I first began blogging in July and when I started, the closest I’d ever been to my own recycling bin was when I accidentally kicked it across the yard. It’s not that I didn’t recycle; I just didn’t recycle on anywhere approaching a regular basis – and I certainly didn’t think about what might happen to my old egg cartons or weekly trash. A huge part of writing about green living and alternative travel meant jumping head first into the unknown.
Talk to Me Like I’m Four
Many times, as I researched and wrote blog posts, a Denzel Washington line from the 1992 film Philadelphia echoed through my mind: Pretend I know nothing about this. Talk to me like I’m four. And four was about how old I felt, as I launched myself into blogs, newstories, and personal testimonies about eco-friendly living.
Don’t Try This at Home (Please)
Sometimes the information I learned was truly frightening. For example, there was the time I wrote five pieces about eco-friendly beauty products back to back in a ten-hour period, only to fall into a Charlie-Brown-cloud-of-doom level of hyperawareness, my brain swimming with the names of cancer-causing agents found in most traditional beauty products, convinced that the traditional beauty industry was out to get everyone.
After that, my kitchen temporarily transformed into I Love Lucy: The Green Version. With my newfound knowledge came odd, amusing – and sometimes unfortunate – home experiments: the time I tried washing my hair with a gummy combination of avocado and oil and felt like a salad for two days (mistake); the time I successfully and gleefully produced a body scrub made from salt, extra virgin olive oil, and still more avocado (better); and when I first gave up toxic filled kitchen cleansers in favor of more natural choices (as I wiped down countertops with a particularly pungent vinegar, a friend of mine broke into a fit of sneezing and said: “If you wanted me out of your kitchen, all you had to do was ask nicely.”
Making Sense of the Puzzle
These days, the world of eco-friendly living is much less mysterious to me. Sometimes parts of it are repetitive (stainless steel water bottles, unplug what you’re not using, and be aware!) but I now understand the difference between small, sensible choices and ignoring the problem altogether. The more I learn and write about green living, the more I can see a clear story emerge, one that has the capacity to help or harm us. With every choice, we have the chance to balance our individual green lifestyles against the bigger picture.
Photo by rhastings