Tuesday, November 2, 2010


There's this whole "green revolution" thing happening right now.  It's the weirdest thing I think I have ever seen, and I've seen some might weird stuff in my limited time on this earth.  Some of it makes sense: trying to lower waste, reusing things that can be retasked elsewhere (our 4-year-old loves my pirate-shirt-turned-pillow-case).  Some of it is ridiculous: advising we buy and consume more by "tossing" our chemical-laden cleaners and switching to more gentle (but still chemical) cleaners.  Some of it is simple economics.  It's more affordable for me to buy a used dress from a thrift store (or better yet, find some through a local "freecycle" program) than to go to the mall and buy the latest designer model (although I can't say I have ever done that--it's an issue of genetics).

It makes it difficult to do any one thing without sounding like a complete hypocrite.  I have friends that bemoan our dependence on foreign oil, and yet they drive gas-guzzling cars, live in over-sized houses, and wouldn't even dream of taking public transport for their commute.  When I started taking the bus to work, quite a number of people pointed and laughed at me (mostly from within my office) as if taking the bus was something only the under-privileged did, or conversely many people said they would take the bus if the system was improved.  Well, the first view point is just a sad projection of those who think image is everything; the second can never be resolved if people aren't taking the bus in the first place (because if you're not riding it, you're not contributing to the cost of running it).

Here's a personal example: I try to reduce my waste (seriously, I think I am the only house in the neighborhood where the cans only go out once every month), but some things lend themselves better to my lifestyle.  Take cheese singles.  If you know me, I don't even need to explain the logic.  For those that don't...well, let's just say for my safety and for yours, you are legally forbidden to allow me to handle sharp objects. That means I can't slice or grate my own cheese.  Pre-sliced and grated cheese include additional processing and manufacturing, but boy does it keep my ER bill down.

Buying local slogan is an irritant to me.  Many people tout the importance of buying locally while shipping more and more jobs overseas or looking to purchase goods in electronic markets where shipping is free or state taxation doesn't apply.

Life is a give and take.  We all try to do something to make our existence and hopefully that of our community (be it your neighborhood, state, country, or the world) a bit of a better place.  Hopefully those attempts are informed.  But sometimes, even with the best intentions, we just end up looking like jack-asses, regardless.

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