Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's Easy Being Green

Easier than you think or at least, easier than 'they' would have us think it is. Very quickly the corporate machines that depend on our ever-increasing consumerism for their very life and prosperity recognized that the 'green' movement could decimate their fortunes. So the took the concept and twisted it, creating 'green' products. And they were delighted to find that they could charge considerably more - especially by packaging it in very small amounts and so the corporate machines were happy and people lulled into thinking that they were making more responsible choices by continuing to buy, buy, buy green products.

And I don't mean to say that buying organic isn't good or that there aren't some great 'green' products out there. But I have one very big beef with this so-called green movement. Have you noticed the packaging? I can buy conditioner that is made in Vancouver (less emissions to get to me) and has no bad ingredients. But I have to buy it in 1 cup plastic bottles at a time. At best, I can order a 2 cup container in special. I can buy organic ketchup but I have to buy it in the smallest plastic bottle that ketchup comes in. And we use a lot of ketchup around here. What's that about? How 'green' is my choice when I am contributing to the ocean of plastic as I support more sustainable farming practises? Why does it have to be a trade-off?

I've been thinking more and more that living a more sustainable lifestyle means buying a whole lot less and buying in really different ways. We have become so dependant in the way we live. Most of us are dependant on the system for our electricity, our heat, our water, communication, entertainment. What would we do if it were suddenly to collapse or be bombed or something like that? In about 2 generations, so much information has been lost about how to be self-sufficient. Most of us don't know how to make our own soap, our own bread, sew our own clothes and many don't even know how to grow their own food. It's a scary proposition. As we have become urbanized, we have become very vulnerable. I've been thinking more and more that to be more sustainable means to do more things myself.

We've come to think that 'being green' means buying more expensive things and different kinds of things - throw out all your plastic containers and buy metal or glass ones. It's still buy, buy, buy. What if being green was actually a lot easier than that? I mean, isn't it easier to have a rag bag full of cotton rags made from old clothes than to purchase paper towel? Isn't it easier to save your plastic bags instead of buying packages of them? Sure, preserving your own food takes more effort but it is so much more nutritious and definitely a better bargain than buying organic. And thrift store shopping is more time consuming but you won't have to spend so many hours working to pay for all those new clothes.

Thinking this way really clicked for me when reading the Humanure Handbook (have I mentioned that book before....? lol... and I probably will again!) When I realized that I didn't need to purchase a $2000 composting toilet but I could make one from a 10 gallon bucket (did I mention that he included the plans in the book for several different kids of toilets?). I suddenly saw the fraudulent ways of the corporations who had got us to see 'green' living as more expensive and generally harder to do. It isn't. There are so many things we can do right now that are easy and make our life easier and less stressfull. All these thoughts and some great women in my life inspired me to run this workshop at the Inner World School this summer..... It's Easy Being Green. Next Tuesday is our first one! I am so looking forward to it! Following is the write up from our brochure. (maybe tomorrow I'll go back to talking about chickens...)


Our flagship this summer will be a workshop that will go every Tuesday from 10am - 1pm and is open to all ages. The topic is "It's Easy Being Green". Too often it seems that making a choice that is better for the earth (green), costs more money, takes more effort and generally makes life more difficult. This workshop will focus on the easy things we can do that lesson our impact on the earth. We will be starting it off by decorating thrifted t-shirts with slogans, like: "It's Easy Being Green", "Buy Less", "I Love the Earth", "Can't Be Bought", "Not For Sale", "I Am The Earth", "Don't Pollute" or many other ones that we think up. In the following weeks we will do many things that focus on easily living with less impact on the earth - we will sew cloth napkins and make a rag bag and make rags from old clothing, we will pick up litter, make our own soap, we will make art from recycled materials, we will do field trips to thrift stores and the farmer's market and much, much more. Come every Tuesday or come for a few or only one. The cost per workshop is $20 or $120 (free for members) for the whole 9 weeks. It will culminate in an open house display of all that we have done and how it can be easy being green at the Inner World School that will be open to the public in early September.
It's Easy Being Green
Date: Tuesdays, July 3 - August 28
Time: 10am - 1pm
Place: Inner World School, 3306B - 32 Ave
Cost: $120 or $20 per workshop - free for members

To register, call Andrea at 503-5416 or e-mail


beetlemack said...

andrea, i really think you should write a book.

Andrea said...

Thanks, Bean.

katie said...

thanks andrea. i see now that i do a lot of "green" things. the things you mentioned go hand in hand with being thrifty. i don't think i'm ready to bottle my waste though...we need to make some plans.

Andrea said...

Exactly - the difference is choosing to live like that when you can afford not to. And I don't bottle my pee, I pee in a canning jar and carry it to my compost and dump it in.