Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Post: Confessions of a Polluter

Hi, My name is Lorenz and I’m an addict.

I’m addicted to a big truck. I’ve been using a Chevy 2500 HD Crew Cab for 4 years now. I don’t have another back-up vehicle. I drive it all over Southern California. It gets 12 miles to the gallon - on good days. In 2006, I spent over $6,000 in gas.

Worse, I just started an environmental non-profit. What a hypocrite, right!

Sometimes I haul stuff in my truck as part of my work. I try to use this as part of my justification. I need the truck. I save stuff like doors and windows and try to do good things with them. I drive around promoting deconstruction.

For all the stuff I keep out of the landfill (my positive environmental contribution) I wonder whether I just cancel it all out with the truck I drive.

I wonder what my carbon footprint is compared to others. I feel like a sinner as I roar down the freeway in my big truck – especially when I pass somebody with a Prius. I can’t help but think what a better and smarter person they are than me.

If someone wants to donate a Prius to our little non-profit organization, I swear I’ll limit my truck use to just the times I’m really hauling material or towing something, or meeting with a demolition contractor I want to make feel comfortable. (Demo contractors are suspicious of guys driving little environmental cars, you know. I’ve been over it and over it in my head and I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with my own insecurities.)

But back to the Prius or Smart Car, or Ethanol powered vehicle that some generous company will surely donate to our little start up environmental organization…

…sorry, I have a tendency to fantasize. It’s just that as gas prices rise and rise, the pressure to change my gas guzzling ways gets more and more intense!

I hate this situation! I am so conflicted! Honestly, I really, really love my big truck. My roommate drives a brand new 2008 Lexus RX 350 and I would prefer to drive my 7 year old truck any day.

Three of my neighbors just bought brand new crew cab diesel trucks. Two Dodge’s and one Ford – all ¾ ton! We’re all crazy in this country! We’re addicted to big cars! But I’ve got something on those losers… I’m clearly a far better recycler than they are! You should see our recycling bin versus theirs. Let me tell you something, we’ve got it going on at our house!

That’s right. I might drive a big truck, but my massive guilt compels me to be the best trash recycler on my block, baby!

Thanks for letting me share. My name is Lorenz, and I’m an addict.

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