On Sunday, I complained about how much more energy I needed to run with my 4 year old in the baby jogger.

On Monday, I complained about how much faster we’re going through gas in the car – a result of my husband insisting on keeping the A.C. on, even to go short distances.

On Tuesday, I looked up into the clear blue sky and noticed a plane flying west. How much energy does it use? And then I thought about it.

Weight and gasoline? They go hand in hand. In the same way that many nations in our world are facing a health crisis due to our populations showing increasing numbers of overweight individuals, our world is also in an environmental crisis. Think about what 5 fewer pounds on each of us would mean.

It would mean that a plane seating 100 passengers would be saving 500 pounds in excess cargo. How much fuel is needed to lift 500 pounds hundreds of feet into the air?

It would mean less energy would be used when raising and lifting elevators. Better yet; it would probably mean more people use the stairs, thereby saving even more energy.

It might mean that our race times would drop because we wouldn’t be hauling extra weight across the finish line. It might also mean that more people would feel fit enough to enter races. These are good things.

Instead, we drive places that are close enough to walk. If we walked, we would be healthier and we would save on gas. Did you know that walking an extra 100 metres every day is worth 2 pounds a year?

Now, not everyone needs to lose weight (I, for one, could probably stand to gain a few pounds). But the relationship between our weight and energy crisis does exist? Or is it just me who thinks so?

11 Replies to “Wanderings”

  1. I would totally drink jet fuel if I thought that I could get as much energy out of it as a jet engine does…..I'm just saying.

  2. Great post, it does get you thinking. I think society has also got very lazy and expects conveniences….such as using the elevator, driving to the corner store which inturn contributes to the obesity of our society. Its actually very sad that people don't value their health, its really the only thing we've got in life!

  3. Cynthis, I agree 100%, droping those few extra pounds is huge, or 20 extra in my case, and I have not felt this good in years. I am not sure how many Doctors need to tell us that the world is too fat, before we start doing something about it.
    As far as our energy and fuel for planes is concerned think about this, I worked for Southwest Airlines for many years and on average in Chicago Midway airport with 237 flights per day, we would pump about 370,000 gallons of fuel per day, and that was just for the planes.

  4. I see it in friends, family members and neighbors who complain about their weight, in the same breath they tease me about my running.

    Good post. Good comments.

  5. It never ceases to amaze/depress me how our society will struggle to lose 5 pounds, while other parts of the world face the reality of starvation.

    Lead by example and stay committed to change.

    I, too, read and recommend the Omnivore's Dilemma recently.
    It's crazy how we infuse corn-based ingredients into everything in America which makes the decision of inexpensive/junk food versus expensive/healthy food so much easier (to our detriment).

    I'm impressed by how earth-shattering your thoughts become after complaining for a few consecutive days.

  6. Sounds so simple doesn't it? Yet the whole obesity epidemic is comprised of a powder keg of emotional, social, economic and political issues.

  7. In the “Omnivore's Dilemma,” Michael Pollan looks deeply into connections such as this. It's amazing how little we would all have to do to have cleaner air, healthier lives, and a nicer environment.

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