True to my promise, I have been trying to think of concrete ways that I can participate in this move forward that we as a country are attempting.

One big area that I used to participate in a lot but have lately slacked on severely is taking better care of the environment. I tend to blame my slide away from greenness on where I’m living now, and after my recent attempt to investigate local green possibilities, it does not appear that I will get away from this excuse any time soon.

Cycling – out of the question where we currently live. I’d be run over within a week.

Composting & Gardening – we want to move out of our current house as soon as humanly possible, so there is no point starting anything outside. Plus, there isn’t any room anyway, unless I started digging up the front lawn, which is going to seriously piss off the landlord.

Buying bulk – I used to do this a lot on the West Coast (Santa Cruz and Eugene). Yesterday I went to a local health food store and found pre-packaged bulk items, which kind of defeats the purpose of using re-usable bags to go fetch your bulk grains, flours, etc., which would thus cut down on packaging. It was a small store, so I politely inquired of the three employees standing around chatting in the empty store if they knew of any place locally that had bins where customers could bag their own foodstuffs. They looked at me as though I were insane. So that ain’t gonna happen.

On the brighter side, here are some green things that might work even though I am living in an extremely pale green community:

Cloth grocery bags – I already have three from my previous incarnation as someone who cared about the environment. I’m going to check at Goodwill for old curtains or some other kind of sturdy cloth which I can cut up and make into some more bags.

Produce bags – in the past I’ve made some little mesh bags to carry produce home in (although a lot of things like cucumbers I don’t even put in a bag anyway) so that I won’t have to use any more plastic bags. I will invest in some twine and get on that project.

Homemade foods – I should dedicate more time to making things homemade, such as bread, so that it will reduce the amount of wrappers and containers that must be thrown out. Although, since I can’t find bulk flour, I’m going to have to throw out the paper flour bags anyway… if we had a garden, I could have a burn barrel and use the ashes to cultivate the compost pile…

If, if, if if if ifififififififififi

Hey, it turned into Fifi. Fifi the if-angel, the one that takes all your goofy fleeting fantasies, turns them into chocolate chip cookies and drops them in your lap when you least expect it.

A girl can dream.

Dream green.


Filed under society

6 responses to “Progress?

  1. if one can make the jump, dropping meat from your diet can impact the environment in a postive manner. All the grains that go to feed animals, the transport costs, the whole slaughterhouse industry; there are huge energy costs involved there.

    it is a big jump and can challenge severely some of the assumptions we have been brought up with. But there is a way of being healthy, energetic, vibrant, and long-lived on a diet that doesn’t have meat / meat products.

    took me a few attempts to get there, but done in an informed, balanced manner, it is a sustainable way of living.

    so yeah, we can all do our bit. In little ways 🙂

  2. ggw bach – you are absolutely right. I was a committed vegetarian for two years, and a cheating vegetarian for much of my adult life, but I currently am responsible for the nourishment of four rabid carnivores (I suspect my youngest daughter, the fifth member of my crew, would do quite well as a vegetarian.) Thus, the challenge seems insurmountable to me at this time. (If it were just the children I could take charge, but it is my dear husband who leads the meat brigade!)

    I feel like I am just making more excuses. Sigh. But I do appreciate you reminding me of the value of going meatless, because it really is helpful to the environment, as you point out.

  3. Joy

    I try and do what I can. That’s all you can really do and you are doing some good things now so don’t sweat it. A person can only do what they can do. The home made bags is a very good start. I used to buy in bulk all the time but I live so far away that it’s not feasible for me now. With just the husband and I, it takes more gas to buy what I need than it’s worth. When the boys were young, you bet it was better that way but I also lived in MPLS and they had those health food, buying in bulk places all over. Where I live now and the kind of things I buy now, have changed. I still garden and just do what I can. I’m very aware of the environment. I can recycle now to which I’m very glad. We do have to take it and drop it off which sometimes is a pain as I have to “store” it all somewhere but we take it a few times a week and I feel good about that. We’ve only had this service a couple of years.

    I feel if each person does what they can, we will make this world a better place.

  4. Thanks, Joy. I’ve learned from experience that it is more productive for me to get inspired by my little achievements than to beat myself down for not doing anything sufficiently momentous.

  5. I’m in the same boat, e. I want to do more, then I find a few obstacles and have really good reasons for staying the course.

    I try to make myself feel better by saying that if I change one small thing each month, eventually I’ll really help.

    But then I feel defeated seeing huge corporations without recycling programs; skyscrapers with all their lights on all night; chemical companies putting flame retardants and plastics and other toxic crap into everything we do; cattle that give off more gas than a mid-sized car.

    I try to remind myself that saying I can’t make a difference is akin to the Bush policy of “until other countries do more, we won’t even try.” Since you and I and millions more are raising the next generation, ever change we make is doubled (or tripled or, in your case, quadrupled) because what we do our children will do.

    So we compost even though we’re in the same boat you are about moving. And we recycle every scrap we can. And we use cloth bags, walk between errands, and minimize car trips. We buy local, drink water from the tap, and minimize our meat intake. And this week I feel pretty good about cooking my own beans instead of buying canned, since it saves the manufacturing and shipping of a heavy product that can be bought and cooked cheaply and with little environmental impact.

    And that, my friend, is the best we can do today. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

  6. naptime- thanks for the words of encouragement… I think our influence on the next generation IS potentially huge, as you say, as well as the influence we might have on those who see us using cloth bags at the store, etc. Being a good example is a start, for sure.

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