We've always wanted to do something positive about climate change, but what can you really accomplish on your own? Sure, we can think globally and act locally, we can recycle, we can resist the urge to buy a 3-miles-to-the-gallon suburban assault vehicle, and we can even support politicians who appear to care about the environment. But will our single family's attempt to minimize our carbon footprint have any measurable effect on the planet? Hard to buy into that. That's why we jumped at the chance to be a part of something bigger. Thanks, Seattle Times, for providing us with that chance.
A tiny bit about us: We're a fairly typical family in many aspects. Cori is 30, I'm 32. Our boys are almost 4 and almost 2. We live in a mid-size home in a ferociously middle-class subdivision in a mostly non-swanky town. We're politically independent (although I admit we lean to the left), she teaches in the public school system, I'm a piano instructor, we pay most our bills on time, we love our adorable boys, and we're pretty sick of receiving 14 offers each day to refinance our mortgage at historic low rates.
It'll be an interesting challenge to cut down on our emissions significantly, since I'm pretty much locked in to driving 350 miles a week to give lessons in people's homes. But we can heat less, we can recycle even more diligently, we can make a couple lifestyle choices to reduce our footprint, we can cut down a car trip here and there, and we can accomplish something. Probably not without some effort and a hint of sacrifice, but then again, when is the easy road the right road?
Hi, my name is Nancy Guppy. I've always considered myself to be an enlightened, earth-friendly type citizen — I compulsively save worms that are stranded on city sidewalks. However, the following personal facts may point in a different direction: I often take way too long of showers; I am occasionally lazy about recycling; and I've been known to take spur-of-the-moment driving trips in search of those chocolate mint medallions called UFO's that are only to be found at Trader Joes. (In my defense, we are a 2-Prius family, so my UFO adventures don't pollute like some cars, but still.)
So, I'm taking part in this project as a wake-up call, to get to the facts about my real behavior and its consequences. It's kind of like saying "you know". It doesn't seem like you say it that often, you know, but if you start, you know, noticing and counting, you know, then it turns out, you know, to be a lot more than you know. You know?
Let the games begin.