Yup, here it is again!
EARTH DAY! This is the time for all of us to gather around our good intentions, turn off the lights, turn down the heat, recycle our newspapers and plastics (no glass, remember we're in Montana! No Glass Recycling Here!), make sure the dishwasher is full before running it, walk instead of driving, and on and on and on.
Except, is it really possible to reverse several hundreds of years of out and out environmental sodomy by taking these small steps? Is it possible to have any real-lasting effect on this enormous system we call "the environment"? I'm not sure.
I know, I know, "At least it's something." This is true. But the lifestyle changes needed should be all-encompassing and long-long-term.
Basic things, like when you use your car, need to be changed. The car, it seems, has become an extension of the body and this extension needs to be severed. Driving the car should become a unique thing.
Light usage: Next time you're in a grocery store, look up and try to count how many light fixtures are up there. I'm betting you get tired of counting before you get them all. Now think of how many stores use this many lights in your town, county, state, country?!? Holy Waa! How much light do we really need to compare two brands of pork rinds?
Excess is the credo of our society. I guess $3.50 a gallon and up is the price (literally) we pay for following this credo generation after generation.
So, what do we do? How about fuel rations? Everyone gets 35 gallons a month. Do with it what you can. When your tank is dry, you have to wait until the new month. I'd really make sure my "quick trip" to the store is worth it if this was the case. What else? How about sensors on lights so they can only be turned on when it's dark enough to need them? Graywater systems standard on all new construction. Municipal photovoltaic, hydro, and wind power-generating systems to supplement grid. Community food gardens instead of shipping food across the hemisphere. Ban NASCAR!
Oh, and everyone must fill their growlers at the Glacier Brewing Company!
P.S. In this vein, I'm thinking of collecting our beer bottles back so we can smash them and maybe use the crushed glass for landscaping or offer it to local builders as fill material. What do you think about this? Post a comment, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or come into the brewery and talk to me about it.