Saturday, 29 March 2008

Why I caca'd on Earth Hour

I did not do Earth Hour. I caca'd* on Earth Hour.

My mom did Earth Hour. This is the same woman who runs her car for half an hour when it is -10 (Celcius, for you American readers) before she goes anywhere.**
I did not consciously choose not to do it, nor do I have anything against environmentalism. In fact, I am quite conscious about my environmental footprint (that seems to be a popular phrase nowadays). I just think that the whole idea is a gimmick to help the world feel better about its polluting/energy-gluttonous self, while, in reality, doing nothing to help solve the increasing crisis that is global warming.

So you turn off your lights and TVs and computers for an hour. WOW! That will TOTALLY help the planet, and you may immediately resume driving your SUVs which you have never taken off-road, not even once, or your damn 3/4 ton pickups, in which you have never hauled anything other than groceries or the odd archaic mattress that your grandmother has had since she was a toddler.

Also, feel free to plug-in your car overnight when it is a whopping -5 (again, Celcius) outside. Please remember to run your car and really warm it up good before you get in. You wouldn't want your poor bottom side to catch a chill. And when you go to the store, it's ok to leave your truck running whilst you shop: you participated in Earth Hour. You deserve it.

You may think that I am bitter. I'm not. I just don't understand how so many people can claim to be conscious about the state of our planet and our energy gluttony while they continue to drive vehicles that get less-than-stellar gas mileage, or buy plastic Ziploc steamer-bags to cook their food in, rather than dirty a pot and have to actually wash any dishes. I do not understand why my neighbour creates 4 garbage cans of waste each week and one meager box of recycling, while we create 4 bins of recycling and one can of garbage. Or why people with one child feel it absolutely necessary to drive a mini-van. I also do not understand why people cling to the idea that clothes MUST be washed in hot water to be thoroughly cleaned. They don't. They come out just as well when washed in *gasp* cold water. Try it sometime. You'll be amazed. You may also be amazed at your lower utility bill next month. Especially if you turn off the lights in the laundry room when you're not there. And use compact fluorescent bulbs.

One of my husband's coworkers, looking to buy a new (used) vehicle, and asked him this:
"What would you buy: a truck or an SUV?"

"Neither," he replied. "You live in a city, you don't go off-road, and you don't have a job that requires you to haul anything. They're bad on gas and will cost you more to run than a little car. I would get a car."

I'm not telling everyone out there to go and buy a hybrid*** or a Smart car (although it would be super-duper). I just want people to think a little before they do things: if you really care about the Earth, it has to be more than just Earth Hour. It has to be a way of life: going beyond what you want and discovering how you can live comfortably in a manner that treads a little lighter on our planet.

So no, I didn't turn off my lights for Earth Hour. I did what we always do between 8 and 9 pm: we turned off all of the lights upstairs and retired to the den in the basement, where we flicked one light-switch, and relaxed.


*If you are not familiar with the word "ca-ca'd", here's the best definition: Sacha says it right before he drops a bomb in his diaper. He points a finger at me and yells "caca!" when I let one slip at the grocery store. Or points to our cat's litter box and tells us that he sees "caca."

**Also, I love you, Mom. I just like to poke fun at you. Don't write me out of the will.

***By the way, hybrid SUVs do not count as hybrids. 25 mpg is NOT stellar: it is caca. My '89 Toyota Tercel got over 30 mpg. And it was 14 years old at the time. So to repeat, Hybrid SUVs: caca.


  1. I totally agree with you! People need to do a lot more than switch their lights off for an hour to beat climate change.

    I hope that you will continue thinking about the environment and do more to reduce your carbon footprint. One of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce your contribution to climate change is to stop eating meat and dairy products. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases, that's more than all the world's transport systems!

    A kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of CO2 emitted by the average european car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days

    There are other advantages of a plant based diet too. You can improve your health, save grain and crops to feed to starving people instead of animals and, of course, there are huge benefits to animals.

    Give it a go!

  2. You are so right, especially about the SUVs, I really don't understand the people who just don't see a conflict between being environmentally conscious and driving an suv. When we first moved here I asked my neighbors about the recycling schedule and they didn't even know that our town recycled at all, which it does.

  3. Amen to that. I love all this gimmicky environmental crap that makes people feel good about themselves, but doesn't really do anything to help long term.

  4. "My ‘89 Toyota Tercel got over 30 mpg. And it was 14 years old at the time. "

    Exactly. Thank you for confirming that I am not on crack when I say the same for my `77 Honda Civic. In 1991.

    What are these people thinking???

  5. Was it about the environment?
    I'm for any idea that means I turn out the lights, light a candle and spend time with my husband.

  6. 'It is caca'

    lol. Good call.

  7. I agree with Bev. Earth hour is intense cuddle hour. Good reminder to get romantic at least one a year. If Valentine's day is not your thing. Which it isn't. Stupid roses.
    I did do earth hour, which was kind of funny, because it only involved turning off one light, anyway. Oh well. CUDDLE TIME!

  8. hehehe. I just noticed that my blog picture is me hugging a tree. How appropriate.

  9. I agree, one hour of lights out does not make a better enviroment.
    I was so glad you said something about those damn steamer bags. My mother likes them and I am like you can't dirty a pot to steam veggies for 2 people? They also like papaer plates, arghhhh. I say it laziness.

  10. Well Sarah , I just want you to know that I have done my fair share of WALKING to where I needed to go when you three girls were little. I would dress all three of you, put you in the sleigh and pull, and pull, and pull all the way to the library to get you your favorite books so that when we got back home we could sit together and read for hours. I didn't just sit you down in front of a computer or the T.V. so that you would be out of my hair. When you girls wanted to play with special friends we WALKED over to their houses,often across town, and we always WALKED to get our mail. We WALKED to Baba's, we WALKED to Aunty Elsie's, Aunty Ann's and Aunty Mary's. and of course we WALKED to the park. Do you remember using SCRAP PAPER to write your little books or draw pictures or make cards. You probably didn't give it a second thought but because I did all my own baking and such , we didn't have all the garbage packaging that comes with store bought cookies and treats. You three girls often bathed together which conserved water. I planted a garden which produced lots of fresh vegetables, which meant that the vegetables you ate didn't have to be trucked in. Oh,I forgot you didn't eat vegetables. I now wash my tin cans, plastic bags, glass jars to recycle them. I recycle all my paper and cardboard and I was the one who started a cardboard recycling program at work. We are getting a wood stove so that we can use less gas to heat our house. Ed and I have always carpooled to work. Last summer we even rode our bikes to work a few times and this year we will do it more.I do not use paper plates,whether I have 25 people over for Christmas dinner or whether I'm relaxin at the lake. When I'm turning on the hot water tap,I collect the water in a jug until it gets hot, I don't let it run down the drain. I then use it for drinking water, running it through the brita filter first. Ed & I have always showered together,conserving water of course. You can keep poking fun,Sarah , I LOVE YOU TOO!

  11. Yes, mother, "conserving water"..... LOVE YOOOOUUUU!
    Also, I miss your vegetables....but am too inept to plant garden of my own.

  12. Caca... I love that word. My best friend's Mum used to say it all the time, and it took me years to figure out what she ment.

  13. Are you sitting down for this one?

    We took our family of four on a week long vacation in a 2007 Honda Civic. We drove 11 hours one way in that thing to get to our vacation. In a little civic.

    It's quite doable.

  14. i totally agree. we try to do as much as we can here...recycling, cloth diapers, eco shopping bags, no chemical cleaners, detergents, carpooling, etc. right now we have a 2001 Nissan Maxima. it's not great on gas, but luckily i don't go anywhere, and Carlos carpools to work. so we don't drive it much. but we are looking towards getting a smaller hybrid (don't worry...not an SUV!)...when we have some money!!!

    and just fyi, Ottawa has instituted a new anti-idling law. you can't idle your car for more than 3 minutes unless it's colder than 5C or warmer than 27C. i'm happy they've instituted this (and are enforcing it)...i can't stand watching people with their cars running for no reason!


Thoughts? Comments? Questions?