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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I am selfish

Emme yesterday asked what green meant to us. I answered that when I hear the word green that I picture my mother in the 1960, and not myself out in the fields. Yes, I also said that the word was a fad, a buzz word, yet somewhere in my statement I wasn't as clear as I could be about what I thought the word meant.

To be green, is to be a frog in a swamp. At least I sing a song by a certain frog when I hear the word.

In the past green meant someone that was consciously purchasing and watching their footprints. Not just vegans, or mud hut people. Green always felt like a generic term, and now has became oh so more. Now it means that you can shop anywhere and find that one must have "green" item. Be it labeled natural, evo friendly or what ever term you are looking for that would qualify it in your mind that it is "green". psst the Jones just bought a solar powered hot tub, we have to have a bigger one now.

With all the hubbub about politicians and actors going "green" the general public has begun to lose sight about what this movement is really suppose to be about. Fixing and saving.

I am not "green" by any definition. I am selfish. Whatever "green" you may see on these pages is a byproduct of my main goal. As I told Emme, I refer to myself as salt. So if you have come to my blog in search of how to greenify your life, in an easy way, it would be best if you moved on.

I am not a vegan, I raise and butcher my own meat. I have plans to use animals of burden. I tear up the land to plant my crops. I have made statements that consumerism is a good thing, but did qualify it by saying that you needed to make knowledgeable purchases.

I am selfish. I seed save. I am looking into grey water and solar power. I want to live off the grid, for more reasons than the electric companies have it in for the environment.

I drive a big truck. I have tried hauling hay and feed, animals and farm equipment in the hatch back of a small car. It doesn't work.

I started my garden out of selfishness, to feed us when we were down on our luck. The garden grew larger, and I discovered my true selfishness, I enjoyed it and it was all mine.

We do many thing by hand, we are determined to know that we can do these things, and that if something should ever happen, we can survive just a tad longer than some of the others. I want to prove to myself that I am not lazy, or soft. I work the land, mindful of it, because we need the soil to stay healthy year after year. I care for my animals, for I need then to stay healthy year after year. I care for my family for the same reason.

I am not green, I only appear that way to the outside world. I keep my immediate environment healthy because I am selfish.

Soon this green fad will fade, just like the recycling craze of the 1980's. Along with it, all the small lessons that the posers learned. If you buy into the fad, you gain relatively little. It will take a person's mind set to change. But as long as the Jones' have the better "green" items, I don't think that change will come. Yes, some good will come out of it. But this popular "green" is too easy, it's still about coveting and belonging.

Think salt of the Earth rather than greener pastures. Or am I being selfish?

HA! I just heard a commercial {watching the weather, tornadoes moving this way} "soandso, going greener for you." ha! No they aren't they are going greener so you'll buy more from them.


Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

we fall inline to pretty much everything you just said. I am green because I am cheap. period. I am cheap and experiencing the benifits of it.

Phelan said...

oh you guys aren't cheap, you're frugal!

I take it you are home now nd I can send you that cheese?

Maggie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maggie said...

Guess I should also add that I took an impact quiz and according to it, if everyone lived like I do we would need almost two earths. So apparently even with my conscious choices I am out of the, "green", running.

Maggie said...

Well I too am selfish but try as I always have to make decisions that minimize my impact on the environment. I went to school for Environmental Science over 10 years ago(did I say that out loud?!!) and have never thought of my efforts as a passing phase. Guess I didn't realize recycling was a fad cause I still do. I will agree with you on the whole "green" term it rates up there with "natural" with me. Oh well if its a bandwagon their could definately be worse ones for people to jump on. How's the Demon Donkey Goat?

Anonymous said...

Maggie, you are different. You made that choice on a personal level. Currently we have too many making their evironmental choices based on what's cool or hot or whatever the lingo maybe.

It's a fine bandwagon to jump onto, but it is still a fad and the majority of the people that are doing the in thing, will fall off soon.

And yes, I remember the recycling fad well. it lasted for a few years, then governments stepped in and started making people recycle when they stopped. At least in this area

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Please do. Thanks a bunch We are excited!
I hate those earth footprint sites... Pardon me, while I go start up my dump truck.

Maggie said...

ok i see so people being green is the in thing, ok yes I get it and you have a point. Now that you mention it Phelan we were talking about globing warming in College and everyone looked at us like we had two heads and now its the buzz word. You have a good point!!!

Wendy said...

I'm not green, either. I'm just incredibly cheap. My desire to live more lightly on the earth has a whole lot to do with the fact that I would like to not have to have a job (for money), and a lot less to do with the fact that it's more eco-friendly. Don't get me wrong - I'm all for stopping global warming and all of that, but we were working toward our goal of self-sufficiency, recycling, worrying about gas mileage and all of that BEFORE "green" became the buzzword and before "living lightly" was vogue.

Phelan said...

Tim, those footprints sites do not take everything into account, and no one will ever be able to get a small acreage of livability rather than multiple whole earths for the simple fact of population.

Maggie, yes I remember discussing the whole in the ozone layer and environmental friendly choices back in the day and people would shake their head and tell us we were silly.

And yes, the fad is the thing that bothers me.

Wendy, have you met Tim? Tim this is Wendy, she too is a cheap um frugal environmentalist. :)

Unknown said...

"We borrow the earth" Gypsy mantra.

I don't drive ~ I can't afford a car, whether buying, adapting or running. I have a solid fuel range ~ there is wood around & I want to coppice some of the trees here for fuel ~ can't afford oil for cooking/heating. I do use main grid electricity ~ can't afford a wind turbine or solar panels, unfortunately.
I do what I do for me, because I have no money, because I'm mean...

Jenny said...

We have a reality TV programme running here at the moment: two families trying to live more sustainably by using fewer resources.
They are rewarded with lots of super duper new appliances that have a green rating. The idea is to show that you can still live a relatively "normal" suburban life while being green as long as you BUY the right things. The show is sponsored by a hardware chain.

Stephanie Appleton said...

OH yes, cheese please! :)

Excellent post Phelan. I think a fad can be valuable because some people will really change their lifestyle. Most won't though, I agree.

As Tim said, our "green" is only a by product of other things that we are interested in; frugalness (ie cheapness!) and self sufficiency. I have had a post about this brewing in my head for months. I might actually get it posted tonight. or maybe later this week! :)

Anonymous said...

Killi, love the mantra. You're mean?

Littlejenny wren, now that's funny, and proves my point. Do you have a link to it?

Stephanie, please post. I want to see what you think.

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