What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Can't Buy Our Way to Save Energy

A recent TV program featured a segment about how it's actually more environmentally correct to buy a used car with good gas mileage than it is to buy a new hybrid car. Their point was that it would take 10 years of lower gas usage with a Prius to offset the power it took to build that same new car. One commentator said something to the effect of "We can't buy our way to save energy."

That really struck me. Isn't that the American way? Buy our way out of our problems? What do we do to save energy? Buy Energy Star products, buy compact florescent bulbs, buy reusable shopping bags, buy a hybrid car, buy a tankless water heater. Do you notice a theme here? Buy, buy, buy.

He stated that the real way to save energy is to STOP USING SO MUCH OF IT! What about turning off the lights? What about walking to the store? What about taking shorter showers?

I remember being in Kindergarten during the first energy crisis and my teacher showing us how to take a shower so we use less water (get wet, turn off the water, soap up, shampoo, then turn the water back on to rinse). We were being taught how to shower in SCHOOL! Now that seems so strange, but not back then. We were told that in order to save energy we had to do without. Now we're told that in order to save energy, we need to do with more, but just a different kind of more.

Well, I'm as guilty of over-consumption as the next guy, but I am happy to report that I still haven't turned on my air conditioner at all this year. Baby steps, baby steps.

By the way, my mother said that she missed my blog, so I'm starting it up again -- I'm such an obedient daughter (cue my mother rolling her eyes).