I read on Charlotte’s web (http://charlotteotter.wordpress.com/) that the issue du jour is the environment ( on that note, Congrats Mr. Gore), so here goes:
TRASH: I am horrified by the amount of trash I produce, so I am recycling as best I can. I live in a big field, so kitchen scraps (of the plant kind) get thrown out into the field. The deer and mice appreciate it, it focuses attention away from the grapes, and eventually becomes nice mulchy stinkyness for the princess to roll around in. I try ot buy in bulk and bring my own bags to the supermarket, I buy recycled printing paper (but not loo paper, as Charlotte does – I cannot subject myself to that – and I am going to assume Al’s with me on this one) , and drink my Britta water out of a big orange nalgene bottle I refill at will instead of buying and throwing away millions of small plastic bottles. I restrict my consumption of coffees in paper cups, I reuse plastic storage bags (for bread and lettuce), read newspapers online (except the Sunday NYT – doing a crossword online just isn’t the same experience), and return plastic wrappers and hangers at the non-toxic dry cleaner we go to.
I am equally horrified by the amount of cans the lovely PBs reliance on carbonated drinks produces. He does what he can to take them to the recycling, but when I see the mountain of cans outside the kitchen door, I do worry. About the planet and his intestinal tract.
FOOD: I am an omnivore, but a conscious one who shops as much as possible at the farmer’s market, I try to buy local, and if that’s unavailable, then organic. I stay away from food that’s got too many additives and unnecessary corn products in it (this has significantly reduced the number of ice-cream, yoghurt and butter brands I can choose from – I dare you to read the ingredients list of your dairy products…).
NON-RENEWABLE FOSSIL FUEL: here I hang my head in shame. I live on top of a steep, large hill. I can’t walk or bike anywhere, so I drive. I have a fuel efficient car (by American standards) but it’s not a bicycle or a Prius. And I don’t like being cold, and I live in a drafty poorly built farm house, so even with my Uggs and three layers, I probably squander much of the fuel that heats this house, barely. And I fly, a lot. All the water bottles I have saved carrying around my own bottle make wil barely make a difference to the size of my carbon footprint.
Depressing isn’t it? But we have to start somewhere, and I hope that before we drown oursleves in oceans of garbage under a toxic cloud of airborne pollutants, we will by force of goodwill and ingenuity have figured ou a way to undo some of the damage and start returning the planet and its inhabitants, human and animal, to a more balanced, mindful and sustainable way of life.