I don’t want to save the world. In fact, if anything, I suffer from compassion burnout. I stopped listening to one of my favorite health podcasts because he wanted to change his format to focus on “green” or “sustainable” world issues. I’m not heartless, but in my mind, when you get too global you become ineffective. Scattershot into the ether seems like a wasted effort. Man’s inhumanity to man, or foolishness, becomes overwhelming when seen on the grand scale.
Instead, I believe in keeping your own house clean. If you make good choices, and influence those within your sphere to do the same, you’ve done about all you can. In that light, I would like to rant about the stupid that is in my face lately. At work, we have a Keurig:
I imagine that some of you out there are saying “Good for you, I love those things!” However, to me this thing is the height of counter productive stupid. First, aren’t we supposed to be worried about creating garbage and filling landfills? Have you seen all the packaging 80 of those little buggers use? Second, isn’t buying individual serving sizes the most wasteful way to do things? Shouldn’t we create coffee makers that are more efficient, not less? You can call me a kill joy, but if we care about the environment and our “carbon footprint”, isn’t our kitchen a great place to start? They make those huge travel mugs, make your coffee at home, take it with you and reheat it from time to time. And I don’t want to hear you don’t have time. If you went to bed earlier you’d also save electricity by not watching some dumb movie at 11:30. See, your mom was right.
More sacred cows die!
While I’m on the subject, how about Swiffers? Use it once and throw it away. More sanitary that way. No dirty mop.
Since when is a disposable item better than reusable? Plus, you buy all these types of mops, they stop making refills, then you get to throw them away and buy new ones! Woot-woo *sarcasm*
I’m not without empathy. I realize there are times when you just can’t face the extra chore of washing something after you’ve used it. But should this be a way of life? I am, of course, exempting anything in the bathroom. There are reusables for some of those products, but I can’t go there. Not yet.
In the 90’s, when all this green stuff was coming to the forefront, again (I was here in the 70’s, the first time it went around) you would read, in the same magazine, how we needed to conserve, followed by an article about how much bigger homes were becoming! And cars- great, they’re making hybrids. Suv’s. How many baby boomers need an Suv, and how many just need a commuter car? Can we have some little hybrids to get us too and fro without costing our first born to buy? How about heating our homes? I just heard a statistic that the average home is now heated to 76 degrees in the winter. Seriously? I hope that isn’t true. Outside of being extremely wasteful, it isn’t even good for your health. Speaking as a northeasterner going through it right now, your body adapts to lower temperatures. The first few days are rough, but after that, your house heated to 65 seems fine. I wear a sweater in the house, and if I’m not going to be out for a long time, I don’t even put a coat on, being more used to cold.
Maybe we do need to slap some of our fellow citizens into a social conscience. I do remember talking to a young man who said he kept his house at 75 degrees all winter “’cause he liked to just wear a t-shirt inside”, besides, he wasn’t paying for it. That is what irks me, people seem to always waste what they don’t pay for. Someone is paying for it, don’t you care about them? Heat should never be included in the rent unless the landlord can put a governor on the thermostat! I know, then you’ll have a butt head of a landlord keeping the heat at 60 all the time.
Anyway, cook your chicken and squash and roasted veggies all at the same time to save your gas bill, keep the thermostat low and don’t buy disposable. Maybe we won’t save the world that way, but our little corner will be better. Turn your thermostat to 60 at night, you’ll sleep better, literally and figuratively. Plus, there have been studies that having to heat yourself burns more calories. Win-win.
In all of this, I’m assuming that the message of conservation has gotten out. Isn’t “eat locally” the new hotness? Let me know, am I wrong in assuming that most people know what they ought to do?