Monday, April 21, 2008

On the 5th day, I contemplated.

Earth Day Challenge, Day 5, found me at home, having lengthy conversations with my far-flung children, making breakfast and dinner, taking a small nap, taking Bruiser to the dog park, reading a big fat newspaper, etc. I also hung up all my clothes, which was a slightly monumental effort. Finally, it found me, at the end of the day, with wireless that had gone ffft, hence today's late posting of yesterday's efforts. I hope the wireless has healed itself by the time I return home today.

Yesterday's Times had the Sunday Magazine reflecting on the individual action as a reasonable response to environmental crisis and climate change. Here's what Michael Pollan said:

Because the climate-change crisis is at its very bottom a crisis of lifestyle — of character, even. The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences.

Furthermore, I read that "A typical American single-family home is responsible for more than 11 metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions every year through its energy use." Most of this comes from the water heater, the furnace, the refrigerator, and the clothes dryer. Also, if you have central air,"
you might as well build your own smokestack." (This analysis was in the article called "Endpaper.")

With just two of us at home, our refrigerator is working more efficiently because it doesn't get opened and closed so frequently. We use the dryer hardly at all. The downstairs is mostly closed off so we're not heating as much space. At night, we have only a few lights on, most of them using compact fluorescent bulbs.

We should probably do an energy assessment of our appliances, so that when it's time to replace them we get better ones. We have a swamp cooler which probably needs replacing--I'm pretty sure there are more energy efficient ones, so we'll look into that. An energy audit, with higher consciousness about current and future decisions, might seem a little more like thinking than acting, but it's important in determining future actions.

Poems: Saturday's and Sunday's.


  1. Oh, I do love, love, love your posts so much. And your earth day musings have made me more deliberate in my choices, too. Thank you.

    I will say Pollan's assertion that these choices are a matter of character kind of annoys me. Don't like environmental self-righteousness any more than I like religious self-righteousness. That's how his comments strike me.

  2. Great poems. You are so good!
    I need to read that Sunday NYT magazine. It fits in, right? We got the composter. Even MB is almost sold on the garden. Trying at least. Even though we might fail.



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