Thursday, September 18, 2014

Do I use fewer resources to live than my parents?

Both my parents were born in Estonia in the 1920s.  Certainly I think it is clear that until the early 1960s my parents used fewer resources than I do now but after that I do use fewer resources than they did.

Where I am Ahead of Parents
Fuel use - As a kid my parents had a station wagon with a V8 engine.  I have no idea what the fuel consumption was but I am sure it was not very good.   They also drove a lot more kilometers ber year than I do now.   

Home heating - My parent's home was not that well insulated, not bad for the 1960s but not great.  It cost them a lot more to keep their home warm than the one I live in now.

Garbage - My family produced two full cans of garbage every week as I was growing,  When recycling came and all of us kids left home it fell to one not full can a week.  I fill an average garbage can about every three to four weeks.  

Electricity use - I may have more things that use electrical power but at the same time my newer fridge, stove, and washer use a lot less power to operate.  The improvement in the white goods along with no longer having vacuum tube screens has really reduced my power use in comparison to my parents.   The biggest difference is that my parents did not have a dryer till the mid 1970s. 

Flying - Starting the 1960s my parents took a major international flight in most years.  The planes from the 1960s and 70s used a lot more fuel than today.  I also happen to fly a lot less then they did.  

Where I am behind
Electronics - Not only do I have a lot more than they ever had, they do not last very long.   A computer that lasts for four years is very old and outdated.   The electronic waste I produce each year is astonishing

Batteries - I go through a huge number of AA and AAA batteries per year.  Growing up we never needed this many batteries