A lot of what all of us struggle with is looking "weird" and drawing uncomfortable attention to ourselves. In the privacy of our own homes, it might be easy to do something unconventional, but sooner or later someone comes over and asks "why are you doing *that* - and the part of us that really does care what people think (and most of us have that part to some degree or another) starts squirming. We all grew up being told that being normal was important. Heck, my Grandma actually used to say "They can do what they want as long as they don't do it in the road and scare the mules." She was lying of course - few people on earth have ever been as interested in what people did in the privacy of their homes ;-). But now's the time to scare a few mules.
But here's the thing - the only way we'll stop feeling weird for not flushing every time, or hanging our laundry or living with a cube fridge or using cloth menstrual pads is if other people join the club, or at least start thinking of this as within the normal range of behavior. And that means that people have to know that other people are doing these things.
Which is why this week's project isn't so much an energy cut but an advertising campaign. Take the time this week to do something to tell/show others about the changes in your life - and why you've made them.
What should you do? Start a blog with a cool theme "52 weeks of funky clothesline pictures" or whatever. Talk to your friends, neighbors and family - bring it up by saying "you know, heating oil prices have been really high, and our family has found..." or "Here's our latest project..."
Give a talk at your community center, church, synagogue, mosque, temple, school or senior center about lower energy living. Emphasize the monetary savings, the better food, the better health. I give you permission to take anything you want from this blog to help people get th idea.
Give someone the gift of a new idea - I can't be the only one who has had a complete "duh" moment or two when it comes to finding solutions to energy problems. I once asked how I should handle the lint problem without a dryer, only to have someone tell me the completely obvious fact that if I seperated lights and darks, I wouldn't have little white fuzzies on my navy shirt. Duh - but sometimes you need someone to open your eyes. So be that person - if someone says they can't by local because it isn't nearby, suggest that you carpool, or pick a few things up for them or that they find a CSA that delivers. If someone is telling you that they'd use their clothesline except that jeans are too stiff, point out that you could start by drying them on the line and then throw them in the dryer for 5 minutes to soften.
If you are a shy sort, it is difficult to be the one who speaks up, who draws attention to themselves. But every time you do this, it'll be easier next time, and easier on the next people in the line. Refusing to feel weird begins, in part, by accepting that this is the new normal - the way that we are going forward. We're not weird, we're cutting edge. Let other people know you know this.