It's amazing how much the world has changed from when I was a kid. My parents lived simply and only bought what they needed, they turned off lights when nobody was in the room and we ate simple unprocessed food.
I suppose it's a generational thing: my parents were the children of the depression who knew what it meant to go without new shoes and clothing, even food. So they were grateful for everything and even though times have changed many haven't moved far from those roots. My mother's still that way and so is Horace.
So what is it with the generations who come after them--their children (me) and grandchildren (my daughters)--who are consuming the world's resources at an exponential rate?
To try to make a larger difference I threw myself wholeheartedly into Earth Hour in Melbourne. I turned off lights and appliances at the wall, and with the heating turned off it was so cold Horace and I climed into bed to watch DVDs for the evening.
But Saturday was only one night and Earth Hour was only, well, an hour. And the lead up to Earth Hour has put my focus back on the need to make a difference in the longer term.
So this is my list of things that I will do, some of which I'm already doing but sometimes slip:
- I will take reusable bags or carry my purchases; no more plastic bags
- I will not set the heating at more than 22
- I will use the minimum of plastic bags when purchasing fruit (eg for grapes)
- I will turn off the computer screen when it's not in use, and shut the computer down each night
- I will buy food with minimal packaging
- I will turn off the TV and lights when no-one is in the room
- I will make sure all light bulbs are low energy
- I will continue using the car as little as possible, and walk wherever possible.
What are you going to do?