Wednesday, November 05, 2008

615 - green meme

Thanks for all your kind thoughts on my last post.

Now moving right along, Docwitch tagged me with this meme. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s an odd kind of confessional.

The rules are below…but I don’t play by the rules, so I am not tagging three bloggers, just leaving it open for whoever wishes to partake.

The Guidelines:
1. Link to Green Meme Bloggers
2. Link to whoever tagged you
3. Include meme number
4. Include these guidelines in your post
5. Answer questions
6. Tag 3 other green bloggers.

Now that’s out of the way, lets get on with the show…

Green Meme Number 1

1. Name two motivations for being green
Other than the planet dying? Seriously do we need more motivation than that? Every now and then I am heard to utter, “She’s not happy”. The earth is definitely female. She’s been tolerant for too long. Like a woman in an abusive marriage who keeps thinking that he’ll get his shit together. Well, we haven’t.

Or at least we are trying to.

I hope its not too late.

2. Name 2 eco-unfriendly items you refuse to give up
Electricity. I know I should go for the “greener” options but honestly it shits me that the companies charge more. Some for very minimal green product. The coal industry is heavily subsidized. Why should it be cheaper than truly sustainable sources? I feel like switching to the ‘green’ plans is like saying to the power companies – go on, keep supporting coal fired stations but feel free to charge me what you want for alternative sources.

Columbian coffee. I drink so little caffeine but when I have a hit I want it to be the good stuff. Black coffee needs a gentler, rounded flavoured bean and Columbian has been my choice for more years than I choose to remember. It doesn’t weigh much but it has to cover a lot of kilometers getting here.

And it’s hard to find Fair Trade Columbian too.

(An aside – I met a fantastic Columbian artist recently who said on a particularly joyous, significant day for her, “I’m going to write a letter to the paramilitary to thank them for threatening to kill my son. Otherwise I would never have moved to Australia.”)

3. Are you at peace with, or do you feel guilty about no.2?
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”.

Am saving my pennies to get solar panels, so guilt of #1 is offset.

#2 – I’ve given up coffee so many times that really it is a small drop in the ocean. I will surely give up that couple of sips a day of brown liquid again.

My philosophy is start changing what is easiest.

4. What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?
I barely use my car but I can’t quite relinquish having one as it represents freedom to me. I’ve spent too many years in this city traipsing around on my own in the dark by foot, bike and public transport. I get spooked more often now. I felt bulletproof before. but now I smell violence too often in the spaces I travel through. Having a car makes me feel less vulnerable at night. Though I am still frequently out on the streets without it.

5. Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average?
Las time I calculated it my home is smaller than average. Not eating meat helps. But my total footprint gets wrecked every time I add in air travel. Though a small amount is for pleasure (Tasmania this year, Bali last year), the frequent trips across the Tasman to help with my aging parents really bumps up my footprint. Currently I don’t feel as if I have any other option. The upside (?) is almost all my holiday time is spent there so I won’t be jetting off across to the other side of the world soon.

6.What's eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?
The upside about living in the inner city is that I can walk or tram to work and, as mentioned, use the car very little. Being able to afford a home in this part of the city means that it is a small one, with a smallish footprint. Our living/kitchen/dining area is tiny so it is easy to heat and cool. Being an old dwelling, double brick also helps, plus the insulation in the roof.

The downside – it’s a cranky old house that is difficult to retrofit with anything (the SE did an amazing job of crawling around in the metre high, 100 year old roof space putting in insulation) and being in a conservation overlay zone also can be challenging. We have a worm farm, small garden and grow a few veggies but I do wonder just how clean they are grown in city air.

Oh and its just so bloody expensive. Am saving for a water tank but that is only part of the cost – its doing things with gutters and roofs that require plumbers and all the other installation costs that blow out the budget.

7. Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow you own?
I buy mostly organic fruit and veg and have done so for years. I am happy to pay a bit more. It tastes better. But if I had a family of ravenous teenage boys it would be a real strain. There is a little bit of produce from the garden (the economy of such is foolish – we just spent $200 invigorating our little garden bed with organically certified poo and other such stuff). There is a certain amount of trading that goes on in the neighbourhood and with friends.

8. What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?
Being 100% aware and dealing with conflicting philosophies. I’ll choose a product using one set of criteria, such as Italian leather shoes that I’m going to get at least 8 years wear out of if I take care of them, over a local, badly made option which has usually been outsourced to a third world country to be made. But the Italian shoes come from animals (bad) and travels halfway across the world (also bad) so are not considered green by some.

And can I say (sorry NB) my cohabitant can be really challenging when it comes to being green. I find him comparatively wasteful with power, water etc

But I am not perfect and we all have our ecological blind spots.

9. Do you have a green confession?
I put in decking last year and I was given an option of two types of wood. I choose the cheaper one.


I guess I could have left the garden in a wild state for another ten years and saved up for more ecologically correct timber.

10. Do you have the support of family and/or friends?
Yes and no. Dobbing others in won’t improve matters I think. Lets just leave it at that.

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Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

Bless you dear Rants.
The hardest thing about being environmentally-aware, is coping with the damn hypocrisy.
As I gaze out the window past the screen I see vast fields of baled hay - wrapped in multi-layers of pretty peppermint-green plastic.
Thousands of em.
Each worth about 200 Smarket bags.
Now I aint gonna bitch about hay for animals in winter, but the same baling process is happening in every timber factory and grocery wholesaler, anywhere there's a forklift really - yards of plastic that must get dumped somewhere eventually.
And whats the point of my 1-minute shower if the chinese restaurant has gushing taps over the stirfry cookers?

all of that. sigh.

peace and love to you though.

6:43 pm  
Blogger docwitch said...

Whoa! This is damned good. It's certainly got me thinking more about my choices.

I have so many blind spots. I really do love this meme, because rather than despite the fact that I find it confronting.

9:57 pm  

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