Monday, September 28, 2009

All or nothing...

Sustainable. Locavore. Carbon footprint.

I'm all for it. Really. My blood runs green. It does.

I compost.

I raise heirloom plants.

I own a Prius.

What got me thinking about our Greenism is this:

A friend and I went to see the movie, Fresh. Now, for those of you who don't know about this fine film honoring the local farmer, a quick not plan to go out for dinner afterward, especially for chicken.

I knew what I was getting into by seeing the film, but hey--I had been housebound with sick kids all week. Two hours to sit quietly with a glass of wine versus listening to my sweet kiddos whines--it appealed to me.

Of course, after watching the film, I swore I would never eat mass-produced food again, I would patronize the local farmer, I would eradicate all of the bad choices I make on a daily basis and SAVE THE WORLD.

Then I went home, had a Diet Coke and an Oreo.

But I digress...

What really made me think about our Greenism was the conversation that followed the film. A terrific group of panelists shared their reactions to the film and answered questions from the audience. Panel members included a young, local farmer who grows his produce using sustainable, natural methods. He's like a rock-star of arugula and a genuinely nice guy. A former professor shared lovely muscadines with the audience from his berry farm. A husband and wife team that provides hormone-free, antibiotic-free meats got a little earthy and read some poetry. Plus there was a professor from Clemson, a horticultural powerhouse of a university. These individuals truly know their stuff...they don't preach, they don't instill guilt, they are just good people doing their jobs and helping the environment at the same time.

But as the discussion opened for "questions," a few audience members felt the need to showcase their vast knowledge of environmental doomsday-ness. Listening to the spewed statistics about petrochemicals used in farming (which this panel does not USE, lady!), I found myself tuning out.

Which is my point.

Why is there this disconnent between living a green life and, well, living? Why do some individuals feel the need for Green superiority, when some of us are just trying to do the best we can to positively impact the environment?

Shouldn't there be an easier way to make lifestyle changes that support a healthy environment without expending tremendous amounts of time and money?

And how can the average mom, one who works, volunteers, runs the kids to karate, soccer, piano, you name can she guide her family on the path to Green-ness without breaking the grocery budget and adding more stress to an already stress-filled life?

How can I do this?

So, in the blog-honored tradition of Julie Powell, my task in the next year is this:

I plan to minimize my family's impact on the environment. I'll keep track of what works, what doesn't, and hopefully find some useful tips to share. I won't preach, I won't be perfect, and God knows, I'll never be No Impact Man...but we're going to try. A little bit every day.

Hope you'll join me for the adventure!



  1. Julie, I love this blog topic - good luck!

    Kelly (McShane!)

  2. I feel so proud to have a little part in the genesis of your blog. Good for you, Julie.