We Get Greener Kit Cassingham & her Bigger Half

The Suffering Spouse

I'm Randy -- the Bigger Half of the "we".

This is really Kit's blog (see her intro), but I'll chime in from time to time with my point of view. Part of her struggle in getting "greener" is that I don't always cooperate. Worse, sometimes my ideas of what's the more environmental way to do things sometimes clashes with hers.

It ain't easy being green.

I don't really like the word "green" since it's become so loaded with different interpretations over the decades. I prefer the concept of "sustainable": can the planet -- our resources, economy, waste systems, etc. -- handle what we're all doing do it -- for forever? For instance, can several billion people get new cell phones every two years for the next century? If not, what do we need to do to leave the planet in better shape than we left it, rather than leave a stinking hulk of garbage for later generations, and still get what we want?

Who is "We"?
Kit Cassingham with her Bigger Half, RandyKit Cassingham with her Bigger Half, Randy

With a lot of money, it's easy to be green. While Kit and I don't struggle too much, we don't have a lot of extra cash, so we have to choose what we do. The great part is that while some things require some up-front cash, they result in real savings that pays back over time, like alternative energy. We invested thousands into a photovoltaic system that produces half the power we use. When we put it in, it had an estimated a 15-year payback if energy prices remained stable. Since power prices keep increasing, that payback time will get shorter and shorter. Not everyone can afford that up-front cost, and we can't do too many projects like that. So then it becomes a priority decision: what projects can we do, and when, with our limited financial resources? How we make those decisions is part of what this site's about. Maybe seeing some real-life thought processes can help you decide what you can do.

I think I'm more "green" than the average American: I "reduce", "reuse", and then recycle; I drive a hybrid "partial zero emission" vehicle; and live in a house that was designed to be especially efficient. But I'm not as green as my wife, and sometimes that causes a little conflict. I wouldn't use compact fluorescent bulbs at first, since they took so long to come on, and then put out sickly colored light. But they've improved greatly over the years, and the only real difference is CFLs are a lot cheaper in the long run, so I won't even buy incandescent bulbs anymore. So yes, there are tradeoffs when it comes to "getting greener" -- and the equation changes over time: it's a never-ending process.

So as we go along and have different understandings of what's "green" and what we're each willing to do to step more lightly on Earth, it's a constant negotiation with each other, and our budget. I hope you'll subscribe to the e-mail notification to get updates as we post what we're doing, which we hope will help you "get greener" too.