An Inconvenient Truth and a Butt Load of Miles
My 98 Honda has over 310,000. It runs like a top, still gets at least 35 miles to the gallon and rarely needs anything besides an oil change and an occasional loving pat on the dashboard.
But is it “green” enough to be cruising the roads nowadays? Moreover, is it green enough for me?
This quandary faces not just those of us who actually try to live by the 3 R’s, but everyone who owns anything that in some way pollutes the earth: from a cherished Gremlin to an original Weber grill. So I can’t help but wonder, what does Mother Earth really want me to do?
Toss what works and upgrade to something more eco-friendly or hang on to less-than-green things that are still alive and kicking?
Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth speaks to me. I want to save the planet, do right by animals and people everywhere, today and for generations to come. But in reality, I’m torn. For although being green is practically a religious experience for me, my thrifty nature, my bank account and my desire to use things up often holds me back from getting what I think I need to be the ultimate green machine.
But are these personal feelings, these reality checks, really bad?
By using something till death-do-us-part, I’m not adding to the mountainous trash heaps – at least not today. I’m also spending my money wisely, not buying every new thing that comes out (for the most part) which basically bucks the give-me-now Western consumer system. Along that same train of thought, though not to be a party pooper, I’m aware that green marketing, just like any other, is based upon making a profit. Don’t get me wrong, I salute everyone who passionately desires to make the world a better, cleaner place through the products they invent, stand behind and sell. But the reality is, even the most humble manufacturer can’t stay in business if they don’t make a profit.
So for now, although commercials for the Nissan Leaf cause me salivate like a Saint Bernard and I’ve given some serious thought to selling my first born for solar panels, it’s just not in the cards…, yet.
I still see the value in holding on and using up stuff. And besides, if part of our green mantra is to use less, then the principal of getting the most out of what you have fits right in, correct?
Of course, when my Honda finally drops dead from exhaustion, I’ll be in the car market once more, sigh. But for now, I feel like I’m doing the right thing.
Then again – am I?