I believe in green living, but even more so, I believe in influencing others to adopt a lighter lifestyle. One person can only do so much. Multiply that number and we can do a lot. For most of us, though, the changes that must be made are overwhelming and the fear of not succeeding are paralyzing. To truly set a green trend, we need sunnier approach. George Marshall at Climate Change Denial developed a postive outlook on conservation which recently made the rounds on the 90% Reduction group and No Impact Man's blog. Marshall proposed the following:
"A lighter lifestyle is the smart, cool, intelligent and healthy way to live. Don’t be tied to outdated and dangerous 20th century ways of living. Live light because it will make you feel complete and free.
When you choose to live light you are setting the pace for the 21st century. You will see the people all around you trying to catch up. And when they do we can all work together to build a world that is cleaner, fairer and happier and that you will be proud to leave to your children."
If we were all to adopt the attitude described above, what would life be like?
I'd chat up other moms at the local park and our conversation would go something like this. "Omigod! I saw her walking out of the grocery store carrying a plastic bag!" "No way! Those things are, like, so 2005." We'd gossip about the latest book Bill McKibben wrote instead which celebrity was recently booked for a DUI. Getting together with the girls would mean browsing the racks of a local thrift store or taking knitting lessons together rather than hitting the mall.
At the school lunch table, kids would be teased for opening lunch boxes containing plastic ziplocks bags or, gasp, a Lunchable. Mr. Green Bean would have no place to park his bike and would be forced to bring it into his office. A visitor to my home would compliment me on the crunchiness of my towels, observing "you must line dry", or ask where to compost her lunch scraps. Far away vacations would be replaced by exploration of local wonders and front lawns would be replaced with edible landscaping.
Such a life sounds pretty good, doesn't it? A born trend setter I am not but I hope to set a few trends this year and share with others the freedom of living lighter.