Midwest Green DebutMarch 2, 2009
I’ve been an amateur environmentalist since I was a kid. Now that I am a grown up I want to live true to my principles. That said, I also want to be comfortable and maintain a pleasant, modern standard of living and not incite a mutiny by my husband (who really is quite tolerant) and my two children (who are a tad less so)
So in this blog I plan to document my search for greenness. As a family, we’re already doing pretty well – most of our lights are compact flourescents (CFLs won’t fit in some of our fixtures though), we have an organic garden, our kitchen appliances are all energy-star rated, we recycle, drive small cars, don’t run the water while we brush our teeth. But there is plenty we can still do. And what I’ve noticed is that the options and decisions are not all straight forward. For instance, we do not have a readily available way to recycle cardboard and there are only so many boxes one can use – so is it better to burn cardboard or add it to the landfill? And at the grocery store, of course local, organic is best, but that’s not always an option – – so should I buy local or buy organic or just give up and buy the stuff the kids like?
And while the focus here is primarily green (thus the name: Midwest Green), along with that is sustainable living, ecojustice, supporting the global community as well as the local community, etc. etc. Being green is generally more than eco-consciousness – it’s eco-social-global-local consciousness. And sometimes all the ramifications just make my head hurt.
So when things are not straightforward I sometimes make a decision based on a rationalization. I order some pre-made, highly processed (genuinely tasty) food from Market Day. Why? It supports the PTO at my kids’ school, which in turn does laudable things for the district, teachers, and students. It also helps keep a friend of mine employed by Market Day. Is it a bad decision? Well, on the green scale it’s pretty low, it’s higher on the local scale though. Can I even find decisions high on the local, global, and green scales simultaneously? I’m not so sure I can.
There are always decisions, always compromises, and my focus here will be to show how one middle class, midwestern woman makes her decisions as she tries to live a sustainable, green, globally, locally responsible yet productive, interesting, and fun life.
In the process you will meet my family – DH (my dear husband), S (my son, age 13) and D (my daughter, age 9). You’ll meet my community – a small farm town in Central Illinois. You’ll meet my pets, 3 cats and 4 llamas. You’ll experience my hobbies (knitting, beading, gardening…), my work (college teaching), and my travels (because while travel is often not green, not learning about other places and not visiting family and friends is just not an option).
I hope you’ll come back now and again and see how I’m doing on this quest for greeness.