I was truly dying to go to the Redroom party at Tosca's a few weeks ago. Jennifer Massoni told someone who asked why I wasn't in attendance that I didn't want to make the 4 hour-long drive for a 2 hour event.
This is true and NOT true.
I wanted so much to see Ericka Lutz, Jessica Barksdale and many others, since I know more about them and feel more in touch with them than my neighbors. (I've met most of the Redroom staff at the Commonwealth Club.) I had the vehicle, I had the time (if I didn't, I would have made time) and I had the gas money, but I asked myself whether I could really afford--if the world could afford for me--to put 4 hours worth of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, just so that I could have fun. And I told myself NO, definitely not. NO, NO, NO.
I looked at the pictures of my own room, which I posted a couple of days ago, and am conscious of all the STUFF I have dragged into this house.
These days, when I do have to throw something in the trash that's not recyclable, I literally sweat from the guilt. I am conscientious about not buying styrofoam. I try to talk local deli owners selling chili in styrofoam bowls to use something else. Why not give a price break to people who bring their own ceramic cups and spoon? The 30th high school reunion I am help organizing will be as GREEN as possible: no disposable cameras, etc.
Please watch this excellent, important film with Annie Leonard. http://www.storyofstuff.com/ It gives us an inkling of the true price of stuff. (And pass the link on, please!!!)
I don't want to give you the immigrant schtick, but I AM an immigrant from a former developing country. I arrived with Third World values of conservation, frugality. No food is ever wasted in our house, because we know all about the paucity of food. I have never gotten used to the wastage in American households, especially with leftovers that grow moldy and inevitably go down the garbage disposal. I've long known this generation's misuse of materials is entirely unsustainable. People in the future will compare us with the wealthy, gluttonous Romans, as described by Tacitus, toward the end of Empire-- that is, if there is a future.
What can you avoid buying today? Do you really need a new cell phone? New car? New iPod? New computer every 3 years? (Please don't buy stuff that's made of a mix of metal and papers, which cannot be broken down into recyclable parts.) What vacations can you do without? Can you repair, repair, repair and circumvent wholesale remodeling? Why not buy fewer things so you don't have to work as hard to possess them and then feel the need to go on a vacation to recuperate from all the hard work of GETTING. I can't recall who said this, but it goes something likes this: all wars are started because men cannot remain in their rooms. No, it's not your friends or neighbors who is misusing, wasting. It's me. It's you, you, you.
I sound like a didactic old grandpa in this post, but as a biology major with interest in environmental studies, I saw the environmental movement take off in the 70s, only to have it go absolutely nowhere. Sorry about the preachy tone, but at times, I just get so freakin' scared for us all.
Please watch this. It's a simple, clear message which gives us some positive directions to follow:
Causes Belle Yang Supports
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