My neuronal war showcasing my gas guzzling truck and a potential Prius is a real kick in the dendrites. It is crystal clear that I can drastically increase my fuel efficiency through this switch and I can, no doubt, save a little money. What is not clear to me is that my truck is necessarily worse than the Prius from a sustainability perspective considering all of the lessons of Natural Capitalism (you should read it if you did not). Which car, considering my “unlikely to change” personal habits is really more sustainable? Not to forget, I might not be able to physically fit in a Prius without the manhorn version of a shoehorn. I could stop right there I guess and make the argument that my eating habits are so hazardous that I have no choice but to keep a giant car to make the trip for my high-blood pressure medication and doctor’s appointments.
So I struggle sitting in my truck at a red light next to a hybrid with an occupant who sees me as the enviro-devil and probably has conversations about me with co-passengers during the six airplane flights he takes every year to eat local foods at some restaurant in Seattle. What a minute! The guy next to me at the light probably drives more than my 9,000 miles a year and he is flying to all of these hip places. His carbon footprint is identical to mine assuming he drives 18,000 miles and flies from Newark to Chicago when he flies. Plus he is eating up more tires, and what is he going to do with those batteries in the end, and if the end is sooner than 50,000 miles he did no more than create demand for a new car while a used one would have been better for the sake of sustainability?
I am sitting here thinking I might not be the guy wearing pachouli to yoga or the guy spending three hours on my hair to make it look like I spent zero, but perhaps I can come up with an “average American” plan to make a difference so I can get an “I Care” patch for my Route 66 Jacket. That plan is to change how I use what I already have and to consider what resources are used by the demands I create. I am off to calculate the real math behind the resources I consume through my transportation habits and to find a way to make small changes, using what I already have, in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Hello Everyone. My name is Chet Mozloom and I am the Executive Director of The Lands at Hillside Farms, a 412-acre Historic Farm focused on educating people about sustainable life choices, and not just environmentally valid choices. My education includes degrees in biology and business finance, and I started working at Hillside in March of 2006 after a nine year stint in the for-profit world. I live in Swoyersville, PA and I am married to my wonderful wife Noelle and we have two daughters, Amber and Nadia. (practicing for Wheel of Fortune) I often find myself, if not always find myself, conflicted between the ideals of my work and the practical realities of living in our material world. So, here we go.
To begin, people are driving 60 miles to eat at restaurants that serve local foods, building 4,000 square foot homes with solar features, and driving hybrids on the 70 mile trip from their homes to their jobs. Once they get home they sit on Facebook, ignoring the people who actually participate in their lives. It is all around us. But who gives a barn bat guano anyway?
I think I do, but when I objectively review myself I see the poster child for unsustainable lifestyles. I am disappointed in “me” and I am hoping you will join me in my attempt to make a shift that will impact the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of my friends and family, our environment and me.
Here is my current state: I weigh 310 pounds, eat healthy foods and anything else I can get my hands on, live four miles from work, drive a truck that averages 11.3 miles/gallon, spend too much time working and too little with my family, have a house without insulation, high blood pressure, too much stress, too many pets and too much debt. At this rate my epitaph will be “He worked hard and died, but now things are easier because he made less than it took to feed him”. I am a one man environmental wrecking ball and a societal menace, committing foul travesties such as driving 5 miles in a seven thousand pound car to purchase 15 crickets in a plastic bag for a tree frog that wants to be, believe it or not, in a tree, rather than a glass cage.
I can only solve one of these problems at a time, and will probably try solving obesity 1,000 times, but I will try my best with each, starting with trucks, crickets, and fuel and resource efficiency.