Despite general agreement that lower energy consumption is a “good thing”, on reflection this doesn’t seem to be a real motivator. Convenience, cost, comfort; those could be the real drivers. At least, that’s my observation with respect to my own personal circumstances.

I recently switched to an all-electric car. Was this to save the planet? Was it to reduce pollution? Honestly, no. I just don’t like noisy cars, but range anxiety has kept me away from e-cars for a few years. Until now, when ranges over 400km per charge became available. Now my trips to clients, or even just down to the supermarket, are pleasurably quiet. A 200km round trip the other day was sheer delight. Fuel costs are much lower (less than 25%!), tax is low, maintenance costs are expected to be low, and I even get discounted road tolls. Saving the planet is just a nice by-product.

My workspace has several screens, but I only turn on the ones needed at any given moment. Saving power? No, I just don’t like the glare.

I don’t have a regular commute, so public transport doesn’t figure much in my life, but I do take the bus from time to time. This isn’t because I want to avoid contributing to congestion but because the city is already congested and finding parking can be a pain. Not to mention the advantage of being able to have that glass of wine with my meal, given that I’ll be chauffeured home.

Locally produced fruit/veg is preferred to long-distance imports because it tastes good, not because it avoids the haulage pollution.

What I’ve come to understand is that while it’s nice to feel “green”, much of what motivates us has nothing to do with the long-term societal outcomes. That’s how it seems with regards to energy consumption.

If only I had a good explanation for what motivates me to spend so much time carefully separating my recyclable waste…

Categorised as: LUE

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