Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Change from convenience is not all bad

By the Advocate Editorial Board
April 20, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.
Updated April 19, 2013 at 11:20 p.m.

If you could change just one bad habit, what would it be? Would it be something small, such as chewing your nails? Or perhaps something larger such as breaking a smoking addiction? Everyone has bad habits. Every day, we do little, seemingly inconsequential things, often because that's the way we've always done them.

On Monday, people across the nation will celebrate Earth Day. Some will observe the day by planting a tree while others may pick up trash along highways or beaches. In the Crossroads, volunteers spent Saturday morning cleaning up beaches as part of the Adopt-A-Beach 27th annual Spring Cleanup. We applaud those volunteers and any others who took special action to make our world a better place.

We encourage Crossroads residents to do something simple but important: Pick one bad habit and make a change.

We've all heard the tips to be more earth friendly. Save water by turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth. Save energy by turning the air conditioner off or on low when you leave the house. Reduce your carbon footprint by turning your car off instead of letting it idle. But how often do we actually follow that advice? Often, people go with the convenient or comfortable choice. But, as fast food has proven, the convenient choice is not always the best option.

Changing just one habit can bring a beneficial change in multiple aspects of a person's life. A car left idling for two minutes burns about the same amount of gas as driving a mile, according to the Consumer Energy Center. By turning off the car after 10 seconds or choosing to walk in and get food to go, residents will save money as well as reduce the amount of emissions from their vehicles. Turning off the water when brushing your teeth will reduce your bill and conserve water, which is especially important during times of drought. Remembering to turn off lights or appliances when they are not in use can reduce your power bill.

We encourage residents to find one simple habit they can change to help the environment this year. Start recycling plastic or cardboard instead of tossing it all in the trash, turn off appliances not in use, take reusable grocery bags to the store or simply choose to park and walk in instead of idling through the drive-thru. Each of these choices will have a small impact on the environment. It may not seem like much on its own, but if many people decide to make one small change, the effect will be magnified.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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