Advising people to use less energy is risky business. They think I’m a fanatic when I make decisions based on my energy use. But when I’m less than strict about it, they think I’m a hypocrite. Woe is me whenever I fly two thousand miles home to visit my old maw on her birthday. Here is how I’m greeted when I come back home: Oooh. Nice carbon footprint, Martha.
This is my philosophy, folks.
When I’m making decisions about my life–where to go and what to do–using less energy is a very important goal. I ALWAYS think about how I can minimize my energy use. But I also have to consider other factors. Sometimes these other factors outweigh energy frugality.
For instance, I save a lot of gas by organizing my car errands according to the routes I take to work. (I work in different places during my four-day work week.) So I (almost) NEVER make a special trip to any store, appointment, etc.
So far, so good, right? (Pat, pat, pat.) However, living on the coast, we often drive to the beach. Sometimes we even drive to the mountains! That’s right–I go have some fun. Factor that in!
Here’s another idea
Make a sport out of energy efficiency–something you get good at because you get a certain glee out of it. I love discovering new ways to conserve energy because I want to send as little of my money as possible to Chevron and all the other fossil fuel barons. I want my utility bills to be rock bottom–just my little message to them that says, ” Get with the new program!”
The sporting approach works much better than flogging yourself with guilt.