Do something Sustainable (and thus Patriotic) every day. Take a simple walk instead of taking "a ride," invest in renewable by installing solar or wind, or buying green from your utility, use a compact fluorescent bulb, buy local vegetables, switch to a bio-fuel, trade in that gas hog for something clean and efficient.

Sustainable Patriotism

J.R. Sykes | IEC Solar

Do something Sustainable
Do something Sustainable (and thus Patriotic) every day. Take a simple walk instead of taking "a ride," invest in renewable by installing solar or wind, or buying green from your utility, use a compact fluorescent bulb, buy local vegetables, switch to a bio-fuel, trade in that gas hog for something clean and efficient.
Sustainable Patriotism
J.R. Sykes
http://www.iecsolar.com/

It's only 30 years after the oil embargo of the '70s, and finally patriotism and sustainability can be used in the same sentence without a tree-hugger or patchouli joke, mostly. It's almost a return to the time of the WWII Victory gardens, when citizens from Poughkeepsie to Los Angeles made conservation a priority, freeing up resources to help our boys "over there".  When we willingly ran our machines on alcohol, when we proudly recycled everything from paper to tires and metals, when we relied on local agriculture to feed our families, when waste was a dirty word equal to being in bed with the enemy.  Our boys are "over there" again, and it is positive to see patriotism at work again in our lives, in our businesses, and in our homes.   To see the flag raised and honored, to see the soccer moms carpooling and cultivating a garden instead of driving to the supermarket twice a week.  

Let's set the political rhetoric aside a moment and be honest. Our boys are not coming home until we win, and without some dedicated effort here at home, winning may not come soon, if ever.   In an example of how dire it's gotten, we now have to recall Marines that have already served.  Imagine being one of these Marines, and you've survived it and returned home to find that your suburban neighbors have upgraded to an even bigger V-8. Now you get the news that you have to get back into uniform so your neighbors won't have to conserve!

It's a bizarre situation that, years into this conflict and over thirty years into the "energy crisis," you can still hear folks rationalizing their waste by saying, "I can't be expected to (walk to the store, garden at home, drive a fuel efficient car, use solar or green energy), because it's (hot, cold, inconvenient, or Saturday, it takes planning, or it requires me to slice vegetables instead of ordering pizza), and that wouldn't be easy."   AAAGH!   Exactly how inflated is your sense of self-importance that it could allow you to think you are better than the countless American children, sons, wives, husbands, and daughters currently being shot at every day overseas?   That you should not have to overcome your desire to drive a gas hog, while in exchange our children pay the ultimate price?   It's then I realize that most Americans don't understand the huge connection between what they do at home and what happens overseas. 

I'm not saying that this war is about oil, but that large quantities of energy are necessary for the war effort, so when we at home squander it, we effectively shoot our boys in the foot.  What if it was the gas I used going to the market twice a week, or the resources used to deliver the off-season asparagus 1,600 plus miles, that was holding us back from victory?  What if it was yours?  As an American, a veteran, and as a patriot, I couldn't live with holding our boys (and girls) back from coming home.  It is within this context of war and resources that being sustainable and being patriotic became the same thing.  Thus "Sustainable Patriotism".

Being a Sustainable Patriot has challenges, of course.  I have to plan ahead for my shopping trips (I even bring a shopping list to reduce the "I forgot's"), I have to pull a few weeds from the garden, invest money in solar, etc.  But all in all the challenge is tiny in comparison to the long term benefits.   And we Americans love challenges, as the Victory Gardens of our past have proven.   So join me and take the challenge today, find a way to contribute.  Do something Sustainable (and thus Patriotic) every day. Take a simple walk instead of taking "a ride," invest in renewable by installing solar or wind, or buying green from your utility, use a compact fluorescent bulb, buy local vegetables, switch to a bio-fuel, trade in that gas hog for something clean and efficient.  When you take up this challenge, you are helping end the war in Iraq today, you can save some money, and you help create a stronger, cleaner America.   I challenge you, fellow Americans, to join me in a pledge to Sustainable Patriotism, and maybe, just maybe, our children can spend their youth just being young.

 

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