Sunday, December 20, 2009

Environmental Confessions

When I think of Christmas, I think of this house. It's where I spent my most memorable Christmases as a small child (1950-1960). Our Christmas tree would be in that big picture window, and my dad would outline the whole house in lights, those big bulbs we used to use. There were yellow electric candles in the windows, and my bedroom (upstairs left) would be bathed in a yellow glow each night as I fell asleep. Nice memories. (This photo was taken from Google Street View, which is why it's so messed up.)
I was driving around aimlessly today at around 5 a.m., which is what goofy people like me tend to do. Actually, it wasn't entirely aimless. I was heading for Braum's to get some sour cream for the key lime cheesecake I'm making today for Joe who takes care of me during my dialysis treatments. He was born and raised in S. Florida and constantly and avidly craves anything with key lime as an ingredient. After purchasing the sour cream, I stopped for breakfast at my usual place, then drove home. Upon reaching home, I realize that I didn't have enough sugar, so I hopped back in the car and drove back to Braum's to replenish that staple. By then it was almost 6:30 a.m., which is the middle of the day for an earlybird like me, even though it was still pitch dark. It was then that I started thinking about my lifestyle and how I could improve it.

I'm afraid I'm not particularly environmentally friendly. For one thing, I use more gas than just about anyone in this hemisphere. My 3-year-old car has 130,000 miles on it, and I can't blame all of those miles on my long trips to and from Afton. A good number of those gas-guzzling miles are put on by me doing the aforementioned aimless driving around. It's as if wasting gasoline was a hobby for me! I was actually elated that I had an excuse to get back in the car and drive some more when I realized I was out of sugar. That's not the only place I'm wasteful, either. For instance, the TV in my bedroom stays on 24/7 (muted) because it's so old and clunky that if it gets turned off, it takes about 90 minutes for the picture to return. I keep certain lights on overnight outside of my house, for my own safety. And of course the computer is abuzz for many, many hours of the day.

In other areas, I'm a bit less of an environmental disaster. I keep the heat low in my house. At Afton Station I sometimes freeze to death rather than turn up the heat (those huge rooms take tons of BTUs to bring up to temperature). I only do one load of wash a week and hang-dry much of it. I take quick showers rather than long baths, thus saving a lot of water (besides, I think baths are just plain gross!). I get my car washed at a carwash where the water is recycled rather than doing it myself at home. I refill my water bottles with tap water rather than buying bottled water. I take my own tote bags to the grocery store (when I remember to do so).

I think my New Year's resolution this year will be to become more environmentally friendly. I'll do it in every area except the gas-guzzling issue, because for my own sanity I'm sure I'll still do a lot of driving.

The cheesecake is done and it's only 10:45 a.m. I've checked off everything else on my list. Hmm... what to do now? I think I'll take a ride!

I did a little aimless driving, and snapped these two pictures. This is Rossi Bros., a window company on 11th St. (Route 66) in Tulsa. I've always felt they did a great job of restoring the old gas station and using it as the headquarters for their business. It's a lovely building.
It was another quiet Sunday morning in downtown Tulsa. Barely a car on the road on this winter Sunday morning. I guess everybody else is in church rather than out wasting gasoline. :-)

1 comment:

Trevor Hilton said...

I like aimlessly driving, too. For me, a good time is having no place to go and all day to get there.

We keep our heat turned up, mainly because my children are bad about kicking the blankets off at night.