How’s that? Save money by painting yourself green?

I’m worried about Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post‘s personal investment columnist. From her, you would expect to hear advice on how to build personal wealth and trim fat from your household budget, right? But in her July 15 column “Conservation Saves More Than the Environment,” we get enviro-scolding, instead.

For example, Singletary urges Americans to run out and buy water-efficient fixtures and appliances. She cites the EPA to tell us that a family “could” save about $170 per year. Okay, not a fortune but maybe worth a look-see if one is in need of new appliances anyway. Well, how much do her green fixtures and appliances cost? Surely that would be an important consideration — one would at least want to know how many years it could take to recoup the cost! Oops — Singletary doesn’t tell us. Instead, she proceeds to lecture the reader on how to both save the money and the planet. She knows so because she watched Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, which advised people, it seems, to pay attention to the things we waste. Astounding. Did Singletary also notice that Gore’s prescription for “saving the planet” includes mega-trillion dollar energy tax and ration schemes? Let’s have a column on how a family will save money with a whopping new Gore gas tax! You know, what’s a personal finance columnist for if not to ‘splain such difficult concepts to the poor proletariat.