I have been lucky enough to be a part of some green building over the last year. We doubled Grace Church in size last year and did so without significantly raising our heating/cooling bills. We recycled all of the cardboard from our construction instead of throwing it away, which would have been easier. Currently we are about to build a storage shed and we opted to not put electricity in it. Instead, we went with solar powered lights and wind powered air circulation. We did all of this because we love our environment and we like to use common sense. Spend a little more up front and it will pay for itself in the long run. This whole topic reminded me of something I wrote a while back. I hope you like it.
I haven’t been around that long. I have been on this planet just over 30 years. In that time I’ve seen a shift in the way people think about the planet. I am glad to see people being better stewards of the resources that God has entrusted us with. We are on this rock and were given the command to fill it and subdue it, though I’m pretty sure that didn’t mean with lots of pollution. Also, we have a responsibility to provide a legacy for the generations ahead of us, and part of that means leaving them with a home (i.e. the earth) that is not too jacked up. But that being said I’m a little concerned with the whole direction of this thing.
Not to say I don’t like the conservation effort, but c’mon. Do I seriously have to feel so bad about myself because I live the way I do. For the first time in my life I felt bad about NOT buying the $12 light bulb. I was standing in my favorite super store looking for a light bulb for my hall light when I was presented with the choice of a regular light bulb or a compact fluorescent (CF). The regular light bulb was $.83 and the other was almost $6… but they only had a 2-pack for almost twice as much! I went with the cheap one because we just got back from vacation and it is for my home which only has 10 more months on the lease. I really felt like scum. But why? How long would I have to use that bulb to make up the extra $5 I could have spent. I don’t use the hall light much. Plus, I don’t think it would be right to take all of my CF bulbs out of the rental house when I move out. Also, I’m glad the school indoctrinates… er uh.. I mean, teaches my kids to turn the water off while they brush their teeth. But I don’t appreciate my own kids (who are both under 11 years old) giving me the stink-eye when I take a 15 minute shower after a long day or a hard workout. I am making an effort to conserve but it’s getting annoying in certain ways. I will say that conservation is not all that new of an idea.
Honestly, I have been going green WAYYYYY before it was cool. My parents were not hippies but they made all of us “go green.” We were green because of necessity. Some people may call it “going green,” but we called it “being poor.” Growing up the Giesler family did not have much money. Because of said lack of money we were “encouraged,” STRONGLY encouraged, not to waste things.
Electricity. While my parents both made the statement, “SHUT the door, we aren’t heating/cooling the whole neighborhood!!!!” everyone knew they really meant, “Hey everyone we are trying to cut down our carbon footprint.” If the fridge or freezer door was left open we were reminded (about the buttocks) that we should help to improve the planet for our own future by shutting the door.
Water was also a major part of going green when I was a kid, especially in the arid TX panhandle. If you left the sprinkler on you were in big trouble. Forget to jiggle the handle on the toilet… get a lecture. All of this was done to conserve our planet’s natural resources.
Petroleum. This was the final piece of conservation trifecta. There were five of us and that meant mass transportation. We all went together… even we the rest of the family didn’t really have to go. One of the family members has a date… “hey why don’t we all go to the movies,” mom says… Great idea mom, I know you only did it for the planet. So, we all took one for the team, it was for the planet…
As a youth worker I continue that habit of saving green (a.k.a. going green). We only water the yard 3 times a week. (the minimum recommendation) Also, in an effort to save the planet I never buy first-class plane tickets, nor do I own gas-guzzling sports cars. I have also had the self control to NOT buy exorbitantly large homes. I know, it’s a feat that few can fathom, but I gladly do it because I just see it as doing my part.
I will keep doing my part and wait for fuel efficient sports cars to come down in price.