Monday, June 25, 2007

It Isn't Easy Being Green

Green seems to be the color of choice this week.

Green stands for growing and green for environmentally responsible residents of Earth. Like Kermit T. Frog, the feeling of wannabe greenies is, "It isn't easy being green." But perhaps with discussion and exchange of ideas, a bit of determination and imagination, green may grow on us -- and I don't mean moss.

Some areas where I encountered green seemed to all meet at the Internet Writing Workshop.

The Creative Nonfiction Discussion Group are discussing the essay by Deborah Halter: The Joys of Walking vs. the Need for Speed that appeared in the June 22nd issue of National Catholic Reporter. Sadly the essay availability only extends to subscribers of NCR, but the gist of it involves her efforts to walk more and drive less. Like many of us, the author enjoys the driving, the quick results of driving to a destination as opposed to time-eating walks. And like many of us, a walk can not just be a walk, it must involve a destination, be useful, be work, or utilitarian.

I particularly liked this statement:

The first thing I learned was that when we drive, we miss many of the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of being human in the world -- a rabbit under a bush, 5-year-olds playing hopscotch on the driveway, the pungency of wet pavement, the poking of grass and gravel underfoot.

When we roll up the windows and turn on the air, we're twice removed. When we play the radio or a CD, we're thrice removed.When we listen to the radio or a CD and talk on a cell phone, we're removed a notch further. And when we're doing all that plus eating a burger or yelling at the kids in the back seat, our alienation from the environment becomes exponential.

I read Halter's words and can hear my husband's voice. His biggest pet peeve on his long drives to and from work involved people (women) in big SUVs as they multi-tasked (cell phones, mascara/make up application, coffee drinking, hair combing, and even reading while driving erratically and often coming within a hare's breath of running him off of the road.

Another touch with being green also originated at IWW with an article by a member, Wendee Holtcamp. Her article Thirty Days of Consumer Celibacy appears on OnEarth's website and not only follows her experiment into recycling and not buying new items for thirty days. It also imparts information about the biggest polluters and the project San Francisco Compact, started in 2006 by several concerned women.

Holtcamp wrote,

The average American generates about 4.5 pounds of trash a day -- a figure that,
according to the Environmental Protection Agency, includes paper, food, yard
trimmings, furniture, and everything else you toss out at home and on the job.

The leaders in pollution can be listed in a relatively short list: "cars and trucks; meat and poultry farming; crop production; home heating, hot water, and air conditioning; household appliances; home construction; and household water use and sewage treatment."

Moving on with the green synchronicity that came together this week, let me introduce a former IWW member Sandra Friend. She inspires me with her immersion into environment and Florida and her writings. She has written several books and articles about hiking, especially about hiking in Florida.

When I'm concerned that its time for the pest control guy to spray for bugs, she's slogging through some swamp locating mystery orchids and leading tours. She and Wendee leave me in the dust when it comes to environmentally responsible.

But with everyone coming together in a Greenpeace kind of week, maybe I'll finally step up and do my part -- after the bug guy gets done spraying for roaches and spiders and....


Sue said...

This post reminds me how much I miss writing essays. Maybe this week . . .

Wendee Holtcamp said...

Thanks for the mention of my OnEarth article! That piece is generating a lot of attention which is really cool, especially since it's an important topic :)

Dawn said...

I enjoyed the article, Wendee. And I admire your environmental efforts! You rock!