catching them! (Throw them some breadcrumbs instead) 😉

  26. I’ll get rid of my car, my Christmas tree, heck – even my husband before I ever get rid of my dog! And now, thanks to Friar’s tip, I can make stylish clothes out of her hair. Everybody wins. 😛

  27. Friar Says:



    Glad to see SOMEONE’s got their priorities right. (Dogs RULE!) 🙂

  28. XUP Says:

    This is both an interesting and hilarious discussion. And ya, the 100-mile diet probably won’t work so well anymore these days when none of us have farms. But people didn’t just die at 40, 150 years ago because they ate only local food. I’m sure there were other reasons like lack of medical know-how and stuff. I grew up on a farm and most of what our family of 7 ate every day came from 100 miles away or less. Yes, we had sugar and wheat flour andcoffee and chocolate (sorry the local chocolate remark was stupid earlier, I was thinking manufacture, forgetting about the actual cocoa bean part)

    Nobody (well, I’m not – I love French wine, for instance) is suggesting we have to deprive ourselves of things we really enjoy. But really, eating strawberries from Mexico in December just isn’t the same as eating strawberries from next door in June. I’m happy to just have them 3 weeks a year when they’re actually tasty.

    Anyway, I’m not saying we have to live like paupers and not have any fun. I’m not particularly frugal, I just don’t like having a lot of stuff. I don’t need a lot of stuff. And I wouldn’t feel right about having stuff just for the sake of having it – just because I can. I see no reason to have a home with rooms that I only enter once a year. Or a car that could carry 6 when I’d be the only one in it.

    I don’t usually preach. Really I don’t. You just opened the door so wide, I couldn’t resist. Mostly, I just live mindfully and try to lead by example. And have fun. I’m a barrel of laughs in real life – ask anyone.

  29. Friar Says:


    Yeah…I’m not so much into “Stuff”…the latest Plasma TV or widget, for example. But I’m not a monk…I do like my little indulgences. (Car, satellite TV, ski vacatoins, etc).

    Yeah, it was a pretty good thoughtful discussion here today (which dosen’t happen very OFTEN on the Deep Friar).

    So sshh…don’t make it TOO thoughtful or Kelly won’t come back! 😉

  30. wow, what a funny post and an interesting discussion to follow. John and I do what we can. We grow our own Strawberries and blueberries, although honestly, you won’t get enough blueberries to bake a pie, but we do buy our produce from the locally grown farmer’s market when it’s here in season.

    We also brew our own beer and make our own wine. And it’s good too. We haven’t tried Champagne yet, although of course, unless we flew to France while we were making it, it would only be sparkling wine anyway, so that defeats the point I guess… And I try to make as much of our food homemade. Homemade bread, soups, simple ingrediants…As few cans and boxed processed food as possible. That seems to make a difference in the waste and garbage.

    And we recycle and live rather frugally, although I do own a Montero, a big huge gas guzzler that I have owned forever, but we rarely drive it unless we have a snow storm and then I throw that baby in four wheel drive and thank God for it. Global Warming be Damned. There has to be balance somewhere. Saftey first!

    Oh…and…I’m not giving up coffee for ANYONE. You can bury me with my coffee cup.

  31. Hannah Says:

    Good post! I think you can buy recycled toilet paper and paper towels, which is a bit more earth conscious. Unplugging your computer after work and installing solar panels on your roof are good ideas too!

  32. Friar Says:


    I LOVE Ontario Strawberries. You only get them 3 weeks of the summer. Our stupid grocery store in Splat Creek seems to prefer to sell the white tasteless kind from the farms from the U.S. (Even though there are local growers selling them off trucks in town). Go figure.

    One thing I will NOT give up is my car. A big chunk of the pleasure I get is driving around, exploring and taking my canoe to remote lake, and doing roadtrips around Lake Superiour and such.

    Well, I got a Honda CRV. With is kind of a small SUV (not-quite-a-truck). But taking a SmartCar or a Honda Civic on the local bush roads just wont’ cut it sometimes.

    Or…better yet, we can do like Sheryl Crow says and use only ONE sheet of T.P. 🙂


  33. Brett Legree Says:

    Remind me never to shake hands with Sheryl Crow…

    (Yeah, having a car here would be pretty limiting where we live – back in the 50’s many people didn’t, so if you wanted to go from Splat Creek into Da Sorta Bigger Town forty minutes away, they had a bus that went once a week on Saturday… yay… that’s insane.)

  34. Friar Says:


    You should read what Cracked.com says about her….heh heh heh.

    Not to mention other celebrities (like Paul McCartney who ordered a Prius to save on emissions, and had it FLOWN IN from Japan!)


    I really like how the Widget Factory keeps lecturing us to save energy and reduce the number of parking spots by carpooling.

    Yet..they CONTINUE to disallow people to work from home, (even those who’s job is 90% on the computer).

    AND…they’ve severely restricted the company bus service (compared to what it was in it’s heyday)

    (Banging my head against the desk). You can’t win…you just CAN’T win.

  35. Brett Legree Says:


    I agree – I could work from home more effectively, as I’d be able to use *MY* equipment *MY* way… I could use the flat rate Skype allows to make my calls, and people could call in to me – at my workstation. Video calls too.

    My house is much better insulated than the 60 year old building where I work (and the heat works too…) – power savings. I have compact fluorescent bulbs – energy savings again.

    I could work in my kilt 🙂

    Safety first is the mantra – well, it’s safer for me to stay at home – every time I drive to work, I risk my life!!!

  36. Friar Says:


    Yeah..it’s a matter of trust.

    They don’t trust their own staff to work from home. Because they won’t be able to “see” people work.

    No. Apparently it’s more efficient to struggle, trying to complete a document on time, in a crowded noisy cubicle farm. Rather than allow a professional to work from home for a few hours, where someone might (gasp) be actually able to hear themselves THINK.

    You know what office buildings are my FAVORITE? Is when the building is so poorly sealed, that when the wind blows, you can literally feel a breeze on your desk (even though the windows are closed!)

    My Asstercard is getting maxed out. I need to get a new one soon.

  37. t.sterling Says:

    Ya know, I think it’s easier to destroy the planet. All this saving the planet is a wee bit overrated, and I think I’d rather go out with a bang with all my blazing glory footprints. I’m going to start by turning on (and leaving on) all lights and starting another blog.

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