Friday, January 2, 2015

It ain't easy bein' green...

Avoiding social activities because the commute weighs too heavy on your gas-mileage obsessed brain; carrying all your groceries in your hands, pockets and on your head (and then realizing the keys are at the bottom of your pocket when you get to the car, or bicycle) because you forgot your canvas bags; watching people gorge on smoked meats and homemade mac n' cheese while you nibble your "rabbit food" which only consists of onions and cabbage because the hosts didn't know there would be a vegetarian at the party; or hand-grinding food for months because you didn't want to buy electric kitchen tools and hadn't found a hand-powered one at an antique store yet (and you didn't want to buy that one you keep watching on ebay because of the shipping costs and impact on the environment)... of COURSE it's not easy being "green," but I think it's a heck of a lot more fun.

I really immersed myself into my old lifestyle since coming home for the holidays. I've sat around watching the big screen TV and playing Wii, enjoyed the warm fires and the heater set up to 8 degrees warmer than in my house. I've also had my share of traditional foods- like "green jello" and broccoli rice casserole, even though neither align with my usual eating ethics. I even went shopping at a mall and got a brand new pair of jeans (that fit soooo well!). But while I've allowed myself to give in to all these old habits, reaping the benefits of family camaraderie and comfort foods and feelings, one thing has been nagging me. It's all so easy. Which makes it kind of boring.

Most of the things I participated in either started as or still are a method of acquiring something conveniently. My family works hard, raising kids, working 8:00-5:00, volunteering for family or organizations, and 'keepin' up with the Joneses' in a sense. There is a clear generational trend toward that lifestyle. Almost all of the family I have seen for the holidays have chosen that (work, kids, house) as their challenge.

Personally, none of that interests me...mostly because of my obsession with the Earth. I don't want kids of my own, a big ol' house to clean, or a job that I dread going to. (When my dad was advising my brother on job recently, he said "it's work you're not supposed to like it!" Which is a bit ironic because he recently left the job he hated and is now in one where he at least finds some pleasure. But I had to sit back and smile to myself because while I don't have a 9-5 job that I can leave behind at the end of the day, I find my work exciting and it does actually pay the bills). My chosen challenge is to be "green."

When looking at a recipe for a holiday treat before Christmas, that nagging thought came up. "you just dump in sugar, butter and milk? THAT's the treat?" It seemed too easy. After years of substituting various non-animal derived 'healthy' fats for sugar, butter and milk, it seemed lie cheating to just go for it. I don't want to just run errands. I want to analyze the most efficient routes from point A to B with all my errands on the way, and bike to the closest ones. I want to put on sweaters and jump around rather than turn on the heater, and read stories, write plays and do puzzles rather than watch TV. I'm glad it ain't easy bein' green, or I might get bored with it. But I'm totally up to the challenge. And you get to experience all the challenges with me. :-p

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