Monday, October 15, 2007

Green? No just cheap...

Since today is Blog Action Day, drawing attention to environmental issues, I thought I'd do my part.

This is hard, because for years I've known that the things I do, that others today refer to as "green," have not been motiviated by nobler purposes, but in fact are due to my being a cheapskate at heart.

When I was a kid my favorite day of the week on my early morning paper route was Friday. That was garbage day. I could see what other people had thrown away and bring it home with me. I remember bringing home a toilet when I was in 8th grade and making it into a chair for my room. For years at Thanksgiving my family used the giant turkey platter I brought home from the neighbor's trash. My father-in-law, a well known wildlife artist, raved about the incredible 2 foot tall carved eagle that I gave him for Christmas the year before Lisa and I were married. I never mentioned that I'd been carting it around for years since rescuing it out of a garbage can.

From those days until this I have scrounged whenever possible. In finishing our upstairs 90% of our finish wood was salvaged: flooring, casing and backbanding. I have storms and screens that have been picked up off the curb. I have personally diverted tons of waste from landfills, but don't thank me for it, I was happy to get the stuff at bargain prices.

Even my one truly "big ticket" item, our geothermal heating/cooling system was motivated by the fact that it was cheaper to do than add on to the existing boiler and install a high velocity air conditioning system.

Of course the kicker that truly sold me on geotheramal? Free hot water in the summer when the air conditioning is running, because the hot air in the house goes past the water heater before being piped back into the ground.

So happy Blog Action Day! Even if protecting the environment is my latent rather than manifest function!

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