Everyday I get about 25-30 emails that aren't junk mail per se, but various newsletters that I've subscribed to for "research" purposes. And one of the newspapers in the UK that sends me a note every morning had this to day, "Standby: Britain: The waste that fuels our energy crisis." The article talks at length about how everyday electrical equipment is a source of energy waste by leaving things on standby. And it got me thinking, about Live 8, about my ecological footprint, and about how the world is now, more than ever, geared to a throw-away society.
When did the world change? I remember having an environmental conference when I was in my last year of high school, at the very least a decade ago, where we urged the world to think about its consumption of oil, the use of Styrofoam and how important it is to recycle. Now, I see commercials for throwaway toilet brushesbecause the simple old-fashioned toilet brush has become ungainly and inefficient?
Now, I drive to work the majority of the time. I could take the transit, but it would take me close to two hours to get to where I needed to go. Yet, I feel increasingly guilty about driving, that price of gas, or oil in general, is making the world a sick, greedy place.
I turn off my lights, but take a shower every day. I planted a garden to help with the smog, but have to water it every night. I ride my bike on days when I'm at the downtown office, but we drive to get groceries almost every weekend. We use cloth bags, but so much of the food is pre-packaged. And I'm not even going to think about the medical waste involved in the research to find drugs for my disease.
How much has the world changed since I was naive and thought that by the time I reached this age, people would actually start caring more about their environment and less about their comfort. It's a melancholy thought, but I struggle with it all the time. And now, I've got to go water the garden.