Energy Diet

An Inconvenient Truth

After last week’s post encouraging everyone to “green” up their holidays, I’m ashamed to admit that I have not been practicing what I preach. Between all of the Christmas cards written and stamped, the oven working overtime turning out dozens of cookies, the continuous Clark Griswald-esque light display adorning our house and yard, and the general increased driving I’ve been doing, my energy usage has gone through the roof. And all this time, in the back of my mind, there’s a little nagging thought that I should be remembering to do something, but I can never quite figure out what it is.

The truth is, this time of year, more than any other time, it’s easy to put our best “green” intentions on the back burner while we race around the countryside, making our lists and checking them twice. In fact, a 2010 Yale University survey of 1,001 American adults showed that large percentages of Americans believe that green practices are important, but much smaller percentages actually do them. Interestingly, the gap between the “believers” and the “doers” was small regarding tasks that require minimal effort (like switching off the lights when you leave a room), but was larger relating to tasks that are not as practical or interrupt the efficiency with which people live their lives (like using public transportation or carpooling, for example). And to many of us, the holiday season requires maximum efficiency.

So the bottom line is, at what point do we make the switch between being environmentalists when it’s convenient and environmentalists all of the time? And does it have to be an all or nothing deal? What do you think?


  1. betsy
    December 9, 2011, 4:49 pm

    i’m doing my part alicia. no lights outside, no tree up, no cards written, no cookies baked! you just gave the perfect reason to hold off on all that stuff!

    i have also held off on running the laundry / dryer, taking a shower (every three days does it for me),

    kidding aside… your posts really having me thinking. we will be hard nuts to crack, this sherwood household but slowly and surely we are getting there. much fewer disposable products – everything recycled that can possibly be recycled. simple, simple, simple.

    … if its OK – i am putting our tree up today. i’ll make sure to turn the lights out when i leave the room…

  2. Murdock
    Ohio The NO emissions state :)
    June 27, 2012, 1:07 am

    The only green on my body is my tattoo, I don’t use catalytic converters, EVERY piece of mail comes to my mailbox( for records) but trees grow, so cut one down, and it must’ve been an evolutionist who thought of carbon footprint, because that’s obviously how you tell how old everything is (millions, billions, and patrillions of years old), very accurate and conclusive. Anyone can be a scientist these days and make any assumption. Next thing you know you have your own tv show. Just think, use your commonsense. Where do you want to go when you die or what do you think happens? Primordial ooze or a Creator, Heaven or Hell, hug a tree or use the oil and resources we have here? THE END IS WHERE WE BEGIN, but its your choice.