Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 4.16.22
Just Outside Washington



I sat down the other day and said to myself: "I support the Ukrainian people and the Ukraine government in their battle to remain a sovereign nation. Why we even have a vase of sunflowers, the Ukrainian national flower, on the table. But wait, that is moral support, what about actual support that can make a difference?" <> The things I chose to do in support of Ukraine, came down to a few percent simple things:

First, send money. Sending cash or gold bullion did not appear practical, so I picked several reputable organizations that are work in and on behalf of Ukraine. To these, I was able to send a check or donate using a credit card and include:

International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat For Humanity, UNICEF, and Heifer International.

Second, I decided that I could conserve my energy use, especially oil and gas, which are key products that support the Russian economy. The sanctions of the US and the EU on Russian oil and gas has driven the prices of these products and their derivatives up. This has occurred even it the US, which because of its near energy independence is not dependent on Russia the way the EU is. So what to do, I decided to:

Limit and consolidate my car trips. I stopped just popping over to Home Depot, two miles, to pick up a couple of light bulbs. Now I make a list of places I need to go, and make one trip to Home Depot, the cleaners, the grocery store (another list), and the doctor's office.

Turn the thermostat down when the heat is on, so the house is cooler, and I need to wear a sweater. Be frugal about turning the air conditioning on when we have an 80-degree afternoon on these spring days. Turn the water off when I do not actually need it, like when shaving or brushing my teeth. Also, when washing things in the kitchen, like the coffee maker – wet the sponge, turn the water off, soap up the parts, rinse, and turn off the water. It takes energy to get water to my sink and more energy to heat it, if I am using hot water.

Turn off the lights when I do not need them –- there is no reason to leave the lights on in the garage when I run errands. Also, I have started replacing light bulbs with more energy efficient florescent and LED units. Yes, they are more expensive, and they last longer.

Then there is the political aspect of the Ukrainian issue. I have sent emails to my representatives in the Congress mentioning my support for Ukraine and that the US should send weapons, food, clothing, and other supplies to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. I believe this a good use of my tax money.

Oh, before I go, I promise not to whine about the high price of gas at the pumps, even though I know the oil companies are making excessive profits currently.