I had an insightful conversation the other day with a friend. The topic was shame really, about not being or doing things "green". This got me thinking that if we wrap ourselves up in the shame of not doing, or do certain things because of what others may think of us, then that is not maintainable. The action will not stick. Nor should we be ashamed of our progress, if we are not quite green homemaker of the year. You know? I make a lot of food from scratch and do a lot of intentionally good for the earth kind of things, so I think sometimes that might intimidate others? But I am not perfect, not a special green mama. So here is my confessional....not perfect indeed!
I don't hang out my laundry. I don't even have a clothes line. If I did, it would be a pain to walk heavy baskets of wet clothes form my second floor laundry room all the way outside. Then there is road dust, bird poop, and all sorts of other factors that just don't appeal to me. For this reason I have opted not to push the issue with my dearest.
I don't enjoy doing dishes by hand. I wish that I did, but I don't. I love <3 love my dishwasher.
I buy the good light bulbs that produce decent light. I hate florescent lights. Not to mention the toxicity of those florescent bulbs once they are done and off to the landfill and our watershed. I won't even pretend that people bother to take them to their stores to be recycled. It just does not happen.
I want to be a responsible person, but the reality of being "green" does not always fit every one's life. Maybe those things will come to me (likely not the light bulbs though) and years from now I will be happily hanging up wet undies with my dishpan hands, just like years ago when I thought I had to microwave food to make it safe to eat and now I don't and will never own one. I'm just not there yet.
It is because of this constantly changing mindset that I have come to understand more and judge less. I am not a lesser person or care less for the earth just because I have decided to opt for an HE dryer so conveniently placed in the room next to where all the clothes get shed and next to the other rooms they get put away. I do a lot more than most people because I can and have opportunity to. I have animals I am raising to eat in open air, I have a body of water in my care, I have children I am raising to care about these things too, and I have access to a life that those children can continue, inherit the earth in real terms.
What does matter is the actual, thoughtful living. I know that I should recycle soda cans even though there is no easy way to do so out here on the farm. I know that hanging laundry is a helpful task, and that doing dishes by hand can save water and money, I choose not to but I know the pros and cons in making that decision. That is different than just ignoring it, being ignorant of it, or just doing what is normal and easy. The choice needs to be mine and mine intrinsically.