Monday, July 30, 2007
I've made a big step in my life. One that has involved plenty of thoughtful analysis and probing soul-searching. It's nothing to be taken lightly. I have to do what's best for me.
I purchased compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Because I have to do what's best for the environment, too, and when I learned that most of a incandescent bulb's energy is lost to heat - and how I could save money on my electric bill - it just made sense. It's not often you'll get a household item that will pay for itself over time.
The deep, deep discount on Amazon.com ($4.99 for four bulbs) helped a lot, too.
So now when I turn on the lights at home I know I'll be helping the environment, saving on my energy costs, and reducing my impact on Global Warming - literally. Have you ever felt a lightbulb when it's on?
I think something clicked in my brain back when we learned about recycling and Earth Day in school. All that planting trees and three-Rs just made sense. Why waste?
Katie also handed me her old cell phone to recycling (or sell on eBay - we haven't decided yet), so I sent an e-mail out at work asking for anyone's old phone so I could take it to our recycling site. I also bought and distributed recycling bins around the office - especially near the copy and fax machines - so we can reduce our paper waste.
The funny thing is all this doesn't take much work. A few half-hours a week, and you can make a little bitty impact.
Considering we're all making a great big impact on the world at large - did you know the plastic we create will never go away? - it's shameful to think some people don't do anything.
It might be that I dig the warm, squishy feeling I get when I do something like e-cycle cell phones or batteries that would have otherwise ended up in the trash. I don't look for any recognition or thanks, but it always helps when people play along.
At work, when I asked for paper grocery bags to store all our to-be-recycled paper (it makes it easier to just toss the whole thing in the recycling bin), my coworkers came through in spades.
And after I sent out the e-mail, one coworker came up and gave me a cell phone she put in her desk. She didn't know what to do with it.
Little things like leaving lights on when no one's in the room, or throwing away a blank sheet of paper and not using it for scrap, or buying those stupid disposable mops that Swiffer is so proud of - it drives. Me. Crazy.
But I'm not interested in changing everyone's mind. It's impossible. I remember Dr. Renner picking on me in the newspaper office, saying he was going to crown me "resource managment czar" because I was such a pain about reusing paper and turning off lights. And this coming from a professor who would burn through reams of paper like a junkie with pharmacy keys.
Instead, I'll quietly go about doing my own thing - like those fancy new lightbulbs - and wait for the rest of the world to come to its senses.