GreenLance Communications: News • Media • Reviews

Friday, May 16, 2008

How I Feel the Guilt

Mother EarthYou're an obsessive recycler. You garden. You resist air conditioning. You even compost. But you still don't feel like you're doing enough to save the earth. The reason? Mother Earth News, the guilt-inducing Italian mother-in-law of media. These are the people who live in solar-paneled sod houses, dress in dead leaves, and won't step on bugs. They fertilize with their own bodily wastes and think driving automobiles should be a jailable offense.

I love them. And hate them.

How do you live sustainably? Click the Comments link one line down and tell me about it.

1 comment:

  1. I heard a program on NPR recently in which the reporter was challenged to carry all her trash with her for a week. Anything pegged for recycling was not considered "trash".

    While I didn't actually carry my trash, I started shredding all the junk mail and putting it out with the newspapers, and carefully putting everything that wasn't organic or paper into the metal/plastic "curbie". at the end of the week I had so little actual trash that I didn't even bother to place it at the curb -- I hung on to it for another week, and would have, in fact gone for three if there hadn't been some rotting soy beans in there that were the result of trying to sprout some soy beans that weren't designed for sprouting.

    However I have a mega-sprouter (cost about $100) which pumps water over the seeds at frequent intervals. ^ days in there for mung beans, and they are just like the commercial ones.

    I have a small garden plot, although this year I only have three tomato plants and nothing else in it at the moment. However I did harvest some Japanese Red Maple seeds and some green maple seeds, and I have a dozen seedlings started. Never tried it before, but they appear to be thriving. I shall transplant them into peat pots when they are about 2" tall.

    I reduced my winter thermostat setting from 72 to 68 (day) and 60 (night), and saved over $400 on my gas consumption for the year. The summer thermostat is set to 80 (day) and 88 (night).

    I have picked up a trick from the UPS trucks -- when I am in line at the ATM, or in other settings where I would normally allow my car to idle, I turn it off. The pennies saved on gasoline add up. Also I consciously calculate the actual gasoline cost of trips to Charlotte to shop and so forth. Miles from the odometer, avg about 20 MPG (it's a Dodge Grande Caravan), and ever rising cost per gallon.

    Spending $12 to go shopping at the Earth Fare Organics grocery, I better have a shopping list, and come back with a bunch of groceries. Otherwise shop locally.