“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight … losing my religion.” Great R.E.M. jam, right? It’s totally how I feel today.
Friends of faith, calm down! I’m not being literal, or rather – I’m not talking about my spiritual religion, Christianity. My love of Jesus is as intact as ever. It’s actually thriving I’d say: going through this huge move with so much uncertainty and loose ends, Duggs and I have been very laid back. I’ve really been able to just hand the reigns over to God and trust that we’ll be fine, it’ll all work out in His time, and that He has my back. He always does, so why worry now?
Of course, we’re doing all we can to work hard and set ourselves up for success – but fretting over things out of our control? Not happening. We’ve had faith and it’s been very comforting.
What I’m referring to is my religion of eco-friendliness.
Practicing my beliefs through the way I run a home, the purchases I make, the products I choose to surround myself with, put into the environment and my body… I’ve lost that “religion” big time.
I’ve been SO BAD.
Drive-throughs, food dye, nitrates, preservatives… you name it, I’ve been eating it this past month+. I’ve had more take out and delivery than you’d even think humanly possible. My first week in New York I ate at Dunkin Donuts literally every single day. (There aren’t any DDs in Hawaii, and I was dying for jelly donuts and pumpernickel bagels like woah).
It gets worse… Much worse.
Hi. My name is Rose, and I’ve shopped at Walmart recently.
Yeah, I need a Walmart Anonymous meeting or something to help me cope.
I’m downright ASHAMED that I’ve supported the giant corporation that I’ve been a sworn enemy of for years. I mean, I belong to an anti-Walmart watchdog group that keeps tabs on all of the pollution-causing antics, third world sweatshop supporting practices and employee rights-squashing shenanigans that the big blue box condones (and usually tries to hide with price roll back smoke and mirrors).
It still gets WORSE.
I’ve used paper towels. Lots of them.
(I’m basically in tears at this point. Who am I? Where has the real Rose gone?).
I’ve drank coffee made in a Keurig. Oh how I swore I never would. But I did. In multiple homes on multiple occasions… and I liked it. It’s delicious. I even bought more K-cups to refill the ones I willfully consumed.
And if we’re getting really honest – which we are, I’m confessing to quite a lot of eco-sins here – I’ve also used some chemically crazy cleaning agents. A little bleach here, a little neon colored scented spray there. SIGH.
I mean, I have excuses – sure. I’ve been a guest in the homes of others. I’m trying to be polite and keep things simple. I’m living out of suitcases (essentially), and for a while we were technically homeless. Going with the flow, not making waves, and so on… but you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I know I’m being hard on myself. But there’s a certain level of conscientious living that I’ve strived for and I feel like I’ve just totally ignored all of my earthly beliefs lately.
Really though, there is some adjustment period to be expected. I didn’t pack rags with us like I had intended to (I was so ill the day the movers came to our house in Hawaii, so many of my plans for what was to get packed/shipped and what was to come with us for immediate access went totally out the window – I’m lucky to have underwear and socks with me, it was that crazy, I was that ill).
So I’ve been bad and I know it.
Duggs and I went more than a year with only buying a single roll of paper towels for our home (for doggie pee when we were dog sitting and other such “emergencies”). We use cloth napkins, rags, and towels.
I had actually kicked my coffee habit to the curb and was drinking tea, usually only one caffeinated tea a day – the others decaf, herbal, etc. And even if/when we made coffee, it was with a regular pot. Many of my (dear beloved) pals have gone Keurig, and while the idea of making one cup at a time seems convenient and nice, the waste just seems inexcusable. All that packaging! Ugh. (And I know there’s the “my K-cup” thingy that’s reusable, but still… who uses those? It’s way more fun and easy to just buy the regular disposable K-cups).
And Walmart? Ha! I haven’t been in a walmart in years. Actually, Duggs and I made ONE purchase there the entire time I lived in Hawaii. And before that, I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been in one.
I like to practice what I preach. I sure try to anyways. We all slip up, yes. I know I’m not perfect, but I try and that’s been something I define myself by, a source of pride.
As an American I know I have power in my vote, sure. But we all have a power that seems to carry even more impact: consumer power. Where we spend our hard earned money speaks volumes. By not buying products I consider wasteful or harmful, by not shopping at stores whose practices I’m not down with – I vote with my money.
I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in recent years. It seems like every year since ’07, my resolution has been “to be greener,” and every year I’ve made imporvements.
Buying and eating better food to not support farming practices I don’t agree with (factory farming is downright evil) and to be kinder to my body is one that I’ve worked on for years. The amount of waste reduction in our home has been impressive. Using less and less “disposable” items and more reusable stuffs – it’s better for the earth and it’s better for our pocketbooks.
Do you know how pricey paper towels and paper napkins are? That junk adds up! Back in Hawaii, I cut up one old towel and made like 15 rags. They work better than paper towels and you just wash ’em and voila, good to go. Cloth napkins are nice too, they’re softer on your skin and again, save money, waste less, so on. Making our own cleaning products is WAY better for the environment and much, much cheaper. Those fancy products add up; but white distilled vinegar? Blessedly affordable.
My crunchy habits do save us money, which is great.
But more than that, I’ve been able to live a lifestyle I’m proud of, one that allows me to live out my beliefs.
So without those habits I feel like I’m being untrue to my heart. I’ve had that R.E.M. song stuck in my head for days, and I don’t think it’s coincidence. My eco-religion is a little lost right now.
I’m not all evil these days, though. I’m slowly getting back into my green hippie groove. The jostle of moving and being on the road, going from place to place was unstable. But now that we’re here at Nick’s and settled in, I’ve been getting back into a greener routine. I know it won’t be long before I’m up to my old hippie tricks and living at a level that’s reasonable and good.
It’s just the lapse that happened during the in-between for which I feel guilty.
I had to confess, get it off my chest. But that’s it, I’m wiping the slate clean and moving on. While I’m not pleased with some of the wasteful ways I’ve taken up lately, and the whole Wamart thing (*shudders*) … I’m not going to beat myself up too much. What’s the point?
I’ve recognized the problem, and that’s always the first step. So now, it’s about moving on and regaining my crunchy cred. I’ll post soon (tomorrow maybe?) about the greenie ways I’m getting back and the hippie practices I’ve never lost sight of. There are so many little, easy ways to keep an eco-friendly home, save money and be nice to ourselves and our animals (chemicals kill, yo).
And at some point I should post about all the crunchy hippie habits of mine that save money. You’d be amazed at how my gentle ways also go so easy on the wallet. But that’ll be a long post, and I’ll need to think of all the things I do – I don’t want to leave anything out.
For today though, the confession feels nice. It’s off my chest – so thanks for letting me do that.
As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr