You may have picked this up from some of my past few posts (or from my Books page), but I’ve been in a little bit of a “green” phase lately. I’ve actuallykept this as my dirty little secret for a while because, well, lots of green people are weird, and I don’t want you to think that about me. I have not been doing anything TOO crazy, just making little changes here and there as we’re trying to eat more naturally and make less trash. I’m motivated by the underlying principles of living more simply and being a good steward of our money, health, and yes, the environment.
I’m trying not to just jump on the green bandwagon, but to strike a reasonable balance between ideals and reality, between at-home and on-the-run living, between conservation and excess. It’s complicated, and I want to figure out a sustainable lifestyle for our family, based on thoughtfully-formed priorities and values. But it seems like just as I get excited about our new “light green” life, I come across a person or a blog that makes me skittish.
I wonder if I’ve embarked on a slippery slope. A couple of years from now, will I have become one of those crunchy green women, wearing no makeup, letting my underarm hair grow free, clothing myself in long calico skirts and clunky, sensible shoes. I’m not quite ready to be like one blogger on cleaning out her pantry: “Hooray, I found a couple more jars of my home-canned beet jelly!” Or another: “Let’s talk today about making your own washable baby wipes and toilet paper.”
I envision Abby sitting in her elementary school cafeteria wearing ill-fitting homemade clothing and unpacking her lunch: leafy and brightly colored vegetables zipped in washable mesh produce bags, free-range chicken wrapped in an organic whole wheat pita, a peach for dessert. What will she think when she watches her classmates consume their lunches of peanut butter-and-marshmallow-cream sandwiches, Doritos, and Ding-Dongs? (Will she even have classmates, or will I have to keep her at home all day to help me gather the eggs and churn the butter?)
So I’m exaggerating a little, but I’m kind of serious. I haven’t seen many examples of normal green people. But I hope it’s possible, because I’m hoping to be one. Hello! Are you out there?