How Do You Reduce Your Footprint When You Build Something?

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Forum topic by OutPutter posted 05-07-2010 12:19 AM 1936 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1199 posts in 4228 days

05-07-2010 12:19 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor earth day mumbly jumbly

The Gorilla glue contest says “LumberJocks & Gorilla Glue challenges (sic) you to reduce your footprint for Earth Day.”

So, how is that possible? You have to use energy to do a project don’t you? Didn’t you? Wouldn’t it reduce your footprint more to just sit at home in the dark? Is that just some feel good mumbly jumbly to throw in and tie it to Earth Day or do the Gorillas really believe that? Do you?

Civilized comments welcome.

No flame wars please.

-- Jim

39 replies so far

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 05-07-2010 12:25 AM

Good one!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View miserybob's profile


88 posts in 3282 days

#2 posted 05-07-2010 12:44 AM

If it were something you had to build (for yourself or a customer) and made it out of recycled materials instead of fresh lumber, that would obviously reduce your ‘footprint’.

If hundreds of people build useless stuff for a contest, prolly not.

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1199 posts in 4228 days

#3 posted 05-07-2010 02:25 AM

How does using recycled lumber reduce your footprint? What is a footprint anyway?

-- Jim

View JonSnc1's profile


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#4 posted 05-07-2010 02:35 AM

Hand tools and locally sourced materials lower your “carbon foot print”, as they say. But, point taken.

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#5 posted 05-07-2010 02:52 AM

footprint is how much you personally put out, carbon wise…how much oil you burn at home, driving around, how much electricity you use, how much natural resource you consume on a given day, etc.

so yeah, they are talking about using hand tools, recycled materials, things you find in your firewood pile etc.
But it is all just marketing….they certainly aren’t about to develop an ecologically friendly gorilla glue or put it in a bio-degradable container.

It’s a good theory to lessen your carbon foot print, economically if not ecologically. Turn off lights, walk when you can instead of drive, etc….hell I saved almost 30$ a month off my elec. bill by putting everything on surge protectors and turning them off at night so the slow draw of tvs, dvd players, etc werent pulling.

and just saying, starting this conversation is virtually begging for a flame war.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

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156 posts in 3853 days

#6 posted 05-07-2010 02:56 AM

30$ is a lot for me. I can sometimes buy a used plane for that…got a sweet little wooden Beading plane at the shop last week…Which, come to think of it, is ecologically friendly! that’ll be my excuse when she sees the check.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

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1199 posts in 4228 days

#7 posted 05-07-2010 03:35 AM

So a carbon footprint is bad. Does that mean an oxygen footprint is good? What about Mercury?

I’ve never used up an atom myself, have you? Ultimately, everything is recycled isn’t it?

By the way, if I buy from a local sawyer who is inneficient in using electricity or gasoline, have I lowered my carbon footprint? Maybe buying from the big guy who really knows efficiency is better. How can I tell which is better?

About that glue in a plastic bottle, what else could they use?

-- Jim

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156 posts in 3853 days

#8 posted 05-07-2010 04:36 AM

1. Carbon footprint is supposed to be a measurement of waste, so yes that would classify it is as bad. I would think it obvious that an oxygen footprint is good. I like oxygen…its part of my air. I would also think it obvous that mercury is bad, as its poison…which has its uses sure, but still nonetheless bad for me.

2. yeah, i use stuff all the time. My carbon footprint is huge. No, not everything is recycled…its used and changed…the air i breathe is recycled into something poisonous to myself….which is good for plants. Hence, plants are good, and a nice bonus to have them around…they add to the Oxygen footprint.

3. If you are buying from a local sawyer who is inefficiently using gas or electricity, then he probably will be put out of business by the competition that knows how to work more efficiently, so I doubt its a problem. You could probably tell because the other guy’s cost is lower.

4. I dunno. I probably won’t be doing any research on it either, as it won’t make me any money and I don’t have any glue to put in it anyway. Considering our country has some of the brightest minds on the planet, I don’t think it would be too hard for someone to sit down and work out a bio-degradable something to put the glue in. But that would cost money, and I’m sure most in the gorilla glue company would consider it wasted…I don’t really know that they would do much more business from that effort, their glue is higher priced as it is. again, not that it matters…I’m not certain, but my best guess is that Polyurethane glue is far from bio-degradable in the first place, so it’s a tempest in teacup. But what else can be used besides epoxy, or other chemical glues to work in moist areas?

Are you seriously asking these things, or is this just to stir the pot? In case you’re wondering I’m not what foxnews would term an eco-friendly tree hugger. Animals are here for my pleasure and my appetite, natural resources are for me to use. But I do recognize that gluttony and waste is bad….something that a lot of other Americans bristle at when you say it.
Ah, Welcome to America…the only country on earth where the poor are fat.

At any rate, most people go by the stock answer that there’s nothing that one person does that makes a difference, especially when you compare whats going on here to whats going on in China (which is BAD, I was over there 3 years ago and it was B-A-D).
To which, the person against that argument will make a statement sounding something like, no one raindrop thinks its responsible for the flood.
Then the first person will call the other a dirty hippie, and the second will accuse the first of being a selfish neanderthal. The rest of us will watch and weigh in on occasion, until it gets too nasty and people start making the pleas to just go back to the workshop, and why is this even on here as it has no relevance, and then Martin will close the thread. Bets?

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

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John Steffen

218 posts in 3293 days

#9 posted 05-07-2010 04:49 AM

“Reducing your footprint” is all about feeling good that you did your small part for the environment. Whatever tames the masses for our capitalistic machine…

While I may be cynical about capitalism and the like, I do enjoy taking things destined for the junk pile and turning them into something usable.

I believe those who came up with the project wanted a clever way to advertise their product and seem concerned about the environment. But while their intentions are most likely about a bottom line, the contest tries to make us think about our supply chain, and how we might get materials without increasing demand for new lumber.

And all the while I write this, I’m an application developer at an advertising firm, driving a 15mpg truck (though I carpool to work with my lovely Fiance in her 18mpg suv), paying a mortgage on an uninsulated 1917 house with a $480+ heating bill during the winter. I leave 2 computers on 24/7, drink Whiskey and Diet Coke, and buy things imported on 100,000 ton cargo ships. So, I’m well aware of who I am and what judgement I cast.

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

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John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3974 days

#10 posted 05-07-2010 05:20 AM

I am not so sure using hand tools necessarily reduces ones footprint. A cnc machine can produce like crazy using very little energy. And materials can be laid out in a way to drastically reduce waste. I am 100% in favor of capitalism where I can make my own destiny.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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#11 posted 05-07-2010 05:35 AM

reducing = less = not as much

the idea here is not to stop or reverse your footprint, but to just make less of it while making this project.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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1199 posts in 4228 days

#12 posted 05-07-2010 06:23 AM

Sean: A carbon footprint can be neither good nor bad. Wiki says it’s just a measurement of greenhouse gases. I’m sorry, that was a trick question. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed so I never use up any atoms either. Most local sawyers are cheaper than the big guys in terms of price probably because of the labor and overhead, but, that doesn’t mean a smaller carbon footprint. I like your summary of how these things usually go but, I have faith.

So, why are greenhouse gasses bad and oxygen good. Last time I checked, you could blow yourself up trying to smoke a cigarette with too much oxygen in use nearby. Is oxygen getting a free pass?

John S.: I like a little cynicism too. But, I think capitalism coupled with free trade is the most efficient way of providing resources to people. If there was nothing but capitalism and free trade in every country, we’d cut our “bad” stuff to the bare minimum when you look at the global system. Wouldn’t you agree? I also like to use found wood and can’t understand why so much of it is commited to decomposition when it still has a usefull life. On the other hand, I don’t like to decrease my demand for wood, new or old.

John O.: Oink, oink, me too. lol

Purp: Not trying to pick on your words but, do you mean that the contest writer may have intended that we don’t make as much greenhouse gasses on this project as we usually do during any other project? Or, do you mean they want us to make less greenhouse gasses than we do on just an average day of not making a project? If it’s the first, aren’t they encouraging the creation of more greenhouse gasses than if they had, for example, a random drawing for any LJ member who agreed to sit in the dark on Earth day? If it’s the second, how do you think we can do that, for just a day and why just a day and not permanently?

-- Jim

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4405 posts in 3972 days

#13 posted 05-07-2010 07:17 AM

Perhaps what we need here is a challenge to build a project completely off the grid, unplugged (except maybe for lights)... using only hand tools, and salvaged wood or perhaps lumber hand-hewn out of felled logs…that would be interesting! Perhaps a specific item like a chair or box…finished with water-based coatings. Just give us a year or so to complete it…:)

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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156 posts in 3853 days

#14 posted 05-07-2010 07:36 AM

Poopiekat, that would rule me out. I just started using handsaws, chisels and planes, much of my work is by power, so an unplugged from sean would likely suuuuuuck….well, maybe with a year to work with i could swing it.

well…ok. Philosophy and semantics? Something can only be defined by its make up and not impact…ok, I agree most definitions go out of their way to not label anything with a specific judgement. Carbon footprint is a measurement, I would still say that it’s a measurement of things are detrimental when in high doses, so i would call a larger footprint bad…so yes I’m labeling something by what its impact is to me. So I guess a bear isnt good or bad either…except when the bear is gnawing on my innards….so I would call a bear in that situation bad. Whereas a bear in a zoo is great. Perhaps high levels of CO2 are very good for something else…plants, algae, I dunno. But not to me in any situation, hence, bad.

I also dont know about your statement regarding matter being neither created nor destroyed, things have been altered but not destroyed, therefore you’ve had no impact. You needn’t destroy something to be detrimental to it. By that argument theres nothing to note between a dead person and a live one, they are both of the same atomic structure, one is just returning to equilibrium with its surroundings, therefore no damage has been done…it’s just been altered. But to the person thats dead of course thats no comfort.

When O2 levels get to the point where people light themselves on fire on accident from smoking or what have you, I’ll probably start considering holding O2 responsible. Until that point, I’ll continue my unbridled support of O2. Good for breathing and for torches, hooah!

Of course this is off topic to the original statement, I reiterate and agree with several other posters, its marketing for Gorilla Glue.

Thanks for the fun discussion, I get out of work here in another 20 minutes so likely I’m signing off. I respect your faith, but I still call it: 24-36 hours this thread will devolve into name calling, threats, smart ass comments, and then Martin will bring the chopper down. This topic is way too intertwined with politics to keep people from being at each others throats.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

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8548 posts in 3886 days

#15 posted 05-07-2010 08:14 AM

on the contrary – you were not picking on my words at all – in fact, your reply to me didn’t even regard what I wrote. seems like you’re in some philosophical loop hole, or just really really bored, as all your responses on this thread are one and the same – not discussing anything, but rotating it back to your first post just rewritten. not very engaging to say the least. I bid you farewell, and good luck with your quest ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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