In honor of our dystopican theme for today, 2 winners will receive a FREE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK ZOMBIE MUG! (see below)
Our great-great-grandkids will either love us or hate us. Of course, by that time, they’ll probably judge their own parents or grandparents, and we’ll be off the hook.
But let’s face it: at current rates of consumption, non-renewable resources will eventually run out. (Did you see that operative “non” in front of “renewable”? Kinda important.)
So, here are ten ideas for extreme conservation.
And here’s the caveat – they can’t affect our American freedoms. Want to drive from New York to California over and over and over? Fine. Want to take an hour-long shower? Go right ahead. But there might be a catch.
Here’s another caveat: these are my own views. That said, I’m not even saying that I endorse these; they’re just ideas.
Also, I’m shooting for ideas a bit different than simply, “Make everything more expensive” (like gas).
Got some of your own? Add them in the comments section. Let’s see what we can come up with so that history remembers us as the generation that gave a damn.
All right – let’s make it a top ten and count down…ready? Go!
10. You only get one new car every ten years – “Cash for Clunkers” showed us the flaws about trading in old cars. It pays, economically and environmentally to own a car for a long time. So pick whatever you want, but remember, you gotta stick with it for ten years before you get a different one.
9. Single-layer packaging on ALL food items – The bag-within-a-box days are over. All food packages can only be held in a single layer. I suppose this will have consequences for shipping and storage, since boxes stack easily, but hey, this is EXTREME conservation; why use two packages when one will suffice?
8. Quantize water use – Shower? Push a button for three minutes of water. Hands? Auto shut-off sensors on all new faucets. I get the feeling that if showers were timed, folks might get sick of pushing a button ten times for a half-hour. Maybe if it made a cash-register sound at the same time (since you’re charged every time) that would help too.
7. Garbage-recycling-compost bins – Recycling is getting easier. Large bins that hold all types of household recyclables is a big incentive to participate. But more comes out of a house that can be useful – namely, compostables. Make it easy, offer an incentive (like $$$) and maybe we can decrease fertilizer use at the same time.
6. Bounded thermostats – Limits on minimum and maximum settings. YIKES! I’m pushing the blue button, but my A/C won’t go below 74! I’m pushing red and it won’t go above 75! Hard-wired limits to thermostats. Want one without limits? Special permit or exorbitant pricing. Is this a limitation to freedom? I suppose. Maybe you should just get an electric shock every time you push it past a certain number.
5. Food transportation limits – Want a watermelon in December? Tough bananas, the carbon footprint is too high. We eat what’s in season and supplied by local sources within a reasonable distance. There would have to be some concessions to account for a sensible diet, otherwise folks in Indiana would sprout corn out of their ears.
4. No more shopping bags, anywhere, ever – Some stores already offer incentives if you bring your own bags. Now you’ll have to, unless you just want to throw the groceries from the cart into your back seat. According to the Clean Air Council, over 7 billion pounds of PVC plastic are thrown away each year in the U.S., and Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups and utensils to circle the equator 300 times…in case you were wondering how many times you could circle the equator with cups and forks.
3. FREE GYMS! – Yes, ill health is a major waste of resources. But I’m not sure free gyms are the answer. They’d probably breed some new strain of MRSA that would wipe us out and make our dystopian future even more so. But some kind of incentive to stay fit would help. Tax break?
2. Free tele-communications – What better way to entice people to stay at home than to provide free phone, internet, and TV?
1. Three-day work week – Commuting sucks. Traffic jams are fuel hogs and clean-air enemies. Reduce the work week, and cut down on all that. If it affects the economy too much, then at least provide more incentives to work-from-home. Might have to boost up wages to make up for fewer hours, or offer subsidies to companies that take advantage of this.
There you have it. Ten measures for extreme conservation. I didn’t go into detail about light bulbs or watering lawns, but I think it’s a pretty good start.
What did I miss? I’m sure there’s plenty more that people can do. Please weigh in and let me know what you think.
For a chance to win a GLOW-IN-THE-DARK ZOMBIE MUG: leave a comment. One winner from the first five comments, and one from the second five will be chosen at random. That’s it! If you’re nice enough to tweet or reblog the post, then you also receive my sincere gratitude…oh, and make sure to leave some way for me to contact you in case you win…website, twitter name, email address, or follow the comments, and I’ll post the winners. (If I don’t hear from the winners within three days, I’ll choose a new one) GOOD LUCK!