Last week, I took a look at my inner eco-gal and discovered that there’s much to be done here at Chez PunditMom to make our lives a lot greener and more Earth-friendly.

Next week I’ll be writing about the official positions of the Presidential candidates about the environment. Taking a look at where the presidential-hopefuls stand on how to preserve our planet made me start to wonder:

How green are their valleys?

It’s all well and good to have white papers and policy statements and say you’re on board to help protect the environment and I do believe that the three remaining main candidates have good track records about being eco-friendly.

But what do they do at home to minimize their impact on Mother Earth? Let me tell you, there’s not a lot out there on such a Google search. But, I did come across some good info at grist.org, an environmental news site. They had a chance to interview the presidential candidates and asked them specifically what they were doing personally to go green.

John McCain said:

“We just moved from a very large house with swimming pool and grounds into a condominium, so we made a dramatic change. My daughter has a Prius . And we have a place up north where we have solar panels in some of the buildings. But we haven’t done enough, and we intend to do more.”

As for Hillary Clinton:

“We have taken quite a few steps to make sure our house is as green as possible — common-sense and simple steps that everyone can take advantage of. For example, we have switched not only lamps to compact fluorescent light bulbs, but also downlights, track lights, and vanity lights. We’ve installed motion-sensor light switches so lights automatically turn off when there is no one moving in the room, and switched to buying our power from ConEdison’s green power program. We’re also reducing our demand for energy by replacing windows and doors to keep more heat and cold in. This has taken our total [kilowatt-hour consumption per year] from about 14,000 to about 4,300. We’re currently working with the Rocky Mountain Institute to determine how we can best incorporate solar energy into our home.”

Barack Obama says:

“We just bought a Ford Escape, so I traded in a non-hybrid for a hybrid. We are in the process of replacing our light bulbs in our house and trying to limit the use of our air conditioning, trying to make sure that we unplug and turn off all of our appliances when we’re not using them. It’s a fun project to work on with my 9-year-old and my 6-year-old.”

And let’s not forget Ralph Nader:

“I consume very little except newspapers, and I recycle them. I don’t have a car. I’m the antithesis of the over-consumer.

[For the campaign] we use planes and cars and trains. When we get there, we spend very few resources in getting our message across.

I think [trying to offset a footprint is] I don’t trust these offsets. We can do a lot more than that.”

And Ron Paul:

My favorite thing is riding bicycles, and at home my favorite hobby is raising tomatoes. I live on the San Bernard River in Texas and I belong to an environmental group that works very, very hard to protect the natural aspects of the river.

So what do you think? Sure, the candidates’ websites say a lot about proposed legislation and where they want to take the country, but don’t the candidates’ own practices speak volumes? Do you think these interviews indicate that they’re doing enough?? And what else could they (or their staffs) be doing to lead by example?

I don’t really expect them to do anything as extreme as building a canoe from disposable chopsticks! But do they carry reusable bags to carry groceries? Eco-friendly water bottles? Reduce their use of paper products for the campaign staff?

So after reading about the candidates’ efforts at going green, I’m not feeling so bad now about our own efforts, though I know there is more to be done.

As for the candidates, we can talk about the Kyoto treaty and carbon footprints all day long, but if a candidate isn’t willing to walk the walk for Mother Earth, how can we trust the talk?

Cross-posted from BlogHer, where PunditMom is a Contributing Editor for Politics & News.

Photo by PunditMom.