No, it’s not St. Patrick’s Day (which is, interestingly, my birthday), but I’m starting to turn green.
Not with envy, either. The big thing today is “being green”, or “environmentally friendly”. As a conservative, politically, you might think I’d bristle at that notion – but I don’t anymore.
The people you usually associate with being green – liberals – believe that the Earth is warming due to our use of fossil fuels; I’m not getting into discussing that, but that is a large part of their push for people to go towards more Earth-friendly forms of power, such as solar, wind, water, etc. The people you usually associate with being against that – like us conservatives – aren’t into that movement so much; Liberals vilify us for not agreeing with them, because of course, we want pollution, and for oil companies to become rich; they’re can’t possible be any other reason, such as the power and convienence of gas driven engines.
However, this conservative is starting to see the green light in being green. No, it’s not easy being green, as Kermit the Frog lamented, but it can be a win-win situation.
As a woodworker, obviously, I’m into sustaining my wood supply, especially the more exotic and hard to find woods. I want those woods in my tool chest, so to speak, should I need them. I don’t want entire forests wiped out – though I don’t think we could possibly do that, or would need to. I live near the Adirondacks, and while driving up to the family camp there, I can’t help but wonder how many tens of millions of trees there are in the nation’s largest public park. Let’s face it, there will always be pine, oak and maple, unless some bug or bacteria wipes them out, akin to the Dutch Elm disease.
So why am I turning green(er)? Because it saves, and even generates, money. Making things out of recycled wood (pallets, barn wood, etc) is a big seller because people want to support the green cause; people feel good about buying a “green” product, usually. The wood in this case is usually free or next to nothing, putting green in my pocket. As a woodworker, working with recycled wood makes for a challenge artistically, and I’m sure, technically. How do you make an attractive weathered wood piece? Will joinery be a pain? How do you finish it, yet keep it’s weathered wood attractiveness? All challenges for woodworkers.
As far as saving energy – turning off lights, using LED bulbs, etc – well, that also saves me money.
I don’t know about climate change – however I do believe that less pollution is always better, assuming you don’t have to live in a cave to make it happen; that it’s reasonable. I would love to have solar panels on my roof, and be off the grid, and save a couple of hundred bucks a month – but that’s not technically possible or economically feasible right now; I wish it was.
Going green(er), as a woodworker can be a win-win situation.