Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Small Steps, like buying wind energy, might be pretty cool

I try to be an environmentalist.
I recycle everything. I mulch our lawn rather than bag the grass and fill up our landfills. I turn off the water when I brush my teeth.
But I also drive an SUV. It’s a Toyota CRV that gets 20 miles to the gallon, but I could be driving a much better car.
And I also use disposable diapers.
And I tend to leave too many lights on in the house and the computer on for too long.
I’m even the environmental reporter for our paper, but I don’t cover the environment well because I don’t have time for it - I’m also the entertainment reporter and the Adventure editor, among my duties - and I struggle to make national environmental issues relevant for our local readers.
So after watching “An Inconvenient Truth” and now being convinced, more than ever, that global warming will in fact destroy our planet if nothing is done, I struggled with what to do. “Sports Illustrated” just did a story on global warming and how it will affect sports, and every day there’s another story in the newspaper about it. So I can’t just push it aside in my mind.
I’m not trading in my CRV for a hybrid. I love it, and I still am a mountaineer and need the 4WD. Plus, the car is paid for and in great shape. Money is tight and will only get a lot tighter once the girls are born in a couple weeks. I can’t afford another monthly payment.
I’m not switching to cloth diapers. We’ll have three children in them. I’m sure that it would be much better to use cloth diapers, but the energy it will take to wash them probably offsets what I’ll save by using cloth. My energy, not the Earth’s.
I will do my best to turn off lights when I leave the room and make sure the computer is off or at least asleep. But bad habits are bad habits. They’re hard to break no matter how hard you try.
But here’s what I just did.
I just signed up for wind energy.
It was easier than I thought. I went to Xcel Energy’s Web site and signed up for its Windsource program.
It will cost me almost $5 a month extra to pay for the five 100-kWh blocks a month. As the average house uses 6 100-kWh blocks a month, I’ve nearly paid for all my home’s energy using wind power.
I really hate the wind, so I might as well put some if it to use.
I'll pay for it through my poker money. $5 a month means I'll have to make one less donkey call, play one less small stakes SnG or goad someone into calling my value bet when I have quads. Besides, I"m charitable enough with my poker money. I'd rather give it to the earth than some douchebag who slowplayed QQ to the river.
I’m not being preachy here. But this is a small, inexpensive way to help with global warming. Xcel energy is a business. If there’s no demand for wind power, it won’t attempt to produce as much as possible, only what voters require. But if the demand is there, it’s quite possible Xcel will do what it can to supply more wind power.
I’ve just added a bit more to the demand.
The problem with the environment and an issue like global warming is it seems like such an overwhelming problem that it really seems as if there’s no way one person could do anything to make a difference.
This is one cheap, easy, small step that can, in fact, make a big difference.
I won’t save the world. I’m too selfish for that. And my family needs me.
But maybe I’ll continue to take small steps like buying wind energy. If I continue to do that, maybe instead of trying to be an environmentalist, I’ll actually be one.


Jennifer said...

"I really hate the wind, so I might as well put some if it to use."
haha, interesting. as cliche as it sounds, every little bit helps in regards to slowing down damage imposed on earth.

Astin said...

One small pet peeve of mine is the claim that global warming/pollution/nuclear war will destroy the Earth/planet.


It might wipe out all life as we know it. It may drown everything. It may even make the planet unliveable for millenia. But there will still be a big hunk of rock and water and orbiting a bigger ball of burning hydrogen for millions and millions of years.

Sorry, semantic point I've always had a problem with.

Also. Pollution and global warming = bad. Go alternative energy methods!

JL514 said...

I dont get it. You're powering your house on $5 a month? That makes no sense, obviously im missing something. Please explain on Yahoo.

pokerpeaker said...

Extra, Jl514. Extra. I didn't explain that very well.