Friday, October 19, 2007

I am So Confused!

I want to Save the Planet and I want to Do the Right Thing and a China-Free Christmas makes sense too, except that it raises a lot of questions:

Are we targeting just China, or is the idea to avoid all imports? I was just at the book store and was bummed to realize a lot of books are published in China. And the stuff that isn't from China is from Denmark, Honduras, Guatemala, Malaysia, India and even (gasp!) Canada! What's a consumer to do? We are a global market, like it or not, and to really commit to the China-Free Christmas is big! I am not throwing in the towel... I'm just saying.

OKay, what about paper plates? Bad, right? But we are importing water and dish-washing is bad? But paper plates take water to make and trees... dead trees. I want to get rid of paper plates, but someone around here refuses to give them up, and someone leaves lights on all over the house and never feels even the slightest bit of remorse or shame. Me?... I scurry around turning out lights, shutting-off water and recycling every scrap... proudly, indignantly. And I have always been this way. I call myself Al Gore's B!tch (I have a particular fondness for self-deprecating, satirical humor), but I've been Green since the olden days.

Will it matter? Am I really making a difference? I believe I want to make the real changes, the tough choices, but in reality I know I am not doing enough. There are a lot of imports under our roof, and I make a lot of driving trips to the market, schools, the good fabric store that is 20 minutes away. We just got our carpets cleaned. What environmental circle of hell does that put us in? And next week I am having friends over for dinner, and I don't have enough soup bowls... all the bowls at Target are made in China, and if you tell me to go find some groovy local artist throwing clay and making $40.00 made in America bowls, I will balk, and seriously consider going back to serving my guests on paper plates.

How are you coping with all of the demands to do right by our bodies and health, by our families and home, by our Nation and our planet? Sometimes Most of the time I am so confused it feels like I do all the wrong things. Feh. Most people I know are living very comfortable lives... I know, I've lived in third world countries... we do not suffer. And I like being comfortable.

Ummm... I don't know where I am going with this by the way. I'm just so confused. Is it too soon to watch "Elf?"


Anne O said...

Really wonderful questions!!...and that is the best thing to do: start asking the questions even if you don't have all the answers. An *awareness* that we get to *CHOOSE* is the best place to start.

We weigh our choices...we choose not to shop at Wal-Mart, but sometimes if we have a need/desire, we weigh the *cost* (to the Universe, not just ourSelves) of the other options: gas, carbon in the atmosphere, time, life's energy, etc. We support local independent businesses, especially the Fair Trade store (where we also volunteer, and if you don't have a Fair Trade store near you, you can still choose to buy Fair Trade goods ~ especially coffee and chocolate).

You're walking in the right direction and your awareness will allow you to make the best overall choices for yourSelves and the world, without guilt, but with educated, enlightened information.

Jennifer said...

BPA -- not BEA -- for the plastics thing!

Jennifer said...

ARGH! I just wrote a whole. long. post (and that's what the BPA/BEA refers to) and it's GONE! I'll come back and re-do it once I'm over the loss....