My family had a lovely time on Saturday at the DC Green Festival. We walked around the enormous exhibit hall and tasted fair-trade chocolate, admired gorgeous handmade gifts and clothing, contemplated buying solar-powered LED holiday lights to hang in our sukkah, and enjoyed vegan soul food for lunch. We also talked to installers about fixing our ancient rope-and-pulley windows, met community leaders from a variety of organizations, and took in a few interesting lectures.
Our 9yo son had a wonderful time hanging out at the teen booth. He took a class on bike maintenance, made a shopping bag out of a used t-shirt, and learned how to yo-yo. He also learned how to play the nose harp. (Don't ask...)
As always, crowds this large leave me exhausted and ornery. Crowds this big focusing on buying and selling stuff--no matter how responsible that stuff might be--leave me even more overwhelmed.
* * *
Given the purchase-oriented nature of much of the fair, I was not expecting to be as motivated to work on changing the efficiency of our house as I have been since we returned from the festival.
For a long time we've been thinking about replacing our 1970 refrigerator. Unfortunately, it appears that today's refrigerators are all much larger--and a larger fridge will not fit in the spot. We've been trying for a while to grapple with the fact that when our fridge eventually dies, we'll have to rip out the upper cabinets and the pantry on that wall just to fit a new one in.
Often we wonder how much electricity our current fridge uses. While old refrigerators are notoriously inefficient, ours is so small compared to newer models that we've wondered if it might not be quite so awful after all. So I bought a Kill-a-Wattand plugged the fridge in last night. I'll let you know how our tests go!
One replacement option we've considered is a hyper-efficient Sunfrost fridge-only model. We do have a chest freezer downstairs to supplement. But would we go crazy having to go downstairs just for ice cream?
As I keep asking myself that question, I realize that worrying about this kind of small inconvenience is ridiculous. Our grandparents and great-grandparents grew up without much in the way of the stuff we now consider absolutely essential. That doesn't mean we should get that particular fridge at all--just that I need to be a bit more aware of the sense of entitlement and expectation with which I approach my life.
* * *
Tomorrow: a post about some non-product-oriented experiences at the Green Festival.