Greener Than Thou

I’m taking a break running errands that got pushed back to today because of the rain, and because I don’t have a car. I haven’t had a car since 1993, and living a car less lifestyle comes with some pluses and minuses. The reason I don’t have a car has more to do with money and the hassles of maintenance and not some Green philosophy. The greenie-ness is more of an added bonus.
My posting regarding the 5 cent tax on paper and the ever hated plastic bags, did raise some ire from some readers. I’m perfectly OK with being in disagreement on this point, as I’ll let time prove me wrong. Also I’m not out to win any greener than thou awards, we all have a multitude of green sins, some known and unknown, some that are easily avoided, others too ingrained in our identity.
When I say our identity, I include the obvious, like cars and the not so obvious, like our jobs, and our recreational activities. The computer was supposed to render the office paperless, instead the volume of paper exploded, and it has become cheaper to produce meeting minutes, handouts, leaflets, menus, fliers and maps that people will look at then toss out. We are horrible water wasters, letting the tap run as we brush our teeth and lather. We shower daily, and flush away gallons of potable water to be rid of a cup of pee. Then there is the electricity we use to stay online, charge our devices, keep our food, light our homes into the night (how much energy would you save if you went to bed at 8:30?), cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Even though I don’t have a car, I’m still dependent on fossil fuels because the bus and the train use diesel. At some points these exercises in examining every single action and choice, seems like asking how many angels can dance on the pin of a needle? You can spend an infinite amount of time and energy on things that in practice may have very little impact and are quickly abandoned.
We should make the effort to be Green, but we should avoid those heavy burdens that would make us turn away, give up, and not bother.

5 thoughts on “Greener Than Thou”

  1. You have to pay for all bags in Vancouver,BC and there is a serious deposit on all bottles… including plastic ones. You get used to it fairly quickly, and adjst. Sometimes you just buy the bag when you want one, Most of the time, you don't really need one. I had a bit of a culture shock here, where I get a bag for every little thing. I am glad that we are trying this. I really think that we will be a little less wasteful.



  2. Linds, I did debate about deleting your post. I'm okay with disagreement, but not okay with a tone that is disagreeable if not down right hostile & disrespectful. I think a value I have for the blog is that I do set the tone. Hopefully we can all acknowledge a need to sustain the Earth though we may not agree on how to go about doing that.

  3. I think it's a shame you feel that way. I'd think a blog with space for comments would also have space for agreement and disagreement.

    I also think you need to take a long, hard look at your views on being "green", and how you project those views through a very public blog.

  4. esse- I poked around and I can't seem to find any definate info about plastic bags and Vancouver. According to an Oct 2008 CBC News report the Vancouver council was moving towards banning, but had not done so yet. Could you point me towards some information about this I'd be grateful.

    Linds-Comments that are allowed to be up are at my discretion as this is my blog. I'd be lying if I pretended if it wasn't. This blog has been up since 2003 talking about the topic of gentrification, and there has been disagreement expressed on that and other issues such as ANC politics, crime, and most definitely on historic districts. If I want to guarantee disagreement, blog how I really feel about historic districts. There are regular commenters who I know, who are strongly for HDs. We don't see eye to eye on that but we do come together on other topics. Yet if the tone gets disrespectful or just plain bad, I may, and sometimes do, delete comments. I've seen too many online discussions elsewhere get downright toxic.
    You're free to think I'm wrong and if I've made some factual errors, point those out.

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