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April 28, 2011 / alunatunes

Fancy Flags and Four Dollar a gallon Gas


I’m going to catch the bus…. I got to. It’ll take my whole check just to get back and forth to work.”

Debra Smith, a resident of Palm Beach County, Fla.. She was commenting on how gasoline prices to fill up her vehicle’s tank would take her entire check with a long commute to work.

Yesterday on my weekly errand run, I was alarmed to find gas was nearing $4.00 a gallon. I patted my Betsy Jeep tenderly on the dash and told her I’d get her a quarter tank. Could she make that last just a bit? I coed to her encouragingly. “Come on Betsy, I know you can do it…maybe we should try hyper-miling?” I coaxed.

I pulled into the gas station and couldn’t help but notice the brightly colored streamers and flags that decorated the usually plain store. There were red flags and orange flags and checkered flags. I vaguely made the connection between the next NASCAR event in Richmond to the proximity of the station. Then I had another thought as I glanced dizzily at the pump and realized in less than a minute I was at my gas budget limit for Betsy.

I thought about decorations. All those flags. All those distracting colors and shapes and sizes blowing in the breeze. Is this what we’ve come to? We’re using decorations and pretty colors to hide the ugly truth that America consumes too much foreign oil. That GASOLINE is four dollars a gallon. 

 Don’t we do that in other areas of our lives as well?

Covering the truth with colorful paint and varnish may make us feel better momentarily, but soon, as paint chips and the glow wears away, we’re left with the ratty old table we were trying to make nice. We’re convinced that shiny new things will make us content, even if we’re mortgaging our future and the future of our children to have them. We’re convinced that convenience and comfort is more important that the irreparable damage we’re causing the environment.

Dig below the paint and varnish and shiny things and unearth ways to stay true to yourself, the environment and the world. Walk more, ride less. Take the bus. Batch errands. Share the ride. Grow your own food. Compost. Recycle. Re-use.

Fancy flags and finery cannot hide the truth.

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