Tuesday, January 15, 2008
This morning's click around my favorite blogs revealed an over-riding theme - the environment as a moral high ground.
Over at Organic Picks, CindyW wavered on speaking out about the environment in two distinct social situations. One involved a charity e-waste clean up event and the other entailed a baby shower, a new mom and a Hummer. In both cases, Cindy thought twice before voicing ecological concerns because, in part, she didn't want to appear judgmental.
Car(bon) Free in California also references the morality involved in making the right choice by the environment and noted, when choice is taken away, people adjust but that it becomes "morally boring".
Finally, brave Melinda, at Elements in Time, confessed that, while she is one of the greenest beans I know, she does not use re-usable canvas bags or bring her own coffee mug and still drinks bottled water (gasp, gasp, and double gasp!). In all likelihood, she hesitated before making those admissions - wondering if she might be judged.
By whom, you ask? The righteous environmentalist. Are you familiar with him or her? I am, unfortunately. Sometimes, I have even glimpsed her in my mirror - when she grumbles about the neighbor who drives a Prius but hardly recycles or turns up her nose up at the friend who carries re-usable totes but just bought a SUV. It's called being judgmental and it is not pretty or productive.
Being judgmental is one of my least attractive traits and one I've worked on for most of my adult life. I've learned much from my more patient husband who says that folks with a heavy carbon emission lifestyle are "not educated" on the issue. He's probably right.
My tendency to judge others for not being "green" enough, however, took a dive a few weeks ago. It was a Friday morning. I was waiting at a stop light en route to a doctor's appointment when I noticed a few people biking - to work, to class, I don't know. The reason these bikers stood out to me was that they were biking in midst of Northern California's biggest storm in six years. Rain pelted down or, rather, sideways. Wind tore branches off of trees. My wipers worked over time and I could barely make out the road ahead. So here I sat, in the dry luxury of my cozy car with the heat off - doing my part for the planet, ya know - and it hit me. I live in a glass house. These folks biking in weather later compared to that of a hurricane, dude, these people were hard core. (Or just didn't have the money for a car and really needed to get somewhere.)
I've since learned that people like I used to be (see, I've turned over a new leaf here!) are called Lamers. Huh? "Lamers are anyone that slings mud at someone for not doing enough'." (Look here for more on the "lamer" concept.) Beating up on each other won't halt global warming and may actually stop some people in their tracks. If they can never do enough, then why try? Further, there will always, always be someone greener than you.
What is important is to make a change and make an effort. Living lightly doesn't happen over night. "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." Wait a minute. "A single step!" See, I told you, walking! Not driving a SUV or even a Prius, people! Walking!! Now that's truly green. ;-)