Lighten Up!

By Adam Armold

At last, winter has relented and it seems as if everyone is out and about. From early morning runs and evening walks, to bike rides and barbeques, we are enjoying the warmth of extended daylight again.

It’s also the beginning of a new social season and many of us are naturally interested in looking our best. After shaking off the doldrums of a particularly nasty winter, it is natural that we harbor thoughts of lightening up. Although the shelves of our favorite bookstores are filled with volumes of the latest guaranteed weight loss diets, it is no secret that consumption and weight go hand in hand.

Have you weighed in lately? I’m not inquiring as to the numbers that register with a “creak” when you ease onto the scale. But rather, the concern is with your footprint; specifically, your carbon footprint. Every one of us leaves a personal imprint as we go about our daily lives, and the effects of our actions can be transcribed and measured by the size of our carbon emissions….our personal footprint.

The weight of our footprint is directly linked to the daily choices we make between our “wants and needs.” For example, consider the following scenarios:

  • Vehicle choices: Large, macho, gas sucking vehicles that can transport our fishing buds over any landscape to remote destinations…or transportation that meets our needs and reduces the weight of our impact.
  • Landscaping choices: An opulent, flowing, water fountain to accessorize the law, or a pleasant photograph of an appealing waterfall to decorate the interior of our homes.
  • Lighting choices: The high wattage yard light that burns all night or the efficient fluorescent fixture on a motion sensor.

Does your footprint resemble the proverbial 600 hundred pound gorilla or the sleek track of a fit and informed angler with a lifestyle sensitive to the impacts upon trout habitat? If you suspect that you may be carrying more weight than is healthy, take heart, you have the power to make the change….one pound at a time.