Thursday, July 29, 2010

Light footprints

I'm continuing to think about the difference in carbon footprints for people here vs. those who live in the U.S. Here are some of the reasons footprints are lighter here:
  1. Houses aren't heated, for obvious reasons.
  2. Very, very few people (only the rich) have air conditioning.
  3. Washing machines are rare; dryers are rarer; sunshine is available almost every day.
  4. Most people don't have computers, though everyone has a cell phone.
  5. Most people don't drive a car, instead taking the bus or piling on to a pickup truck.
  6. Most people have never been on an airplane.
The average Salvadoran, because of climate and because of poverty, is contributing far less to global warming than the average North American. Is this the way we should all be living?

And yes, I have the use of a car and a computer, and yes, I fly back to the U.S. a few times a year. It's hard to imagine doing without those comforts, but it's time to begin imagining how I and we might live differently, might leave lighter footprints.

1 comment:

  1. Susan, I have a pre-Suchi-arrival question that is somewhat related to your general idea here: How easy is it to purchase a bicycle in town and (part ii) how easy is it to actually get around by bike? I miss my bike greatly and would also simply love to have one while I'm there, but I'm not sure of the feasibility of it. What's your read? (And, once more, I look forward to meeting you in the near future!)