The effort to change my middle-class taught habits, and to learn to walk more lightly, is an ongoing one. It has become a part of my identity. Not content just to be that 34 year old goddess worshiping Hindu lady with the two loud, but funny, kids, I am that crazy lady with the rags, that wacky neighbor with the veggies in the front yard, the chicken lady who trades eggs for lawn mowing. I am the mom whose kids talk about what apple they want in the store based on which sticker says "USA" and consider it an accomplishment to find something with no plastic packaging. I am that shopper with the net bags who would rather pay more than buy Styrofoam. I'm the lady at the birthday party folding up the tissue, and who gifted you with something in a re-used bag, or wrapped in fabric. I am that hostess who will put you to work in the yard if you stay more than three days, and who expects you to be interested in whether the tomatoes are ripe even before that.
Yet, despite all that, it never feels like enough. It seems as if each time I make the small steps; change a light bulb from incandescent to flourescent, from flourescent to led, I realize how much electricity this other appliance nearby is using. It feels like turning up my a/c by a degree, or my heater down by two, just reminds me how much energy I'm using in having them on at all. The more I educate myself, the more problems I see. It is frustrating, and the temptation is there to think it is pointless, to think it is hopeless, to call what we do "enough" and get comfortable.
Hope is all we have sometimes though, and if we want to earn it, we have to work for it. So I strive, each day a little more, falling back and failing often enough to know I'm no where close to done, but occasionally being gifted a triumph that keeps me going a little longer, just a little more.
I own no dryer, but I do own a truck. I walk when I can, but sometimes I don't. I buy very little plastic, but still make enough I can't yet give up my curbside trash pickup. I have chickens and ducks, but still buy feed. There are a dozen ways I fail each day, and a dozen more in which I succeed. One day at a time, I try to convert the habits of a lifetime to those that are more earth-centric, less convenience-glorifying.
I'd preach some more, but it is time to check for eggs and get the clothing off the line. Come on in, have some tea, and let's chat. If you stay more than three days, please lend a hand.