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Accretion is the, typically slow, growth of something by the, usually natural, addition of layers of matter. Sedimentary rock forms this way. Particles of matter are deposited layer upon layer in water until they are compressed and cemented into rock. That rock may stay underwater, it might get thrust up by tectonic forces, it might rise above the top of the water through more accretion, or the water might recede and expose the rock.

I also have a fine example of accretion in my home.

I am one of the world’s all time great slobs. I’ll bet you didn’t know that slobs are ranked, but we are and I’m right up there. To maintain my standings, I almost never dust or vacuum my place. I’ve lived in the same condominium unit for more than 25 years, so the dust accretion is now quite high.

When I tell people about this they often mock or chastise me. They can base their criticism only on what I tell them, not what they’ve seen for themselves, because the health department forbids me to allow any guests into my home.

Nevertheless, the dust accretion has environmental benefits. For one, it now has enough layers to provide considerable insulation on top of my floors. Consequently, my feet stay toasty warm even when I walk around in bare feet in the winter.

And, by not using my vacuum cleaner, I use less electricity than other people. Some of our electricity is generated through the use of fossil fuels, so I have a smaller carbon footprint than other people.

What’s more, I’m not filling up our garbage dumps with used dusters.

So, you see, it’s easier than you think to be green. In short, accretion is our friend. The only drawback is that my floor is now getting so close to my ceiling that I’m soon going to have to crawl through my place.

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