By gardening and keeping lights low, a family in Watts
challenges mainstream notions of “environmentalism.”
“Turn off the damn lights! You act like I have money coming out of my ass,” yells my mom.
It’s not: “turn off the lights because you waste energy,” “turn off the lights because we need to reduce fossil fuels,” or “turn off the lights because we need to conserve resources.”
It’s: “Turn off the lights because I cannot afford to give up an extra ten dollars to pay the bill. I told you once and I don’t want to have to tell you again: turn off the damn lights.”
There are 13 light switches controlling the visibility and the mood lighting throughout my family’s house in Watts. In every bedroom, hallway and common living space, there is a light switch waiting to come to life and shine.
Enter the bathroom. Light on. Exit the bathroom. Light off. Enter the bedroom. Light on. Exit the bedroom. Light off.
Again and again, I turn the lights on and off without ever stopping to think about where this light comes from and how I have the great magical power to bring light into a room with the effortless flick of my wrist. [Read more…]