Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Walking Lightly . . . on egg shells

So the big trend now that I am seeing on the Internet is the concepts of Going Green. I capitalize because it fits. My life has been centered on GG for years now (isn’t everyone saying that?!). While struggling to find my identity in college I lived with a family that first introduced the concepts of reducing, reusing, and recycling to me. Coming from an affluent family back east, we never worried about what we were using or how it impacted the world around us. All those plastic bottles in the trash, chemicals used in abundance, buying new things, etc. None of it was given a second thought. The family I came to adopt as my own changed my world (and ultimately my husband’s too!). I slowly began to learn what numbers on the bottom of the plastic containers could be recycled. I began sewing (a trade that I still struggle with) and repurposing many things. Overtime I began to look at everything and ask questions about reducing, reusing, and/or recycling. My parents, while they LOVED the family that I lived with, thought I had lost my mind.

I have a tendency to throw myself full force into causes that I strongly believe in. Ben may describe this tendency a little differently, using a word like obsession. This tendency lends itself to consuming my every being. In this instance, Going Green, I have been renewed by all of the Internet’s excitement and blogger’s postings. My zeal is back! A community of sorts that has a TON of fabulous ideas that I can begin implementing RIGHT NOW! No need to wait – let’s jump in headfirst and make a change TODAY!!! (Does the capitalization and all the exclamation marks help to show you just how excited I am with GG?) A couple of examples from this last week: Let’s start using the kids’ bath water to do a load of laundry – we’ll simply take a bucket into the bathroom and haul the water to the laundry room. Our microwave is going bad; let’s just go without one! I want a rain barrel. We need to start composting. Can we recycle these _______ (fill in the blank – baby food jars, friend’s huge-ass box, scraps of fabric, cut pieces of twine, etc, etc)? Yes, that is just a few of my examples;)

While some of these things are wonderful and we have begun implementing them (namely the composting and rain barrel), I truly appreciate Ben. He keeps me grounded and helps me think through what is practical for our family. While GG isn’t always about being practical, some changes do take effort and sacrifice, it is about incorporating lifestyle choices that you can maintain. I appreciate Ben’s constant reminders in this regard, as well as his amazing support of my (sometimes wacky) ideas.

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