Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bringing up the rear...

Have no fear!...I'm not going to talk about how big my butt is...

I'm talking about feeling like the last float in the parade or the caboose of a train... I am the "learning challenged" of the green bloggers--and I'm not making fun of learning challenged individuals, my daughter is one and she is a wonderful kid. It seems as if I am a good 1-2+ YEARS behind everyone else. Now, I know what you're thinking--you shouldn't compare yourself to others, every little bit counts, at least you are trying to learn/change, forward motion--no matter how slow--is still good... However, as human beings we all go through times where we compare ourselves to others whether it be the thinner person standing next to you or the seemingly "perfect" family who's children are always on the honor roll...

And so I find myself comparing my meager offerings next to those of seasoned "professionals"...people who don't use toilet paper--but use cloth instead, people who only eat locally grown/produced foods, people who haven't used a paper tissue or a paper towel in a really long time, people who don't use air conditioning... Next to those individuals my CFLs, fabric gift bags and homemade laundry soap seem infantile. I may recycle with fervor...but the fact that I have a 4-5 soda per day habit is criminal in the "blogosphere of green"--I'm ashamed to even have admitted that.

I have virtually zero self-sustaining skills. I don't know how to garden...(my husband has been doing that)...I don't know how to knit, quilt, crochet, cross-stitch and my sewing skills are limited to straight lines only...My husband cooks like a madman and can build just about anything...I do the laundry with my homemade soap and hang about 1/2 of it to air dry and I think I'm pretty cool...;)

Oh my goodness--and I am queen of Nature Deficit Disorder! I'm allergic to all grass (literally--I'm not making it up)...I don't know an oak tree from a cedar tree...I don't have the first idea how to identify different species of birds, bugs or rocks. However, I like the feel of the sun on my maybe all hope is not lost for me...

OK, I've laid out my ecological sins and deficiencies for the blog-o-world to see...I've whined...I've cringed...but if it's true that "a problem recognized is a problem half-solved"--then I'm half way there! Woohoo! I'm looking at asking for a sewing machine for my birthday and I'm reading up on gardening to be a seriously active participant this year. I'm going to stop comparing myself...although everyone else has already read The Omnivore's Dilemma except me---STOP. Let me start over...I'm going to stop comparing myself to others. I'm going to keep moving forward. And before you know it--everything will be just ducky.


Burbanmom said...


If it makes you feel any better, I don't use cloth wipes and I took a REALLY LONG SHOWER yesterday!

Love your blog... one step a day and you'll be as green as Kermit! :-)

etbnc said...

I second burbanmom's comment. One step at a time is a fine start; every step matters.

I do think it's important for each of us to demonstrate that we care by making real changes in our daily lives. But we can amplify our individual efforts a lot by bringing more people on board. And that means getting the word out, writing, speaking, and influencing.

A couple of years ago I had the good fortune to attend a speech by sustainability advocate, Hunter Lovins. During the Q&A afterward someone asked the inevitable question, "But what can I do?"

She offered a number of suggestions, but the most important thing, she said, is to "Share what you care about."

Getting the message out, sharing authentic values, sharing what we care about, that's what brings about the widespread changes that we need. Sharing your interest in a greener life is an important contribution.

Thanks for sharing what you care about.


(Information about Hunter Lovins and her work can be found at the Natural Capital web site. )