It ain’t easy….

So, last weekend Wes was watching some show on network tv about “living green.”The show featured a family of 5 who just bought a brand-new house that looked to be 8-10 thousand square feet. Some designers came in and showed the family how to live green by buying a whole lot of stuff, like bamboo skateboards for their teenagers. One of the camera shots showed the family vehicle in the background – a Chevy Suburban.
Before I start my rant and rave, let me say two things: 1. I am not perfectly “green” and don’t have it all figured out and 2. There is nothing wrong with having things, its when the things have you that there is a problem. Also, I didn’t watch the whole show because it got me all fired up.
That said – WHAT!!! How is that enviro-friendly? Doesn’t a 10,000 square foot house take much more energy to run than a 3,000 square footer (which is still pretty darn big for 5 people)? If you have that kind of money for bamboo everything, couldn’t you buy a hybrid, or at least a fuel-efficient vehicle? Isn’t that a bit like trying to lose weight without exercising and/or eating less? What about the big picture, and using common sense? Yikes! My other problem with this show is it made it seem that you need to be extremely rich to be environmentally friendly. That is not true.
I just got a book from our library titled Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck. So far, it is very good. She has lots of practical, easy solutions for easing our impact on the environment around us without buying a whole lot of stuff. She advocates having fewer, better quality things and spending less time cleaning and more time outside or just doing the things we love. The methods she presents also save money – using food-grade items such as vinegar and lemons. Some aspects of trying to live an environmentally-friendly (and health-friendly) lifestyle are mostly available to people with middle-class incomes (such as buying organics), but there are also things that everyone can do. Sandbeck presents a wide range of practical ideas that don’t make me feel like I’m growing dreadlocks.
We’re nowhere near perfect in this realm and I am always looking for ideas to keep our home non-toxic and reduce our impact, especially in the area of waste. In the end, isn’t being a good steward of the earth and a good steward of the resources God has given us about moderation and common sense? Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sticking to it!
Next post I’ll get off my soapbox and back to what we’ve been doing 🙂


2 responses to “It ain’t easy….

  1. I agree with your comments that being environment friendly doesn’t mean you need to be rich. It means to be in tune with your surroundings. For years and years I was using very caustic product to clean my house..only to find out that vinegar and water is the best solution!! There is a massive marketing campaign going on now to steer the population to buy “natural” products… goodness sakes.. just turn off the electricity and gas.

  2. Personally I feel that the main issue with going “green” today is that the marketers are working to get you to purchase a whole new range of items for you home. I have found that the first step to go green is to stop buying things new. Studies show that it is better to keep your old appliances v. buying new “green” ones because of the carbon impact in manufacturing. The same is true of cars (which makes me happy since all I can afford is beaters). I agree with you though, I would have been outraged to see a show about greening a 10,000 sq ft home, I don’t know why the push for new is standing up in the current green campaign.

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