Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The South needs cold air!

I'm now writing for a "green" travel site - is there such a thing? - called It's unpaid but hopefully something to pad my resume should I ever apply to Lonely Planet. My writing, I fear, will be rather trite. Here is the first example:

Shortly after President Bush took office, a small controversy erupted over his decision to water down Bill Clinton’s last minute executive order that new air conditioners would have to be 30% more efficient. Bush decided to decrease the rule to 20%.

At the time, I thought the news pretty ridiculous. What difference does 10% make?

That was before I moved to Texas. Down here, even though we’re more than a week into fall, temperatures get into the 90s daily. Breezes are minimal—and fans can only do so much to relieve the heat. Everywhere you go indoors, the air conditioners are blasting. Walking into buildings can be a bit disorienting, like getting a cold chill on a summer day. Sometimes I carry a long-sleeve shirt—to wear indoors.

In fact, traveling is when I find air conditioning to be most frustrating, because it is when I have the least control. The problem comes when I’m ready for bed. I like to feel the night air, but many hotels don’t have windows that open, since that would interfere with their air conditioning system.

All of which makes finding a green hotel the more important. A little attention to airflow reduces demand for electricity and makes sleep so much easier. I’d rather be camping—but if I’m in the city, I’ll take whatever feels most natural.

No comments: