My Big Green Dichotomy  

I think we're all painfully aware that "living green" has received a hundredfold more attention from media, pop culture, and practical design sources over the past year than it likely did in the previous 50. It's an admirable cause; whereas I was never one to blatantly do harm to the environment, having this wealth of new information available has helped bring me along into a new way of thinking about the lasting impact of my daily habits and actions. I especially like to tell myself that some day, when fortune rains down on me with excess wealth, there will be a major restructure of my life that incorporates as much greenness as possible.

Despite fears that too much green will turn me into a pompous eco-prick with blue skin and a flat top that likes to place young children into precarious situations until rescuing them at the very last moment, my all-around footprint continues to diminish. However, as far as I've come, it's not without contradictions. Let's face it; some habits are just harder to break than others. I do what I can to remind myself that my actions today might unwittingly harm a yet-to-be genetically engineered relative, though little changes have been made as of late. So with a loose affection towards all the future Ferris' out there, I'm hoping that clearing the polluted air here might just kickstart phase 2 of my ongoing pursuit of eco-snobbery.

Whenever I'm outside the home, I don't flush urinals. It just seems silly since another dude is going to pee on it again anyway. I realize that some will just flush it before they go and once more afterwards, but I'm not jaded. For the most part that doesn't affect me, although I won't say I've never followed such a person home and stolen their car to teach them a valuable lesson. The unfortunate hypocrisy here is that I like to take 20 minutes showers. And I mean motherfucking HOT showers. Which means all that water has to be heated, then wasted, plus I keep the bathroom fan on to ensure it doesn't get too moist in there. How messed up is that?

Then there's the food side of it, which is a tad more complicated. Best case scenario has me eating locally and organically first. Worst case scenario involves me living in a cardboard box because of it. But... I can't generalize any longer, since the price of local organics has come down considerably over the past year. The only problem is that you have to work for it. All the convenient options cost money I don't want to spend. All the cheaper options cost time I'm not willing to give. Essentially, my laziness has yet to be surpassed by my sense of responsibility. Yes, I bring reusable bags to the store... and then fill them up with items shipped halfway around the world and fertilized with the sweat of dying nations. Awesome!

Another soul-sucking black hole for my sustainability quotient is power consumption. Overall, this area has seen positive changes in the past 6 months, whereby repeated coaxing from my lovely wife has me turning off more and more unnecessary lighting. We've also stopped buying anything but compact fluorescent light bulbs, which my optometrist will surely appreciate by way of the extra business. However, not all is well in the land of the needy. Aside from it being a ghost house of phantom power load, there is one creature standing above them all in it's requirement for juice; the computer. Since moving in this past March, our PC has been shut down once, when we went on vacation. Otherwise it doesn't abandon its electronic post, running scans and downloading stuff I blindly believe will fill the hole where my parents refused to love me. There's little comfort in knowing that I have all of the energy settings maximized for efficiency, because that's sadly untrue. My current setting? "Always On." Much like my personality indeed; useful at times, but an overwhelming drain on everyone it comes in contact with.

I think the broader message here is one of change. Pretending that there is no room for improvement in my life would do little to inspire ideas of self-betterment. This stark reality holds true for everyone else as well. Unless we can all implement new ideas to affect the bigger picture in an ongoing, positive way, very little change is going to come about. And no change doesn't just mean a dingy future, it also means stunted progress and a future without hover cars and jetpacks. Ask yourself my friends, who the fuck would want to live in a future like that?

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5 Reasons to Live

  • AJ  
    August 29, 2008 at 8:21 AM

    I'm lucky if I take a 7 minute shower! LOL I made Austin by me "green" cleaning products the other day in hopes that I would get inspired to clean again. NO DEAL... he is on cleaning duty until further notice.

  • Chris  
    August 29, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    I'm looking forward to belted lycra one piece jumpsuits. Hello Judy Robinson!

  • Christie  
    August 29, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    If you could stay awake in the shower, you could cut your shower down to less than 10 minutes. It also doesn't help when you turn the heater on in the bathroom.

  • The Grunt  
    August 30, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    The homeless are the greenest people in this country.

    If you envy a lot, that is also green.

    I like to believe that I am being helpful.

  • Ryan  
    September 2, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    I find a nice depression helps in being green.

    You'll lie around in bed with the lights off for large amounts of time. The urge to shower on an even semi-regular basis declines. You don't clean much, and dirt is pretty organic.

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