The Goddess Speaks
Conserving energy for changes ahead
Sadly, despite the frequent warnings of impending planetary doom, my wasteful, energy-consuming ways continue. What can I say? I'm an energy junkie trying to clean and go green. Trimming down my oversize carbon emissions is a lot like trying to lose weight. I know those bacon-and-cheddar fries are bad for me, but they taste oh, so good. And I know I shouldn't crank up my minivan's AC at every opportunity, but it feels oh, so good. My efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle resemble my wavering scale: Some days are better than others.
On good days I'll switch off my fancy florescent lights when I leave a room and turn on my broken record of energy-enlightening reminders so my kids will do the same. While shopping for household cleaners, I look for labels that boast Earth-friendly ingredients and buy those (if they're on sale). A backyard mountain of unclaimed recyclables awaits its destiny in that great, big trash compactor down the street. And if the weather's nice, I'll hang my full load of cold-washed clothes (including whites) to crisp in the hot Hawaii sun.
Then there are the bad days. I shamelessly allow my bedroom AC to keep my vacant pillows an arctic temperature 24/7. My unwillingness to MapQuest a route 20 miles away to recycle old phone books equates an added 10 pounds of landfill waste. Even after a whole day of obsessive e-mail checking, I often forget to shut down my computer at night.
I always choose plastic at the checkout, as I'll need those bags to lug out six trash cans' worth of garbage that night. Plus, I thrive on my 20-minute scalding hot showers, because, frankly, it's the only peace I get from my five kids. And I still cling to the hope that someday one of the innocent plants I bring home will bloom victoriously over my black thumb of death.
OK, so, I admit I need help. I try to scare myself green with the haunting scientific evidence about global warming. I also applaud our leaders when they take action. In fact, my enthusiasm jolted when Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced his plan to participate in the nation's Earth Hour a few months ago. We were all invited to collectively experience pre-Thomas Edison days for an hour one evening. But in preparing to have some friends over for dinner that day, I forgot. Instead, with my cooking, baking and entertaining, I had all the lights, all ablaze, all night. Sorry, Mufi. I'll try harder next time.
But, fear not, my energy-saving counterparts. I've developed a plan to get to organically greener pastures. Just as I vow to choose baked instead of deep-fried potatoes, I promise to take small steps and make gradual changes to benefit the overall health of our world. Starting tomorrow, I'll only check my e-mail twice a day, roll down my windows to let in the tradewinds and maybe even lessen my shower time by five minutes (now that's a sacrifice).
I realize that if I don't make drastic changes, as an energy-hoarding mom and wife, my family will follow in my carbon-filled footprints. Steadily, I'm going to take it one greener (and leaner) step at a time.
Brandy Dobson is a freelance copywriter and designer.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
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