Nice Solar Panels. Now Where's the Clothes Line?


Image by the author.
No Clothesline after a Year of Green Living?! Bad Hippy.
I moved house almost exactly a year ago. Since then my wife and I have done our best to take some big green steps to sustainable living. We've installed a solar water heater, I've taken up beekeeping, we have chickens, we're growing mushrooms, and we are composting on a massive scale. So I'd hardly call myself lazy when it comes to being green - yet something's been bugging me recently. Where the heck is our clothesline!!?? You see, almost a year into our new residence, and neither my wife nor I have gotten around to installing a clothesline. It's insane when you think about it - we've spent over $7000 on a solar water heater ($3,500 after tax credits), countless hours building a raised bed garden, I've passed many a weekend brewing my own biodiesel and I've even spent a good bit of time on my hands and knees insulating our water pipes and sealing our electrical outlets. And yet we haven't found the time to hang a rope between two trees, make use of some free solar power, and take one of the single most useful (and certainly cheapest!) steps we could have taken toward a greener household.

I don't bring this up just to assuage my guilt. It's the perfect example of one of the biggest challenges we face in evolving toward a truly sustainable society. Namely, despite the fact that we like to think otherwise, we are not logical beings. If we were truly logical, everyone with the money to spare would invest in solar water heating, afterall the payback is pretty decent compared to many investments. Nobody would by a gas guzzling vehicle that they didn't need. And no self-respecting hippy would spend a year greening their lifestyle without taking one of the greenest, simplest steps they could possibly find.

But what are your green contradictions? I can't be the only one out there who has some of his priorities messed up. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a piece of rope. Unless I get distracted on the way...

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Tags: Activism | Energy Efficiency | Solar Energy | United States

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