Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's not easy, being green.

Whew! Sorry folks. It's been a crazy couple of weeks. I knew when I started this blog that it would be hard to keep up with it, and for once I was right. So bear with me; I hope to be able to post more often.

It's probably not real obvious when you meet me, but we're just about as green as we can be. I mean, I'm not a dread-locked hippie wearing hemp clothes (heaven forbid!) and my politics are probably the polar opposite of what you might expect. But I do think it is our responsibility to preserve what we can of our beautiful world.

As kids, my mother got us into recycling and composting back when that was probably considered 'weird'. (We're talking late 1970s.) I have a really hard time throwing away things that could be re-used or recycled. I guess that's part of the reason why I love vintage.

My love for vintage usually fits neatly in with my environmental consciousness. I mean, what's not to love about 70 year-old furniture, clothes, etc? They're not wasting precious new resources, they're better made than new things, and they're not supporting the American drive for conspicuous comsumption.

However, lately I've been having issues with lighting, and the holidays make it all the worse. I'm all for using low-energy types of bulbs when possible- most of our light bulbs around the house are CFLs. But they just don't cast the same warm glow, and I need that in the winter! Plus, if you have many different types of vintage lamps, as we do, they take oddball shapes and sizes. Your standard CFL just won't work in that milk-glass torchiere that needs a wide base bulb. I shudder to think what will happen when standard incandescants are phased out once and for all. Something tells me that you'll be able to spot the true vintage enthusiast by how many incandescants they have stockpiled!

I used to be one of those people that preferred only white lights at the holidays. But lately, I've embraced the old-fashioned C9 colored lights of the past. I just love the looks of them strung along the roofline of our barn. But they get hot as hell. I can't imagine having them on a cut tree indoors- no wonder people always worried about Christmas trees catching fire. And I'm sure that they are the main reason our electric bill is 20% higher in December.
But I won't give them up for anything. I like the idea of LEDs, but I can't stand the looks of them at Christmas. And even though the energy savings would probably be significant, I think there's got to be a plus side for the carbon footprint of my C9s. I mean, they were manufactured 50+ years ago, somewhere in the USA, and aren't using any new petroleum or rubber products, either in manufacturing or transport from halfway around the world. So there- string up your lights and show some incandescant pride! (If you can get them untangled, that is.)

1 comment:

  1. Back in the 1970s, when I was a young, hairhelmeted* little boy, I was excited by the prospect of our solar-powered future as depicted in the numerous film strips we watched in elementary school. Narrator William Shatner-- post Star Trek the original series and pre-"Star Trek: The Motion Picture"-- promised us that the world would soon make the switch over to safe, cheap solar power. I'm still waiting! ;)

    * I believe that my hairhelmet owed more to my mother's neglect of me than to any blind obedience to then-current fashion.