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Homing in on conservation

It’s always struck me as self-defeating that a subject rarely discussed when we celebrate Earth Day is just doing less. In fact, the opposite is encouraged. Don’t drive less; drive more fuel efficient cars. Don’t eat less; buy organic. Don’t use your lights less; buy fuel efficient bulbs. And to remind yourself why these purchases are worth the trouble and expense go out and buy Discovery’s Planet Earth. (Full disclosure, I have purchased the DVD set and it is excellent.)

Slate today highlights some of the more noteworthy “green” scams, ranging from Clorox “Greenwash” to useless gas saving magnets. I’m glad they brought this to our attention but buying or not buying these or any other trinkets that profess to be “green” is not going to make an iota of difference given current consumption patterns. There’s only one way to save the planet and that is to do less stuff, particularly driving, eating, and using electricity.

I know there’s a rule out there somewhere that we need to spend to keep the economy afloat, but my bet is the economy will be fine if we consume a lot less gasoline, coal-powered electricity, and grain-fed cows. So to celebrate Earth Day I’m doing what many of us could do to support the economy and still put in a full day’s work. I’m staying at home and eating lunch at a local (within walking distance) restaurant. I might even plant some tomatoes. (Another full disclosure, I had the tuna sandwich.)

Posted by patrickj on 04/22 at 07:42 AM
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