Friday, September 12, 2008

Ecology Without the Effort

I just wrote the funniest article--Green Living for Lazy People. I was a ghost writer, so I have no idea where it will end up published, but it's an interesting idea.

Can you be 'green' without putting in a lot of time and effort? When you think of low carbon living, the first activities that come to mind are time consuming. Time consuming as in: hanging out laundry, rinsing and washing cloth diapers, sorting recycling, walking to the store. Green living can be expensive too, especially if you believe the commerical machine pushing ecology as something you can buy via a Prius, solar panels, and shade grown coffee.

I'm not picking on shade grown coffee; I drink it every morning (..., noon, and night...). But we are doing our beautiful Mother Earth a terrible disservice if we allow green living to become another unreachable goal. Most of the time, it's a simple as using less. Does it take more time to not buy those smooth, silky high thread count sheets at Macy's? Of course not. It's cheaper to not buy them as well. And while they may be organic cotton or bamboo from a fair trade alliance, the sheets you have in your closet are still greener and fairer.

Most of green living lies not in the things we do or the things we buy, but in the things we don't do or buy. In this spirit, here are a few things I am not doing or buying this week:

1. Individually wrapped snacks.
2. A new blanket for the baby (saw one I loved :-( ).
3. A new eyeliner I've been coveting.
4. New flannel sheets to replace my slightly thin and decidedly un-fluffy ones.
5. Birthday invitations for my 12 year old's party. We already have paper, thank you.

Here's a green challenge that won't cost you a minute or a dime: every week when you make your shopping list (mental or written down), cross off three to five things you can physically live without.


Unknown said...

Emmie--Tell your 12-year-old to use Evite. I quit the paper invitation years ago AND I think they even do thank you notes, now!