Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New Commuting Strategy

I've started to take the bus to work in San Francisco. This approach has several advantages:

1) No Driving - Since the bus stops a block away from our house, I no longer have to drive to the train station. In addition to wear-and-tear on the car, I also save on parking fees and gasoline.

2) Drop Off Point - The bus terminal is also one block from my office. As a result, my overall commuting time is reduced slightly.

3) Comfort - I can always get a seat on the bus. This is not usually the case on the train.

This will bring down my monthly driving to around 50 miles a month, down from about 100. No Toyota Prius here, just good old-fashioned frugality.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Monthly Recycling Report

This month I switched over to recycling only aluminum cans because my local recycling center always runs out of room in their plastics container when I show up on the weekends. While the switch means I will get less money per month, it also saves me a lot of time and effort in my recycling duties each month. That's because plastic bottles take up a lot more space than aluminum cans, and they take more time to crush. I even created a sword-like stick to puncture plastic bottles in order to make my life easier.

Still, I would spend 75% of my time on sorting and crushing plastic bottles, but getting less than 30% of my recycling money from plastics. I calculate that focusing on aluminum will save me some 10 hours per month, yet I will still net around $80 per month based on about 3 -4 hours of can collecting and crushing per month. Not a bad tradeoff!

This month, I recycled about 1500 cans and a few hundred plastic bottles that netted me $80 at the recycling center.