If you like paying a lot of money, then you shouldn't continue reading, but if you would like to save and help our environment, plus find what Homer Simpson has to do in all this, then go on.
Saving energy and saving money are two mantras in one. The both lead to a better lifestyle because if you save energy and thus, contribute to the well being of our environment, you live a healthier life. If you save money then you can have more when the need arises. The problem is that saving, like keeping a low weight, studying, working and so on, requires self-discipline. The less than society asks for something, the more self discipline one has to put in order to achieve your goals.
In other words, if society imposes something based on some ideal, then it becomes easier for everyone to behave in a way consistent with that ideal; if society, on the other hand, doesn't care, then it becomes increasingly difficult for people to attain such goals because they require more from themselves. For example, in prosperous countries where there is a lot to spend on many different things, saving - especially energy - becomes more difficult because there is social pressure oriented towards certain behaviours that have every little to do with the idea of saving, like having bigger, fashionable cars. Wherever the idea of size becomes associated with opulence, then big cars, big houses and other things become bigger than – perhaps – what is reasonable, and bigger things usually require more energy to get going.
On the contrary, in places where there is a lack of space or other resources that could hamper the notion that bigger is better, there will be a natural, cultural tendency to save in terms of size. In places like Hong Kong or Andorra, prosperity is expressed in very different terms than in the United States or Russia for this reason.
So, it becomes more difficult to save in terms of size at the individual, personal level in places like the United States because the whole society propels each person to behave consistently. Thus, everything is offered in bigger portions, from food to cars, and since the production of bigger things require the use of larger amounts of energy, it should then not surprise anyone that the United States has a disproportionate share of energy consumption vis-á-vis other countries, while not necessarily its population lives better: Who can say that someone in Alabama really is in a better position than someone living in Switzerland, Japan or Denmark?
Then, it becomes obvious that the Swiss, the Danish and Japanese achieve at least the same with far less resources at hand. And then, one is left to speculate what could be achieved with the kind of resources available in places like the U.S. Used with the savings-based mentality of the Swiss, Japanese or Danish. Thus, the conclusion is that people living under an exaggerated idea of opulence are really hampering themselves and lowering their own living standards by their false assumptions.
The answer to this problem is difficult because superficial notions of success - even when the victim of the problem is successful - are very powerful factors that influence the behaviour of people at large, and that puts a lot of pressure on individuals to keep acting as an average member of that particular social group. That is why in such societies, tending to save and spare could be seen at times as unnecessary and even ridiculous.
But in order to change society as a whole, if someone intends to do something like that, ridicule and initial disapproval from fellow citizens is to be expected and should be accepted as part of the task. So, if - say - you get a solar water heater or an electric car and your neighbour starts pestering you like Homer Simpson does with Flanders, don't hesitate and continue loyal to your convictions. Sooner or later, your neighbour - even if he is Homer - will begin to imitate you, especially after some sort of crisis.
We have collected a few links to sites offering energy saving products and services, so you can start saving your own money and convincing your neighbour (yes, even if he is in fact, Homer Simpson), so click here