These are very good points, Lachlan. Perhaps I should have mentioned charitable giving is a budgeted item. We're not flashy about it, as the point isn't to brag about it. We spend more on donations than most of the items on this list. We make annual donations to nonprofits that focus on access to healthcare, workforce training, and civil rights.

We also regularly donate thousands of dollars to local teachers to buy classroom supplies, books for their classrooms, and this year, more than 25 air purifiers since some local schools didn't buy them for classrooms. American public schools are woefully underfunded so teachers often have to pay for items themselves. Now that there are "Amazon wishlists" and other ways to advertise what teachers need, my husband loves to go through and fulfill some wishes. It's a real joy to be able to support classrooms, especially with "discretionary purchases" like air purifiers and books featuring BIPOC protagonists to supplement existing libraries full of "classic American books." That means books with no BIPOC individuals, just "normal" white families and communities.

As for the environmental footprint, I did partially address that in the item about int'l travel. I fully recognize that int'l travel is indulgent and significantly impacts our environmental footprint. Putting in four solar PV panel systems on past and current homes isn't going to make up for it, but I do feel like we're trying to support the fledgling solar industry in the U.S. Our current home has both a rooftop and a ground-mounted solar so we can rely 100% on clean energy for our home and our cars.

When we installed solar for the first time in 2007, we were the first in our entire neighborhood. The HOA didn't even want to approve our application because the HOA president thought a rooftop system would be an eyesore.

Anyhow, I don't mean to come off defensive, but I do want to acknowledge that we try to offset some of our indulgences.


9X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything

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