Thursday, September 20, 2007

The idea of limited energy

In my job, I have to read a LOT - magazines, newspapers, online news services - you name it. It's actually what helped me decide to begin this blog and try to change the way I live my life because for the first time, I was spending a significant amount of time every day learning about what's going on in the world. And while I definitely do recommend getting a subscription to a newsweekly like Time or Newsweek and catching the evening news when you get the chance, no one should have to spend as much time as I do with mass media. Yowza.

ANYWAY, in my daily media deluge, I came across this article on MSN. It's a pretty straightforward way for people (especially the car-owning, suburban type) to use less energy. Here is an excerpt:

"I’ve found it helpful to think of my energy use like I think of money — there’s a limited amount of it, and I have to plan how I’m going to use it. Should I mow the lawn this week? Maybe it can wait until next week. How can I make my trip to town go as far as possible? Budget your energy and see how well you’ve done at the end of the week. It’s best to judge by kilowatts used and gallons of gasoline consumed. At the beginning of the week check the meter and your gasoline gauge and then record the use from there."

I've never really thought about it like this before, but I guess I've been doing little things like this for a while. It started in college, when I had like no money and needed to make everythink last longer. My old rule of washing my jeans after each wearing was quickly forgotten and I started using the same drinking glass all day long (rinsing after each use, obvs) instead of getting a new one each time I got thirsty.

The section on sharing is a particularly good one. Get more done in less time by relying on friends and neighbors. When I had a car, I crammed my friends inside for a grocery store/beer run and we all got what we needed. When I no longer had a car, my friends returned the favor.

It's not so hard to make nice with our planet. One little change precedes the next, at least that's the hope anyway.

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