Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe.
Non-renewable resources are those that cannot be produced, regenerated or reused on a scale that can sustain its consumption rate. The supply of these resources is usually finite, unless you live to be about a thousand or perhaps a million years old, at which point, they may appear again naturally.
I don’t know about you but I love a challenge. Also, I sort of like feeling “in control”. I also adore fresh air and blue skies (as opposed to hazy) and the feeling that, if nothing else, I’ve done my part. If only everyone else would.
Yesterday, I hinted that there are men and women who have died so that I might drive my car too much and heat my house. This realization hit me like a ton of bricks on Sunday when I saw Dan Wasserman’s editorial cartoon reprinted in the New York Times. (And which I’ve included here, I’m sure illegally, so go ahead and click on Dan’s name, so you can see the rest of his stuff at the Boston Globe and maybe they won’t be mad at me. Thanks for the link, Anne.)
The federal government finally approved the development of the first offshore wind farm near Nantucket in Massachusetts. Those who live there (hello, the Kennedys of Hyannis Port) didn’t appreciate the idea of the resulting eyesore and had their own environmental concerns. It’s complicated and not nearly the slam-dunk we’d like to believe. What is certain is that if we reduce our NEED, our USAGE of energy, be it derived from coal, oil, natural gas or uranium, we’ve done something other than complain about a bunch of windmills soiling our ocean views. Perhaps someday, our coal miners can get jobs harvesting the sun, outdoors, instead of risking their lives in dark, dangerous underground places.
Ed Begley Jr. is the celebrity poster child for walking the environmentally conscious walk. The man has a wind turbine at his house, and rides a stationary bike to create and store energy for his solar electric system. Intimidating? Not really. He’d talk to you first about light bulbs, just like I’m going to, because he understands a basic tenet of human nature. We all have to start somewhere and we’re more comfortable if that somewhere is small and easy.
In the words of Marian Wright Edelman:
“If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.”
I went to Lowe’s this morning and picked up six fluorescent bulbs to replace some existing incandescents in our house. You know what I love about these little guys? You never have to change them. They never burn out. (Okay, not never, but I haven’t changed s single one in the years since I started using them.) Watch this treacly YouTube video, This Bulb, for some facts on the power of the CFL.
I usually do my grocery shopping on Mondays but make it a point to forget things so I can go back. Why? I don’t know. It’s weird. I’m weird. I’m pretty good about remembering my reusable bags (those plastic ones are bad, bad, bad) but I kind of negate this righteous gesture with the gas I use going back and forth. I mentioned earlier, I like a challenge. This Monday, with the menu for the coming week settled and a clear inventory of what’s needed in the house (toilet paper is very popular among us Neils), I’m heading out, stocking up, and committing to NOT going back until the following Monday. I challenge you to do the same on whatever day of the week you usually find yourself in the aisles of the supermarket.
And that’s it. Those are my two gestures for now. In the future, I hope to generate less trash, plant more trees in my side yard and cover the pool every day during the summer so the water doesn’t evaporate and we don’t have to use the heater ($$$). But for today, I’ve replaced a few bulbs, and I’ve put Dan Wasserman’s cartoon on my fridge to remind myself how much those bulbs might matter in the big picture.
Mine disasters. Oil spills. Seriously, change the damn light bulb.
Tomorrow: I’m going to talk to Wendy about happiness
Tuesday tidbits for better living