Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I don't know the size of my carbon footprint.

Happy Earth Day, a day designed to make us all feel guilty about the things we can't or aren't willing to do anything about.

I'm a major offender, I admit. I don't drive a big gas-guzzling car, but I do live alone, I travel a lot, and I often drive my car instead of taking public transportation, in order to bring my dog along.

I've made small changes, such as energy-saver lightbulbs, and was trained from early childhood never to leave a room without turning off the lights, TV, stereo, etc. I only turn on the water during tooth-brushing in order to rinse my toothbrush, and I don't wash dishes until the sink is full (okay, I wouldn't anyway, but let me take credit for the conservation involved).

This website invites me to calculate my carbon footprint, but I'm afraid to do it. My ordinary life provides enough opportunities for guilt and self-loathing, and I'm no longer persuaded of the value or legitimacy of carbon credits.

I could reduce my carbon footprint by getting a roommate, moving to a city, giving up my car, and limiting my travel. I'm sorry, I'm not willing to do any of that. That makes me an ugly American and not the person I want to be. So really, it's a day like any other day...

Five Random Songs

"Please Read the Letter," Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. This album (Raising Sand) is so beautiful, and so exactly to my taste that it's one of a handful I've received as gifts from more than one person. I have an extra copy, anybody need one?

"Hairdresser on Fire," Morrissey. I've said it before: Morrissey quite often skates to the edge of self-parody. And once in a while, he plunges right over.

"Candy," El Perro del Mar. I love this sound, which some might dismiss as precious -- it's echoey and jingly -- but I hear both a vibraphone and tympany on this track, and either of those is enough to pull me in.

"Mary, Mary," The Monkees. From the sublime to the ridiculous... but if you can resist the Monkees, I don't know why we're friends.

"Ashokan Farewell," James Galway & Phil Coulter. You know this as the theme music to Ken Burns' TV series "The Civil War." It's lovely, but reminds me that I got a little tired of Ken Burns.

7 comments:

Jennifer Lechner said...

Steve got the Plant/Krauss CD as a gift recently and we LOVE it.

SteveHL said...

I'm not sure Dizzy would want to hear that you think you live alone.

AnswerGirl said...

Good point, but Dizzy is not a major energy consumer, so for purposes of the carbon footprint...

norby said...

And Dizzy poos on the ground, which technically can be considered fertilizer.

I heart the Monkees, I even went trick or treating as the Monkees (with three friends, obviously) when I was in high school.

I don't have the bigger hits on my mp3 player, mainly stuff Mike Nesmith wrote.

lawlis42 said...

I bit the bullet. I even did the more detailed questions because I thought, you know, in for a penny. Anyhoo,I don't think that questionnaire is very accurate. I would think that you woud need to ask a lot more questions to really determine somebody's carbon footprint. Plus, it said we would need four Earths to support the population if everyone lived like me. I'm having a hard time believing that. I didn't think it be less than one but I certainly didn't think it would be more than two. Did anyone else do it?

AnswerGirl said...

All right, Diane -- you made me feel guilty enough to take the quiz, and now I'm sorry I did. It would take 5.3 planet Earths to support the planet if everyone lived the way I do, mostly because I travel so much (but also because I read so much). The quiz suggested that I "vacation at home" (as if I'm traveling on vacations), and seek out material printed on recycled material.

Maybe my Kindle will help...

Anonymous said...

Thanks I had never read the name Ashokan Farewell or heard it said clearly, so I always thought the name was Catoctin Farewell

regardless, it is a very sad tune

RBo