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Weathering Change

A family from Bothell, a TV host and a high school sophomore take a shot at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. See how they're doing.

May 14, 2007

Negotiating with Id

Posted by Nancy Guppy at 10:26 AM

When this project started waaaay back in early May, I was excited. "What's going to happen? What am I gonna learn? How will this change my life?"

Now it's boring.

Unplugging my phone charger after my phone is juiced up, rather than leaving it conveniently plugged in forever, isn't particularly sexy.

Trudging to the video store to return the Agatha Christie "Hercule Poirot" DVD, (Joe and I are crazy for that anal retentive Belgian sleuth), rather than driving the 10 blocks, is positively funereal. And there is no Dixie-land Jazz band swaying along behind me.

I suppose it's like dieting or not drinking. Fun'ish at first, especially with the beautiful fantasy of what thinness or sobriety is going to mean. But then the cravings appear right on schedule, and my Id let's out a roar:

"It's 4:00 pm-- where's my Macrina Bakery chocolate chip cookie?"

"It's 5:00 pm-- where's my vodka on the rocks with twist?"

"Dang it! I don't want to walk to the video store and I don't want to unplug my phone charger-- it's too inconvenient!"

At this point the best answer to myself isn't:
"You'll never again have a Macrina chocolate chip cookie or a stiff drink or drive to the video store or not unplug your phone charger!"

Better to talk as if to a confused child:

Super Ego: "Yeah, I totally hear you. Driving to the video store does sound way better. And we can do that. (PAUSE) It sure is nice outside. It might feel kinda good to get some fresh air."


Super Ego:
"We can walk past Macrina."

Id: "Sold!"

Feeling good so far

Posted by The Fraleys at 10:23 AM

It feels like we've accomplished a lot in the first part of the month, when we take the time to list off all the changes we've made to cut emissions.

We installed all new energy-saver lightbulbs throughout the house, about 50 of them.

We drove less than usual, and when we did drive, we took the Prius almost every time. LOVE that thing!

We bought fancy powerstrips that save electricity.

We unplugged appliances and chargers when not in use.

We used a pushmower on our lawn.

We've been running the heat only seldom.

We cut our garbage can waste to two bags' worth over the whole week by composting better and not using disposable diapers.

We turned off the computer each night.

The thing that feels really good is how little work it took to make these changes. Sure, the lightbulbs took a while to replace, but we did a few every night, and voila!, we have electricity conservation for years to come. Cori learned the bus schedule, and John reworked his driving schedule slightly to make fewer long trips, and together we sliced 100 miles off our weekly driving habits, which will save us serious money. The rest of the stuff just took a couple of days to get used to, and now we've formed good habits. Maybe we can even keep this up after May 31 comes and goes.

Plus, now we're looking FORWARD to getting our next energy bills. Is that a little demented?


Nancy Guppy



The Fraleys



June 2007

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