Was watching a show on the Discovery Science Channel -- can't tell you which one because I didn't pay attention -- but the scientist on it talked about how every living thing contributes to entropy, how being alive is a constant journey toward disorder and how using the energy we do is an infinitely small contributor to the eventual heat death of the universe. Yeah, happy stuff. I think I switched over to watch a movie at that point. Probably Guardians of the Galaxy, which I enjoyed greatly.
Later, over a hot cup of chai latte, I begin to think about what the scientist said. We do contribute to disorder by being alive. We have our own personal carbon footprint. Energy is used by our gadgets, cars, machines, buildings ... we build a debt up by simply being alive. It's mostly a factor of our current technology; four thousand years ago, we lived short lives. Our impact was less; we simply didn't survive long enough to have much of a footprint.
We can reduce our carbon footprint by doing easy things: Take public transportation when available, don't use plastic when we can avoid it, use recyclable plastic when we can, use more glass and paper containers, change the air filters in our heaters and air conditioners, take our own bags to the store, weatherstrip our houses and buildings, and so on. I'm sure you can think of several things that are fairly easy to do. Naturally, we won't see much of a impact, particularly if no one else does any of these items. But in a huge group, it's amazing how much energy we can save.
But will anyone do them? Some of them are not particularly convenient. Some of them take more time. And in the short run, more money. I do carry my own canvas bags to use; they're cheap and sturdy. We do change the air filters. Our house has nice windows. We don't have access to public transportation here. We probably keep our thermostat too high in the winter and too low in the summer. And so on. It's hard to work up enthusiasm about results when they're dependent on so many people.
Not much point to this. Just where my mind has been wandering. Next week, I'll be talking about my plans for 2015. This week, a couple of visits to the doctor. Actually, doctors. House cleaning. Chores. Planning.
Have a great week and a Happy New Year!