Although I make the effort, it’s not easy being ‘green’

By Ernie Sochin….

Ernie Sochin, Councilmember

How Green Was My Valley is a 1939 book by Richard Llewellyn that a lot of people have read but that has nothing to do with today’s “green” movement. I shouldn’t knock “green.” After all, my Town of Cutler Bay is the greenest place around with all kinds of awards for our greenness.

When I was a youngster, back around the first or second Renaissance (I forget which), we were told that if something in the refrigerator turned green, throw it out and for heaven’s sake don’t eat it. I still throw out tons of cheese that I haven’t sealed properly every week.

I recently returned from a seminar in Tallahassee about energy conservation and we discussed lots of things. A few examples: Not long ago I changed all our beautiful and bright light bulbs to the new “green” CFL lamps. The person who lives in my house and occasionally puts on makeup began screaming that she couldn’t see by these new energy saving lamps and demanded that I change back to incandescent.

I haven’t yet, but if you know the makeup put-er-on-er in my house you know I will. The woman conducting this seminar when asked (by me) what the alternative might be suggested that I open my window shades more. I did that the next night and it didn’t seem to improve anything. For the time being I will just wait the 20 minutes or so for my “green” lamps to reach their full brightness.

After witnessing floods all over the country with people struggling to keep their homes out of water and folks swimming to safety in their streets, we are told that we must conserve water. Why can’t they figure a way to use all this extra water and leave us alone? But noooo, they insist that we take showers with these new limited flow shower heads. The person in my house who uses the most shampoo claims that she can’t even get the soap out of her hair with these things. She is right.

Buy a hybrid car and save money and fuel we are told. CBS News just did an expose showing that these cars aren’t all they are cracked up to be and don’t get near the promised mileage despite their high cost, and get this: they are now suggesting that we all buy electric cars. First they say, “don’t leave your cell phone charger plugged in because it uses so much electricity.” Then they say, “plug in your car” which will probably use 10 times as much. You tell me what to do!

FPL suggests that we turn our thermostats up to 78 degrees. That is what I do when I leave my house for vacation so that things don’t get moldy. I wonder if the thermostats in FPL executive offices are set at 78 degrees during the day.

Now let’s discuss the new low water use toilets. Well maybe not. This is a family newspaper, but suffice it to say they are full of traces of excrement after flushing. Enough said. Maybe the next color theme should be blue. Why? I don’t know; I just like blue.

Previous articles by Councilmember Sochin are available on line at

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