Monday, June 21, 2010

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog Post...

*sigh* Are you growing more acutely aware of our oil consumption as every day of this disaster passes, like I am? This was my year to "lighten up" a bit, not feel so guilty if I weren't doing things environmentally perfectly, be a little bit more gentle with myself. And it really has been a good practice for me. And I do want to remain upbeat, I do. But really, folks. Really. This is all so very, very sad and has got me thinking in ways that are as strong in my heart as my decision to go from vegetarian to vegan was a few years ago. Because, of course, this spill is all our responsibility; it really is quite personal.

So, the spill has got me thinking again about my driving habits. My fitness membership has actually increased my driving a lot this year compared to all the other years I have been here. What will I do about this?? The membership has done so very much for my mental health. I have learned that it really is important for me to have a group/class atmosphere to help keep me motivated and regular cardio workouts coupled with yoga keep those endorphins moving and make me just a happier person all around. I did not factor the environment into the cost, because of my desire to be less serious and indulge (my word of the year) in a little less stringent thinking. And to be more clear, my club is only about 6 miles away, so it's not a huge distance. Still. I am thinking more about that now.

I've thought of the alternatives. Technically, I could bike there, but then, after a 12 mile round trip, would I really need a fitness membership? :) And then, of course, I would be alone again in my workouts. The Florida heat in the summertime, while bearable sitting under a shade tree with a cool drink, actually makes me nauseated if I exercise in it any time after, say, 5:00 AM or before 9:00 PM. I was having a pattern of becoming slug-like every summer and that was a habit I wanted to break. So, I haven't yet come to a conclusion about this one topic yet. But there are SO many other things I can do right at home.

Do you know how far our oil dependence extends? Look at absolutely anything with plastic in it, including your chewing gum and your personal care products, and there's a clue. I can't recommend Beth's blog, Fake Plastic Fish enough. I have read it on and off for years, but I am feeling more and more compelled to make a greater commitment to working HARD at reducing our family's plastic intake. I don't know if I can go completely plastic-free like she (almost) is, but maybe I can? I won't know if I don't try something and as I have learned with all the environmental changes my family and I have made over the years, doing just a little at a time makes things quite easy, quite natural, and very soon is just the way things are. I'll do my best to report how things are going here.

Beth provides us with many, many resources. One that is most helpful to me and is where I'll be starting is her Plastic-Free Living Guide. There are so many wonderful ideas and links there. If I ever complete that list, I'll feel quite accomplished! My goal is to pick and choose at least one new thing there to work on. When that idea feels more comfortable to live with, I'll choose another.

So, I'm sad about it, but I want to turn that sadness into something productive and it is my sincere prayer that others will too. How many disasters have to happen before we make real changes? Oh please, let this be a turning point.


Anonymous said...

I love the name of your blog and all these wonderful qualities you are bringing to the world.

Terrific post! It's so important to be asking ourselves these questions. At the same time, I appreciate your commitment to go lightly on yourself and turn your sadness into positive action. You are right, there are so many things we can do right at home to reduce oil consumption.

Thanks very much to the link back to my article on reducing oil consumption. I appreciate it very much.

Wishing you the best always.

Sara said...

Thanks so much for the links. I live near Pensacola so this is a local as well as global disaster for me. I am so devastated. I hope that somehow the catastrophe will lead some people to a greater sense of humility. I am again re-committing myself to taking some small steps toward greater sustainability, especially in regard to plastic. No more plastic grocery bags and no more plastic juice jugs, for starters. Thank you for being an inspiration!

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