...is to learn to do the best with what we have...naturally. The Dervaeses at Path To Freedom are my heros in this respect. They are my ideal of Being Green.
Remember this song?
No, it's not always easy being Green... :)
In my last post, I spoke of not labeling myself with particular labels. "Green" has come to mean many things in many different contexts. Our (my husband's and my) focus is to be gentle consumers within a natural framework, and to cut out the middle man between the ground and the table. We are lovers of nature. We feel a keen sense of responsibility in doing this sustainably, our ideal being that there would be no waste that's not converted back into a cycle of regeneration. Our goal is also simplicity.
We're spoiled to modern conveniences, but would rather innovate and find ways to retain some of those conveniences rather than do completely without, or do everything from scratch. This will allow us to focus on the things we most WANT to be hands-on with...because we can't be masters at every skill. We also see relying on others' skills in areas we're not gifted in, and doing the swapping of services, or bartering items for such.
Path to Freedom is one of the first sites I ever found when looking online for resources on sustainability, urban farming, and homesteading. They are still a daily read.
This recent post of theirs details many of the techniques they've been practicing and had success with for many years. For us, this family's success in using what they have and living gently...and abundantly...right where they live, is a high-water mark for us. Please check out the post, and their site, if you haven't already. It's always informative, as well as encouraging!
I didn't want to leave a false impression that my family is not concerned with being "green." It's a label that can be so broad, much like the term "health nut." If you hear someone is a health nut, it can mean anything from eating well, to being focused on running marathons, to fasting regularly, to going bra-less and living in a treehouse...heehee. There are some things perceived as being Green that I'm not on the same page as. I don't want to pay carbon taxes, ever. I don't want to give up any of my constitutional, or personal, freedoms because someone else determines they're don't serve a "green" agenda. I'm not ready to give up toilet paper. I love my ovaries and if they ever serve to grant my husband and myself other children, I do not feel irresponsible and like that is taxing the world population. I don't ride a horse to work, and can't afford to buy another vehicle that uses less gasoline. I eat meat...just less of it till the day when we can raise our own. I don't see cows as the bane of the world food balance...I see Big Ag as such. Grassfed animals are at the top of my preference list as far as agricultural systems, and I won't ascribe to the humble cow or sheep the crowding out of wildlife and the bane of overgrazing...I ascribe that to the people who mismanage them.
I could go on and on, but in some ways, I'm greener...or maybe could be called weirder...than most folks I know. Some of my green views come from sources other than back-to-the-earth movements. Our family follows the instructions in the Torah, and there are many instructions there that we're not used to embracing...but want to. There is a prohibition against mixing "types"...as in breeding a zebra with a camel. We find this an instruction of great import in a day in which pig DNA is being combined through genetic mutilation directly into broccoli or any other number of animal/plant combinations. That is a mixing of unlike types. How can we practice not eating those, if they're not labeled? We must grow our own pure DNA foods. This is ancient "green" principle that, for my family, is a command we must keep.
Another prohibition is against mixing types of clothing materials. Strands of unlike clothing materials are not supposed to be woven together and worn. A lot of synthetic materials are made from the fusing of unlike materials, such as plant based and petroleum based. That of necessity tends us towards using natural fiber materials. Since trying to rid my closet of the synthetic things, I've found I have mostly cotton and linen clothes now...which my body really appreciates! When I have to wear my work uniform, which is to a large degree polyester, my body feels like it's screaming...it's not natural. To some, this is a really weird thing, and does it fall under the category "green"? I have no idea, but to me, it is.
In being green, I don't subscribe to a mob mentality. There is a lot of integrity within the category "green," but there are also politics and specific agendas in different arenas. I can see some things being abused in the name of Green, and one of the ones that most concerns me is eugenics. Eugenics, or the "selecting out" of those things that are weaker or diseased for the supposed survival of the masses or the "greater good," is something of great concern to me. I've heard these sometimes grouped under "green" agendas. That troubles me. Limiting the freedoms of families to determine for themselves how many children they have is another of my concerns. I understand the arguments for and against these issues, which have often been lumped under the greater category "green" when discussing worldwide issues...but those are where I exit the label. When Green becomes a religion, buh-bye. My voice is just as important in the green movement, and my concern is the preservation of individuality within our fragile yet resilient world. It's a revolution that's about returning to basic freedoms, not promoting the loss of them.
I see true "greenness" as being the earning of privilege. It's a privilege to live on this earth...it's not a throw-away resource that can be gobbled like a can of Pringles and then tossed to the curb. The domino-effect on our health and society has been rapid since the rise of Big Ag as "the answer"...um, what was the question?? We believed the propaganda, and didn't remember that "Green" to Monsanto means greenbacks/dollars, not an Eden of plenty.
Watch out for "green" as a proganda trend for the mega-corporations. They are NOT driven by a heart change..they are driven to repackage those items from China in a more palatable-to-the-conscience way. It helps their bottom line to put just enough of these items in their stores to ease the conscience of the consumer who is still for the most part still unaware of exactly what their food contains and where it came from. Watch out for these corporations because they still are a law unto themselves. They still are under-the-table dealing with impunity. We need our justice systems to work for accountability beyond the walls of lawyers these big guys can afford. It is important to hold everyone to the same standards of justice...even the megalopolies and the Monsantos...so that Green can be something not fringe, but a fundamental element of our society and its relationship to the earth that sustains its populations. It needs to be a living community as diverse as the community we find here online, where we can agree or disagree, but still work to better our world and our own square of dirt or cement. At that point, many of us who're on the fringes of an out-of-control mainstream society will not be the outsiders, but the leaders and teachers.
Green, if it was not already, is becoming a necessity for many of us, now. Hopefully, it will be an individual expression as well as a thriving community. We're in that muddle where Green is still being defined, and there are growing pains and still a lot of Goliaths for shepherd boys to face down. So, we embrace being Green. But don't pass us any Koolaid ;-)