Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

consuming

As I stubbornly resist turning on the heat — it is a balmy 62 in my condo, after all, and I’ll be going to bed soon enough — I can’t help but to think about energy consumption.

Though if I’m honest, that is not why I have delayed turning on the heat. It was a balmy fall, and the bitter cold came suddenly, and for whatever reason I decided that I was comfortable enough working on my computer wrapped in a blanket, and so the weeks went by. And now it is a sort of “how long can I hold out” issue.

The heat will go on, there is no doubt. Just…not tonight.

So, energy consumption. At this time of year, it has to be insane. All those holiday lights? As cheerful as they are to see on my dusk and dawn commutes, they’re incredibly wasteful.

Isn’t it time to reframe how we think about energy? About resource consumption in general?

Sometimes it is good to leave our comfort zones, to better understand what we need versus what we want.

It isn’t like we have to make giant changes all at once, after all, but I do wish more people would think about consumption, and what they could do to limit their own.

I recently started using hankettes instead of tissue. Years ago I stopped using paper towels and sponges. Toilet paper is not something I’m willing to give up!

I did give up most of my driving. It started with taking the bus to NYC when I’d go for a visit instead of driving. And then bike commuting most of the week. Eventually I’ll start going to the sanctuary on the bike, at least occasionally. And of course I’ll add in the majority of my errands to be done on the bike.

My point is there are always small steps we can take. Sometimes the biggest step of all is to stop assuming that there are changes that are too difficult. Six months ago you’d never have convinced me that I’d be a bike commuter, and now I can’t imagine why it took me so long to start.

And of course, it reminds me of my transition to veganism. The day before I learned something that made me realize I had to go vegan (I was already vegetarian), I stated emphatically to a fellow vegetarian coworker that I would never go vegan.

Didn’t we all say that? We wouldn’t, we couldn’t, etc.

Here’s to all those things we never thought we could, but did.

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2 responses to “consuming

  1. Ari Moore December 2, 2008 at 10:12 am

    I love this post! The journey to sustainability is so much like the one to veganism, you’re so right. Little steps that just keep on going… fortunately I find that just like the transition to veganism, it isn’t just about “giving things up” but also about gaining new awareness and wonderful new alternatives.

  2. Pingback: i do it for the joy it brings… « Invisible Voices

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