Tuesday, November 1, 2011

it takes serious green to be seriously green

And that sucks!  I do little things every day to try to reduce my carbon footprint.  And I’ll keep doing those things because they give me hope; they give me peace of mind.  But like most people, when I do something, I want to do it right.  I want to do the little things AND the big things. 

When I saw Who Killed the Electric Car? a few years ago, I vowed to my husband: we’d never buy another gas guzzler.  The film highlighted yet another way we have been manipulated, as a culture, into filling up.  From the sprawling development of the suburbs, to the ripping up of perfectly useful streetcar tracks, to our poor public transportation system, we have never really had a choice but to purchase gasoline by the gazillions of gallons.  It burns me up—like expensive fossil fuel in an internal combustion engine, you know? 

Meanwhile…someone killed my car a few weeks ago, totaling what was supposed to be my “last” gas guzzler. 

I intended to drive that 9 year-old rattle trap for 3 more years, until Gareth graduated from high school.  By then, I was going to have miraculously saved up a whopping 40k to buy an electric car (err…that wouldn’t be the college fund, would it?).  And I was going to have my solar-business-owning friend rig up some solar panels to charge it.   Steve told me I was pipe-dreaming from the get-go.  Of course he was right, but I held to my fantasies.  “You never know!” I thought. 

Well, I was right too.  I certainly didn’t know.  I didn’t know my car would end up in the junk yard before I could work my $40,000 miracle.  The accident has forced my hand.  To replace the van, I have only the pathetic $4,000 we got from the insurance company. 

Dammit – where’s that last zero?!

Oh – got it. Instead of buying a 1 year old car, we bought a 10 (see it there?) year old car.  Since no 10 year-old-electric car exists, a “new” guzzler sits in my driveway looking thirsty, waiting for me to screw on the tags so I can hurry off to the gas station and fill ‘er up like a good little enabler. 

It turns out I’m green alright, green with envy for all the folks with enough green stuff to buy the green stuff. 


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