Another Drop in the Bucket (a vent, be warned)

So, the Church of Oprah did a show this week on “Going Green,” and, while I didn’t see the show, I had to check out the oprah.com to see what sort of things Rev. Oprah admonished her groupies to do to “go green.”

Oy. I had to hold back my laughter when they started talking about things like not printing out ATM receipts (can ‘ya hear my eyes rolling) and taking a travel mug to Starbucks for the coffee each morning. …Yeah, I got a hand-painted picture of that. Mr. Green who is deathly afraid of publicly expanding his carbon footprint sells his perfectly-fine used car to get a hybrid. Said perfectly-fine-but-gas-consuming car goes to another less-aware consumer, or, to the great Car Landfill in the Sky so that …you guessed it, he could improve his image and consume (there’s that C word again) another 4 tons of plastic, metal, and who knows how much energy to produce another entire vehicle, and his old car could rust out in someone’s front yard. Excuse me, but WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE BUS for crying out loud? What about skipping the daily Starbucks trip altogether and making your own darn coffee? What about staying HOME for once instead of dragging your sorry butt all over town in your car, or, my personal fave for venting –driving to the HEALTH CLUB to exercise when we miss tons of opportunities to just WALK, or do things the hard way.

Now, I’m not totally panning the idea of being more aware of our responsibility as Imagebearers given the task of caring for creation –I’m just saying that this whole fad (and it is a fad –just go back a couple steps, and you’ll find tons of inconsisitencies, like Al Gore’s air-conditioning bill, for instance) kinda makes me sick. We’re all about looking like we care and assuaging our conscience, but only if it involves fun and easy things like carrying a cute bag to the grocery store or driving a nice new vehicle. We aren’t willing to do the true work of simplification –like going beyond questioning the packaging of something to whether we even NEED the junk inside the package in the first place. We wouldn’t consider riding the bus or walking when it means we’d have to spend another 10 minutes on our commute or have to sit by a weirdo (been there done that –you meet a lot of interesting people on public transit in Tempe, AZ and Berkeley, CA). No, we’d rather spend $50 a month on a gym membership so we can work out in the comfort of a/c and waste 30 minutes (or more) if you figure the doing something we could have done by multi-tasking in exercising while getting from A to B.

Phew. Sorry about the vent –this has just been bugging me for a long, long time now, and it makes me feel like a cultural outsider to see this so totally differently than 90 percent of society. Maybe I’m the only crazy person who thinks like this …but I’d like to think I’m not. Well, time to turn out my lights (all compact fluorescents in our house, by the way –we changed 7 years ago –before it was in vogue– when we realized we’d save a bunch on our electric bill that way), and go to bed. …Which makes me wonder –how much energy would we save by adjusting our daily schedule to rising at dawn and going to bed at sunset? Hmmm.