Monday, December 29, 2008

How To Stop Global Warming, or, A Cranky Person Spouts Off

People say, "What is the sense of our small effort?" They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time.
~Dorothy Day

Travel and learn. Photo by Lisa Kau.

When contemplating what to write for this month's Green Mom's Carnival, which has the topic of Global Warming, I was flummoxed. Global Warming? What on earth could I add to the Global Warming dialog? I felt inadequate, small, unworthy (even though sustainability is what I do). And that, dear readers, is the key.

Each and every one of us MUST do what we can. Regardless of our scientific credentials. Regardless of our status, our education, our confidence (or lack of it). It is up to us - individuals - to make a difference. I am not a parent (although I have three nieces, whom I love so fiercely it actually hurts, and for whom I would throw myself in front of an oncoming train), but when I think of what kind of world we are leaving for future generations I almost despair. Almost.

I once had a boyfriend (of the Earth First! variety) who would spray paint “Nature bats last!” on isolated bridges and over passes in ravaged, heavily-logged national parks and wilderness areas. While I was a bit appalled at the vandalism, I agree with the sentiment. Human beings are just a blip on the planet’s radar; we are currently wreaking havoc, but are ultimately not as important as we like to think we are.

We have the opportunity to make a huge paradigm shift – respecting nature, living sustainably, slowing consumerism, sharing our wealth, building communities, and learning kindness. I am embarrassed at the riches Americans squander each and every day; for example, we buy bottled water with extra shots of caffeine or vitamins or just a really pretty label, while others, by a mere accident of birth, do not even have clean water to drink.
To me it all comes down to personal responsibility, and deciding to think about something other (bigger!) than ourselves. I remain optimistically realistic, and just a bit cranky.

How to Curb Global Warming, Part One
  1. Take responsibility - for your actions, your non-actions, your attitudes and your biases.
  2. Stop driving. Seriously. Just stop. (Mark Sheppard doesn't agree with me...and boy, he is really cranky!)
  3. Work (hard!) for change.
  4. Take care of everyone. Not just the pretty or the rich or the sane or the educated. Everyone.
  5. Be kind.
  6. Stop competing.
  7. Consider reading the Utne Reader, Orion and YES! Magazine instead of People and Entertainment Weekly. Do we really give a horse's patoot about how Jen is coping with Brad and Angelina's ever-growing family?
  8. Find work you love. Embrace a new paradigm.
  9. Share. The one who dies with the most toys does NOT win. He's just dead, with lots of stuff for someone else to deal with.
  10. Turn off your TV, and cancel your cable.
  11. Read books. Borrow them from the library, or use Bookmooch.
  12. Speaking of libraries, support them. If you don't have any cash, volunteer.
  13. Become frugal. Think of it as another way of conserving resources.
  14. Grow your own vegetables, swap with neighbors. If you don't have the space, join a community garden. Get creative!
  15. Compost, and be amazed at what nature can do.
  16. Spay and neuter your pets (9.6 million animals are euthanized - killed, put down, - annually) and encourage others to do so, too.
  17. Do not buy dogs from puppy mills.
  18. Get to know your neighbors.
  19. Travel, and learn that the world is made up of people a lot like us.
  20. Understand that valuing conspicuous consumption is, well, kind of stupid. Do we think it really matters if we have the new style of Jimmy Choo shoes?
  21. Don't be cranky.

Sell your soul (sole?) for Jimmy Choo's. Photo Credit CafeHangout on Flickr

More info on the Green Mom's Carnival can be found here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vision of a New Way of Doing Business

I haven't posted here for awhile. And I was feeling guilty (ah, well, there's something new!) about it - after all, a new business needs constant attention, enthusiastic diligence, constant feelers to contacts, both new and old...

Frankly, I've been rather frantic. Working on a Media Kit (Earth Day is four months away - and everyone seems to want to talk to us at Earth Day!), making lists (and checking them twice) of green bloggers who might be interested in collaborating, writing copy for ads that won't run until the fall of 2009 but are due NOW, trying to determine which of all the tempting events, conferences and trade shows to attend (hmmmmm....if I "Pitch My Product" in Chicago at the Country Living Women Entrepreneur's event I can't make it to the Book Expo in NYC...), creating a delightful, cohesive and fun seminar program for the summer & fall of 2009, PLUS cook dinner, pretend to clean, sew thermal window shades for our house (it's been below zero - outside - each morning for the last week when we awaken...), filing all the dozens of papers, magazine tear sheets, pamphlets, and brilliant ideas that are constantly whirling around my desk and my head...

And then I finally came to my senses. I moved to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage to live more sustainably. And the longer I live here, the more I realize that sustainability is about more than reducing my physical footprint. I need to be sustainable. I need to set reasonable working hours, regardless of how new and entreprenerial my business is. I need to breathe, to play, to run around with the dog, to talk with friends, to give myself time to recharge and regroup. I need to nap. So I'm taking a few days off; I hope to have a sustainable plan for this blog in 2009.

Fionn, snoozing.

Thanks for reading. I hope to continue to make it worth your while in the future.