August 2008

One of my coworkers referred us to a recent op-ed piece in the NY Times about the differences in energy policy between Denmark and the United States. The article reveals some evidence that shows just how low a priority sustainable energy really has been for us over the last thirty years.

I suspect that things aren’t going to change much in the US until people make different choices in their day-to-day living. Good stuff can happen at the government and business level but not until changes start happening “grass roots”. We are the constituents. It has to filter up from here.

So… start a compost bin. Educate yourself on what happens to the stuff you habitually flush down your drains every day. Come up with creative ways to reuse the water that comes out of your taps before you let it go down the drain. Install a greywater irrigation system. Think about the volume of packaging you throw away. Remember the WWII slogan, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” Opt out of the consumer mentality. Think about the amount of electricity you use without really even knowing it (“ghost loads”). Consider the energy efficiency (or lack thereof) of your appliances, particularly your air conditioner and refrigerator. Learn how to harvest rainwater. Walk or ride a bike instead of driving a few blocks. Try not to be discouraged when it seems like nobody else cares.

Of course I’m not doing all of those things all the time and I feel a little like a hypocrite. Living sustainably takes work and thought and I don’t always make it happen. But what would our country look like if more people at least tried?

Wifey facing ladder anxiety

Wifey facing ladder anxiety

Friday I went out to finish the wood trim, and Saturday wifey dropped off LE with a friend to come help paint and, as she would discover, face her ladder anxiety.

“I’ve jumped out of an airplane and that wasn’t scary, and I really want to go bungee jumping, so why can’t I handle being on top of this ladder!?”

We had some fun priming and painting. We picked a very light cream for the walls, which made it hard to tell if we were using white primer or paint (at one point we poured primer in the paint pan by mistake). We also picked green for the trim, a shade we hoped would match the surrounding vegetation… I think we got it a trifle bright but oh well, we like it anyway.