being green in the cold

In the past few days the weather has gotten rather chilly here in Kentucky and I’ve been thinking about how to care for the environment when it’s cold outside. The heat hasn’t been turned on in the dorms yet, so everyone is finding creative ways to stay warm while they’re studying. My solution—thick socks, my warmest sweatshirt, and a blanket—might be a little cumbersome, but it’s also the “green” thing to do. Because I don’t have the option to turn up the thermostat, I’ve been conserving more. It got me wondering: what would it be like if I didn’t have electricity or heat at all? The first thing that popped into my head was when I was eight years old and there was an ice storm that knocked out all the power in my town for several weeks. We all stayed in the one room we could heat (with a woodstove), we didn’t leave the house (the roads were too slippery to drive on), and we had to be a lot more intentional about everything we did. We couldn’t use the computer or the microwave, which meant we all played cards together and ate at the same time. I have very fond memories from those few weeks (yes, school was cancelled, too, which might have something to do with it).

Obviously we don’t have power outages on a regular basis, but we can apply the same concepts. I’ve been trying to use as little energy as possible by thinking of that time when we didn’t have the option of heat or electricity. Some things that I’ve found are not really essential life?

-long showers

-curling irons, hair straighteners, or blow-dryers

-computers, at least some of the time

-a digital clock

-cars, at least some of the time

-exercise equipment

-electric gaming systems

-movies and TV

-and indoor heating, at least when it’s only a little chilly out, apparently 🙂

Bundle up, be green, and stay warm!