A bit of a green-tinged rant on personal responsibilities

Yesterday I was in line at the post office, running out to attend to some errands between posts. Since my mind was on AutoblogGreen content, and this was no ordinary post office, I noticed a few things. Before I get to my mini-rant, let me say that the post office I was at is just a drive-through window. It's a full-featured office, sure, but there's no lobby. The entire office works from one window that you hand your mail through and where the nice postal employee hands you your stamps or whatever. Since I try to walk the walk of being green, I was on my bicycle in line behind four or five cars. They just sat there and idled as we waited. It took at least ten minutes for me to get to the window, and when I pushed off, there were seven or eight cars behind me, continuing the line around the lot.

We've heard a lot about the United States Postal Service and their shift to greener delivery vehicles. I'm sure at the organizational level, people are concerned with being green. This is great. But what of the regular old USPS delivery truck that sat in the parking lot just wasting energy as the driver talked with the staff member inside? I'm not frustrated that they wanted to chat, but turn the vehicle all the way off, why don't ya?

And the people in line. I don't know them, I don't have anything against them, but the woman with the "I vote to protect the environment" sticker on her Subaru slowly idling her way to the window was too much. Governments and companies and activists can make all the green decisions they want, but if We The People don't make changes in our personal lives, we're not going to have a beneficial environmental impact. To do this, we not only need good fuel saving tips (like these), but we need to move away from our old habits. I mean, it seems there is a clear manta about how idling takes more gas than shutting down and then re-starting up the car when the line moves (see debate/information here, here and here, and feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments below), but still people in drive through lanes throughout the country idle the day away.

It's hard to rant about people when you don't really know them - for all I know, the woman in the Subaru walks and bikes everywhere she goes and uses her car just one day a week - but standing there watching all this fuel being burnt for no good reason got me a little worked up. We need to do better, I thought. Then the rain started on the ride home, and I calmed down a bit. I'll keep on doing my best to green up this planet, but I'm sure in a few weeks I'll get riled up again over something. Stay tuned...

[Source: The slight build-up of bile in my brain]

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