It has been horribly hot and humid this last week, and will be only slightly less oppressive next week. In weather like this, I’m always torn between longing to be cool and not wanting to be wasteful. I end up running the one A/C unit we have as little time as I can bear and seeking out cool places to pass the day. You can often find me in the frozen food aisle…
I try to justify my actions by considering that, compared to much of the US, we are living small. Our house is compact, under 1000 sq. ft. Except on the hottest days, we cool with open windows and ceiling fans. In winter we thoroughly insulate the leaky windows, hang blankets over the basement door, and rarely run the heat over 60°. The driveway is shovelled by hand, our only power yard tool is a push mower, and we’re not out there obsessively shearing, fertilizing, and poisoning the yard. We compost, plant wildlife-friendly shrubs, and keep a big brushpile and a shaggy verge around the pond. Much of what we buy is second-hand. We recycle and repurpose things past use, and donate what’s still good.
By the standard of most of the world, of course, we are shamefully self-indulgent. I know it, and as I watch the oil spread over the Gulf, I’m bathed in good old liberal guilt. I should be doing more, but life is so much easier with a second car! I really want that fresh fruit in winter! Dammit, I’m hot as hell and I don’t want to take it any longer!
So… I do what I can. Or what I’m willing to do.
I hope I know the difference.