Monday, November 30, 2009

It ain't easy being green...

Okay, so I was flipping through one of those random catalogs I get sent (how did I ever get on the Old Lady Pants/Clogs Catalog list? Really - am I THAT old? The day I wear sansabelt polyester pants is the day I officially have let myself go beyond recovery) and I saw these cool solar-powered Christmas lights you can hang around your house. I thought - hey, I need Christmas lights, so I'll buy these as a two-fer - a present for me and a present for Mother Earth. You're welcome, planet.

I waited anxiously for them to arrive, thinking all the while that Al Gore would be proud of me. (By the way, anyone see his cameo on 30 Rock? One word: Priceless).

Okay, so then the lights arrive. I should've known when five strings of them came in a package the size of a shoebox that something wasn't right. Last time I checked, I didn't live in a dollhouse. Okay, so the lights were small. REALLY small. All right, so instead of hanging them all around the front of my house, I'd just hang them on the fence. We have to make sacrifices for the planet, right? I had to think of future generations. Okay, I could do this.

So, after Thanksgiving, I opened the boxes, set up the solar panels so that they faced the best sunlight of the day, and then hung the lights around the small fence in front of my house. So, first off, the strings were like five feet long, so I didn't actually get to cover the entire fence. All right, so again - think green! Planet comes first.

Two nights ago, I turn these puppies on, ready to feel the nice glow of Christmas and the smugness of doing something great for the planet, and the lights work! They come on! Sure, they're not as bright as fossil-fueled lights, but they are lights. In the pitch-black of the middle of the night, if you aren't standing too close to the street lights, they kind of even look festive. So I'm feeling good. I even ignore my husband who says, "You know what's even greener than solar mass-produced lights from China?" Long, snarky pause. "No lights."

Well, whatever. I've done it. I've engineered a green Christmas. You can send me a thank-you card on recycled paper, anytime now, Al!

And then, fifteen minutes later, the first string of lights goes out. Like, completely out. Twenty minutes later, the second string falls, and within forty-five minutes, the entire lot of them are dark. Folks, it is just 7:45 at night. These suckers lasted exactly 45 minutes!

Then, yesterday, it rained, and last night - no lights at all. This is why our cars still run on gas. This is why my water heater is 100 percent natural-gas-fueled. If I had to wait for sunny days to shower, things would get pretty rank around here.

So, my house is dark, and very-unChristmas like. It is sad. It is Charlie-Brown-Christmas-sad (of course, I do believe Charlie Brown actually put working lights on that pathetic, litle scrap of a tree he got. So, maybe that's an insult to Charlie Brown). But, on the plus side, I think I reduced my carbon footprint by a milimeter. Or maybe two. You're welcome, planet. You're welcome.

I'm still waiting on my thank-you card, Mr. Vice President.

1 comment:

Donna Gambale said...

One of my FAVORITE catalogs to get started appeared randomly at work (the DP!) in the mail, and it has all kinds of as-seen-on-TV crap that is hilarious. Seriously, there's a mouse-catcher that catches up to 30 mice at a time. First off, ewwww thirty dead mice. Secondly, if you have thirty mice to catch, MOVE!

Keep us updated on the longest amount of time those solar lights last. Although they probably irritated you enough that you ate like twenty fun-sized Snickers and thus increased your carbon footprint from the plastic wrappers alone. Sigh.