Simple changes in values can save energy

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. ~Marshall McLuhan, 1964″

Here’s an interesting post over on the Saving Energy blog.

The essence of the post is that that we have too many possessions that use too much energy and waste resources. For example, take the lowly label maker:

After looking around, I found several devices in my house and at my office that I could have easily done without. In fact the cost of having these devices around exceeds the benefit they offer.

For example, consider that label maker.

Agreed it saves you writing a few words. But you have to make sure it is filled with paper tape, ink, battery. If any of these is missing, you have to run to nearest Staples and get it. Isn’t it just way too much complication? Would things not be simple if you just had a few sheets of printed labels and use hand written labels instead?

This seems very fundamental to me.

I see this as a snapshot of someone’s values changing. Suddenly, the things that seemed important are less important. Suddenly, new things become more important.

Suddenly conserving energy and simplifying your life seem more important than having a label maker.

This is a simple example, but the impact can be profound. Because this isn’t just about the label maker — it’s about how we look at life and our consumption patterns. It’s about how we think and what decisions we make.

It’s about how we find a parking spot:

Instead of driving around to find parking spot, take the one you find quickest – hawl around the groceries. Make an exception if you are tired of course, but do this when you can. Slow driving is extremely fuel consuming.

Suddenly saving energy is more important to you than parking close to the store. These are the fundamental values we all need to change. One person at a time.

-Kevin

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9 thoughts on “Simple changes in values can save energy

  1. Good for you.

    I once got picked up while hitch-hiking by an old guy that grew up during the depression (this was about 1980). While we were on the highway he always changed lanes into the left hand lane whenever the road curved in that direction — he said it saved him gas and wear on his tires over the life of his car.

    At the time I though he was going a bit overboard, but now it seems like we as a society are beginning to adopt some of those same habits — or at lest we’re beginning to.

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by!
    -kevin

  2. we need to look at life that way
    regardless of concepts about consumption or conservation.
    Industry needs to sell us Stuff.
    Industry hires Marketing to convince us we need Stuff.
    ironically,
    whenever Marketing sells us a room
    as a representation of a Lifestyle,
    that room will be magically devoid
    of all the Stuff Marketing also sold us.
    because the room looks sleek, clean and modern if it is empty.

    deep down inside,
    even Marketing knows we really don’t want Stuff
    we really want a Simple Life.

    Alton Brown,
    the Food Network personality decries kitchen “unitaskers”.
    specialized kitchen tools that only do one thing
    and are so specialized you can’t make them do anything else well
    (some that don’t even do their one task well).
    his favorite kitchen tool is the pizza cutter.
    he hates things like cherry pitters.

    the label maker is a home office unitasker.

    even if it won’t save the planet,
    we might just all be happier
    if we all got rid of all of our unitaskers
    (recycled them, of course).

  3. I came across this website via you following me on Twitter (my first I’ll add) and, unlike a lot of other sites that just try and sell stuff, this site is about making a real difference; and you’re doing it in an amazing way. Thanks for finding me, and thanks for being interested in the future of our planet.

    Peter

  4. I agree with parking away and almost always do this myself. The extra exercise is good for you and it decreases the odds that people will ding your vehicle up.

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  6. My fav line from Discovery Channel, “The earth has enough to fulfill your need but not your greed”

    I agree that its so much easier to live with basic amenities and manage them. Mom goes mad with the dusting and cleaning most of the time.

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