1. About twice a year, I break my boycott and spend a few dollars at Wal-Mart. The main reason for doing this is so I can take the pulse of middle America and see how much counterculture has found its way into the mainstream. As the world’s biggest retailer or whatever, Wal-Mart is driven by consumer demand — so if you want to know what the average American is thinking, you go to Wal-Mart. I saw hopeful signs this evening: a dramatic increase in the amount of organic food on the shelves in the supermarket part of the store, and a big selection of name-brand CFLs in packages of three for less than $8. There were also some CFLs in specialty shapes and types, including outdoor bug lights and round bulbs designed for use in vanities. They also had some nice LED nightlights, a couple of zero-emission chainsaws, and a few boxes of organic plant fertilizer. As we approach the 37th anniversary of the first Earth Day teach-in, it’s good to see organic fertilizer and energy-efficient lighting on the shelves of the most ubiquitous store on the planet.
2. Meanwhile, alt-power technology continues to evolve. As Ron and I eagerly await the arrival of Suncubes in the United States, he sends me this link about a promising new wind turbine system for urban dwellers who don’t have the luxury of installing a big ol’ Whisper in the backyard.
I still haven’t Photoshopped those road trip photos I promised … but I wanted to share these hopeful tidbits while I was thinking about them.