“My life would be miserable and I wouldn’t ever be happy, unless I had a shelf full of boardgames in my room [if I didn’t have electricity].”
“If you’re not charging your iPod, could you plug in my iPhone?”
“I have another cable, I can plug them both in.”
Our family is driving down the highway in our C-Max hybrid and I realize that we have 4 devices charging through USB outlets and my computer is plugged into the regular outlet. The tangle of cords is worse than behind some desks. When we got out of the car at the rest area, I was tangled in a cord and had to unwrap myself to get out of the car.
It sounds like we’re on a major road trip. The reality is that the one-way drive time on this trip is only 2 hours. We were visiting our friends in Connecticut before they move down south. We each want to make sure our devices are charged because this afternoon we’re going to a kid’s birthday party in a park and we all want full charges on our devices: my iPod, Jon’s iPhone, his iPhone charging case and our hotspot. Luckily the iPad has enough charge and is only needed in the car.
This all seems so counterintuitive with our values. We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint, we are trying to use less stuff and we are trying to be healthy in the products we use and the food we eat. Still, all five of us love to use electronic devices. I could try to rationalize it and say that when a kid plays on a device instead of going through reams of paper he’s saving trees. Earlier today my old friend and I were discussing how much better organized we are now that we have electronic calendars that we can synchronize with our spouses.
The reality is that we each do what we can do with what we have. We love to camp and to camp with groups of friends. We put LED bulbs into our flashlights and try to use rechargeable batteries. We charge from solar panels whenever possible – in addition to having solar at home, we have a small portable solar panel that we take camping with us to charge things like a lantern or rechargeable batteries.
We’re not perfect, we’re not about to live off-grid, but each day we try to do our best. Today at least, our devices are charging off of our hybrid car.
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