Announcing: Tree-Hugger Tuesdays!
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
~ Native American Proverb
Not sure if you’ve picked up on this or not, but I consider myself a bit of a “lipstick hippie.” This is a term a friend of mine coined to describe those of us that tree-hug and dirt-worship, but don’t smell of patchouli or dread our hair (although sometimes mine tries to dread on its own. Not kidding.)
I am all about tree-hugging and dirt-worshiping. I will question our friendship if you tell me you *gasp!* don’t recycle and don’t intend to. If you let me, I might lecture you on bottled water and having five kids. I throw away maaaaybe three garbage bags of trash a year (again with the not-kidding). I commute on my bike as soon as it’s warm enough (generally above 36 degrees in the spring) and until the snow flies. I eat locally. I compost. I’ve even used composting toilets in the past… and I liked it.
I’ve been thinking I need to remedy this, and have had the idea for doing a “go green!” post once a month for quite some time now, I just haven’t gotten around to actually writing them.
Until now.Yippee hippie!
Starting next month (week), the first Tuesday of each month will be known as Tree-Hugger Tuesday! here at Women Are From Mars. I’ll blog about anything I find pertinent to living the green life. They might be tidbits of advice or how-tos, or just musings on relevant environmental topics.
See, a lot of what I write here is in hopes of stimulating sex-positive, open, and inclusive thinking and discussion. To encourage people to go outside the proverbial box. This has typically been in terms of gender, sex, sexuality, feminism, etc, etc, etc.
Another area I’d really like more people to think about is our collective impact on our world. You know, the one we’re leaving our children? And, as with other topics, I’m going to strive to make it personal. Sure, I’ll talk big-picture sometimes, but in general I’ll try to keep it more focused on education and what we can each do on our own.
“Ultimately it is easier to think globally than to at locally, but it is in our backyards that we meet the enemy, who, more often than not… is us.”
~ Phillip W. Conkling
“An International Commons”
Before I get started on them, however, I did want to share some of my general thoughts on living the green life:
For me? It’s less about simply making grand gestures on occasion, or understanding the politics of wind farms, or lecturing others about what they’re doing wrong (btw, when we get on our soap-boxes about the environment? We can all become hypocrites real fucking quick. Just sayin’). It’s more about becoming more aware, more conscious, of the choice we make, the resources we use, the things we eat – every day. It’s about thinking consistently about how our actions affect the world around us, and what our alternatives are. It’s about taking personal responsibility of our true environmental impact on a daily basis.
I know that sounds kinda tiring – but it’s not. I believe it becomes habit. A part of how you live your life.
And, like anything else, the more information you have, the more difficult it is to ignore it. The more you know, the more likely you are to think… and the more difficult it is to not act. It is in those routine actions, however small, that make the difference.
“The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.”
~ Ross Perot (still not kidding)
I also believe living green, or eco-friendly, or environmentally friendly, or sustainably, or lipstick-hippie-in-a-power-suit, is about balance. It’s about understanding that you do as much as you can, and sometimes you make the choice you know is wrong – but at least you are informed enough to recognize it. You make it anyway, because you do enough in other ways already. And you allow yourself this guilty pleasure, because you’re already doing what you can. Maybe you’ll make the better choice next time.
For instance. I used to be vegetarian, and then vegan. My reasons for these choices were based on animal ethics as well as environmental concerns. However, I always knew I’d eat meat again once I could eat locally (I am sure I will discuss this in depth sooner or later – but if you want to know why now, I suggest this article.) I now can acquire almost all of my food from people I actually know, and it was grown or raised on farms within a 100 mile radius. I always said I’d still be vegetarian when I went out to eat.
I have recently utterly failed in that last part (it is a flippin’ slippery slope, if you’re a carnivore like I am). But I’ve decided it’s ok. I do enough in other ways. And there are some things I still won’t eat. Like veal and shrimp and bluefin tuna.
The first post will be next Tuesday, 2 August. I hope you will check back, read up, and let me know what you think.
And I hope I’m able to make you think more, to educate you, and to encourage you, even in small ways, to live life green.
I also want to give a quick shout-out to Daniel Ruyter, of Memoirs of a Single Dad and The Blended Family Blog, for writing on environmental issues regularly as part of his blogging, too. Please check those posts here.
Here’s to converting more lipstick hippies! Ha!
You go into a community and they will vote 80 percent to 20 percent in favor of a tougher Clean Air Act, but if you ask them to devote 20 minutes a year to having their car emissions inspected, they will vote 80 to 20 against it. We are a long way in this country from taking individual responsibility for the environmental problem.
~ William D. Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator
New York Times, 30 November 1988
A living planet is a much more complex metaphor for deity than just a bigger father with a bigger fist. If an omniscient, all-powerful Dad ignores your prayers, it’s taken personally. Hear only silence long enough, and you start wondering about his power. His fairness. His very existence.
But if a world mother doesn’t reply, Her excuse is simple. She never claimed conceited omnipotence. She has countless others clinging to her apron strings, including myriad species unable to speak for themselves. To Her elder offspring She says – go raid the fridge. Go play outside. Go get a job.
Or, better yet, lend me a hand. I have no time for idle whining.
~ David Brin