Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Electric Addiction

This post is written as part of the What IF? Project hosted here on the Rivera Runs Through It Blog. Each week a new "What if?" question is presented and I do my best to respond to the query.  You are invited to as well. This week's "What if?" was

Earlier this year I decided to participate in Earth Hour by shutting off all lights, televisions, computers and any other electronic devices for one hour along with thousands of others around the world. It was an amazing experience for my husband and I. I am grateful I did it. By the end of the night I had a ton of questions relating to my own (and society's) addiction to electricity.

Time has passed, the summer came along and with it came lots of trips to the movies, the air conditioning going on, staying up extremely late during summer vacation and blogging, writing and computing like mad. In short, electricity has become an even greater part of my existence in these last couple of months. Then last weekend, I was reminded of my thoughts in March when Hurricane Irene came barreling toward my home threatening to take all of my power with her. All types of preparations went into action:
  •  extra ice was made so the freezer could be packed tightly and left closed tight
  • candles were gathered on the dining room table along with all the matches we owned
  • cell phones were charged to their fullest and arrangements were made with family as to how we would communicate if power went down
  • hard drives were backed up
At first, it felt like a bit of a panic. My conversations about the great threat of this Hurricane came down to one worry uttered over and over, "I just really don't want to lose the power... I don't know what we would do." And then I heard myself saying those words and I thought, "How ridiculous!" There was a time in my life when a blackout was the greatest fun ever to be imagined! How did I suddenly become this person

I decided it was time to reevaluate my thinking. I remembered that in my long list of "What if" questions I had one about losing electricity. I thought it was time for me to really think about that question and answer it. Here's what I came up with:
Note: in the first frame, Buffy is rubbing in the grass - not dead!
So I was back to the core of the matter. Life without electricity does have the potential for some really great stuff. To be completely honest, I think the greatest loss I would feel if I lost power would be the loss of the connection with the people I have met through blogging. Beyond that, I think I'd sleep a heck of a lot better (and more), I'd still be writing (just with paper and pen) and I think the world might slow down a little bit (which is something I'd love! I can't seem to keep up anymore!). I also don't think I'd be the only one that would be happier if we all lost electricity for awhile. If you haven't read it yet, take a moment now to check out Brenna's post from Almost All the Truth entitled "Is electricity natural?" just to see how harmful of electricity usage actually is!

We here in the Rivera household have been long confused by the fact that solar and wind technologies are not used for generating electricity and hope to, someday, be one of the first houses in our neighborhood to employ one or both of these technologies. However, in the meantime, we must be more vigilant in our usage and reduce our electricity consumption!

Do you use wind or solar power in your home? If so, how did the transition go for you?
What are some tips you have for reducing electricity usage?
What would be the greatest thing you would miss if you lost electricity forever?

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