Saturday, April 14, 2007

Getting started

How does one person even begin to make a dent in a problem as enormous as global warning? Using the online carbon calculator at climatecrisis.net, I learned that my average carbon load is 9.5, larger than the normal 7.5 tons a year. I was shocked. How did this happen? Even if I am not a poster child for the environment, I really thought that I would at least be on the “less than normal” level. Is it because I live alone, so my household use isn’t spread over anyone but me? Is it because I fly to Florida or New York a couple of times a year? Or is it because the calculator didn’t offer my Toyota as a vehicle option, which surely would have given me bonus points. (I really love that car!) I am saddened by my results, and by the negative impact I've already had on the planet, which is even more reason to get serious about becoming part of the solution. I need to list the things I can consider changing, so that I can figure out where to start. What things are really important to my health and happiness? Which are essential? What can I do without? How can I minimize the pain of things I have to give up even if they add to the quality of my life? And especially, which things are really more important than my grandchildren's future . . .

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi! I found your blog through No Impact Man. I have begun to move toward having less impact on the planet and it can be a challenge. Your efforts at becoming aware of your footprint on the earth reminds me a quote by sustainability author Duane Elgin: "Although these might seem like small changes, the character of a society is the cumulative result of the countless small actions, day in and day out, of millions of people." I hope these words encourage and inspire you. Peace, Joan

Jen. said...

Hi Gail, Congratulations on entering the blogworld - and figuring out how to add a link!

I think Joan's right - a lot of individuals making small changes can add up to a lot of change! I'm in here with you, doing what I can in my part of the world.

Jen.

gpc said...

Thank you both, Joan and Jen -- it is easy to slip into despair but I agree with you both that our small changes will tip the balance. After all, it was the small changes that got us into this mess in the first place!
gail