Monday, 1 June 2009

I'm a hypocrite

Posted by: Paul Gardener
A posse ad esse (From possibility to reality)

OK, may be that's over stating it a bit, I mean I don't purposefully advocate doing things that I'm not willing to do myself but still, sometimes, I feel that way. Let me explain.

For a number of reasons that I won't go into right now my wife and I decided on, or rather and more precisely we evolved towards, "greening" up our lives. There were health reasons, political reasons and more or less it just felt like the right thing to do. It wasn't even actually a move to greening per se, that's just the easiest description of the direction we were evolving. We had as I've mentioned before always been a very frugal couple. More from necessity to begin with than by choice, but the lessons learned have stayed with us. As a part of our evolution I began to blog. The more I wrote, putting my thoughts on "paper" as it were, the more I began to find myself a part of this phenomenon that has been evolving globally through the networks like this one on the Internet. I have found a great kinship with you and my fellow writers whose ideas, hints and thoughts have helped to guide me on this journey of ours.

So much of what I write about and what I read, I practice daily. I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits and rewards of growing my own vegetables and raising livestock for food. I cannot possibly espouse enough the great advantages whether economically or otherwise to opting for second hand or salvaged goods and materials before new ones and I firmly believe that we have become far too dependant on petro-chemical based products of all manner. I'm also a vocal and adamant advocate for organic and small-scale agriculture. We've "evolved" far too far from our ties with the earth and it will be our down fall, I think, if we don't get back that connection.

So then, what's the problem? Well, nothing really I guess. I just have this nagging desire for transparency and for maintaining a connection to that place from whence I have come. Or, in simple English, I worry sometimes about blogs like my personal one and ones like this one or the potentially becoming too distant from where they began. There are a lot of new people coming here looking for information. Some have come because they're already on this path and others because they have had some awakening to the way the world is moving and still others because, as the global economies evolve, they have found that they need to change and have no idea what to do. I guess I worry for those people the most. I've been in a place where I didn't know what to do, but knew I had to do something. As I saw people around me doing things that seemed not ten but rather a hundred steps beyond me, I didn't think I could ever get there. We've all been there at some point I think.

Am I really a hypocrite? No. The thing is though, there's a lot of things that while I agree with doing them, in practice, I'm not very good at them. They gnaw at me, and they're the reason I don't write about them much. Like what?

Recycling - WHAT? Yeah, I'm out of the closet. I'm not a good recycler. I do collect my paper goods and plastic and aluminum the best I can. My kids have recently learned the merits of the later. ($$) And I drop them off as they collect. The things is, I'm just not that good at it. It's a goal of ours to improve for sure but garden work, chores, kids and life just always seem to trump it.

Cloth bags - This is one of those things that seems to be a staple of reducing our consumption of plastics. And to be sure it does make an enormous difference. We're just not very good at it. It's usually about the time that we've begun the process of filling the cart at our local store that I go..." Damn, honey, we forgot them again!!" and then commence to trying to find ways to remind myself in the future that never seem to work out.

Eating out - This is one that we've generally been pretty good at in the past. We enjoy going out for a meal together every once and a while, and with a family of five the cost alone is generally a deterrent. But of late, with my wife having started a new job just recently and with our garden not yet in production mode for most things, we've found ourselves having to eat our far more often than in recent years. It bugs me every time, but you know what? It happens.

There are others I'm sure, but these are a couple that just seems to keep coming back to bite me and drive me consistently nuts. Now, I'm sure there will be some who read this that are simply appalled that I could admittedly be terrible at things like this and still count myself as a Simple Green Frugal blogger and there will be others that think to themselves "Dude, chill out, it's just a cloth bag for goodness sake." The point to me is that I just have to have it out there.

I need to have people understand that what really matters is the process. It's not about us being perfect ascetics, that consume nothing and waste even less. It's about realizing that making goals and understanding our shortcomings and then working on them is what will in the end make us better people, save us money and benefit the environment. I can't speak for anyone else here but myself, but I'm not perfect. I try my best and share what I can, but honestly, I'm far from perfect.

If your new to this way of looking at life, I'm glad to know that you've decided to read the information on this blog. There are a lot of incredible writers here that your bound to learn a lot from and I've even been know to throw a pearl of wisdom out once and a while as well. Just remember it's about progress. It's not a race, and you will make mistakes. Together though, I think we can all make a huge difference.

Phew...glad to get that off my chest. to remember those dang cloth bags???
All the best to you all.