Learning New Tricks

I’ve always considered myself to be an environmentally conscientious and respectful person, but I also know that there are always things I could/should be doing better.  With gas prices so incredibly high, I have been taking the advice of eco-activitists and considering how to plan my errands.  I’ve started carpooling to work, even though it takes away from my country music singing time (believe me, no one else wants to hear my singing.)   I have reusable grocery bags and sometimes I do remember to bring them to the store – when I do I feel a strong sense of accomplishment.  Look at me and my green bags, I’m helping the environment. I recycle. I’ll always opt for fans over air conditioning and if I could walk to the bookstore, coffee shop, and post office, I would.

But, these revelations beg the question: if it weren’t for the dramatic increase in gas prices, would I be so concerned?  If it’s in response to general well being for the environment like saving trees and preventing pollution, then yes.  However, in terms of carpooling and trying to save gas in ever possible way?  Honestly, maybe not.  I’ve even taken to the point of not touching the gas pedal and just coasting down the 1/2 mile decline to my house.  (It’s gradual – the highest speed I reach is 15mph, the lowest is 8mph. Fyi, I live down a private dirt road, so I’m not causing a traffic jam.)

Despite the annoying rise in gas prices, perhaps this is a good thing.  Maybe more and more people will think of creative ways to save money and gas.  (This is a similar conversation to one of our field school van ride talks.)  Will people move to more walkable neighborhoods eventually?  Will people buy more fuel efficient cars?  How far can we carry this to improve our lifestyles?  It is not going to be an easy change.  I have a hard enough time trying to remember my green grocery bags, but with enough practice and thought, all things become easy in time.

How is this connected to historic preservation?  Stay tuned for the next issue of Preservation in Pink. It is all about living as a preservationist, which will be tied to the going green movement.  We all have so much to learn.  Please share what you are doing.

(For the record, in one month I will be able to walk to coffee shop, farmers market, library, bookstore, and post office.  I’m very excited.)