Tim and I had a heated discussion yesterday.
He wasn't happy with me because I bought myself a little something that impinged on his territory:
Logan vannas my brand new mower!
My discussion with Tim went like this:
"You're going to save five gallons of gas over the course of the summer with this mower," he said. "It's not worth it. It won't even make a dent in the amount of gas that has been burned up in the making of your riding arena." (Not that Tim cares about the environment; he's mad about the arena on general principles and he's hitting where he knows it'll hurt me.)
"I know, I know," I said, hating that he had a point. The truth is, I thought building an outdoor riding arena meant pushing a little dirt out of the way then filling in with some sand. In reality, I am in the middle of a project involving many truck loads of sand and gravel and a bobcat-thingy moving all the stuff around. It has been an environmental travesty.
Mid-mess with a lot of stress
"Well, what about you," I said. "Why do you even read books about our energy and national security issues if you're never going to do anything about it? If there was such a thing as a hybrid straight truck, would you buy it?" (His business is a small trucking company.) (Also, see how I employed the strategy of the best offense being a good defense? Oh, the marital dynamics going on here.)
"Yeah," he said, "I don't think there's such a thing available, but if there was, I'd buy it. If I could save ten thousand gallons of gas, that would be worth doing. It would make a difference."
I thought about this for a second.
"But," I said, "I keep thinking if enough people do the little things, maybe none of us will have to do the big things."
For instance, "If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a [compact fluorescent], we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars," according to www.energystar.gov.
Those are some impressive numbers. And that's if everyone switches one bulb to a compact fluorescent.
In the past month, I've switched twenty-four light bulbs to compact fluorescents. I've replaced tampons with a nifty Diva cup, taken bags with me to use at the grocery store, bought my cute little mower (which works great), bought a natty silver coat to insulate the water heater, got us taken off of mailing lists, and I'm researching vehicles for mileage and emissions ahead of the time when Luke takes over my mini-van. I've recycled for years. I'm cheap so reducing and reusing are second nature.
But I look at these two photos: my little reel mower against those big trucks. And I have to wonder if Tim's right.
Do these little things make a difference?