Sunday, March 30, 2008

Baby Steps

My father and i have differing motivations for jumping on the green train, but alas, we are both on it. He, in his business, where he's getting LEED certification for his architecture and engineering firm, and me, by raising this revolutionary.

She takes baby steps for our planet every day, that she is not really aware she is making. But that is the point. My dad tells me it is cool to be doing green design, but he looks forward to the day when we don't talk about it anymore. Not because he is sick of this "green" buzzword and wishes for the old days when they could just throw shit away and not care about the aftermath, but instead, because he is already waiting for the day when we build green and live green as second nature, and don't have to push to make it happen. I disagree in this somewhat, in that i don't think we can ever stop pushing for a better society (world history doesn't speak much about old utopias, and if they did exist, they fell somehow), but i get the point of that statement -- that he's hoping this is not the latest "big thing" that's only a mere marketing scheme, instead of a movement toward real and lasting change.

The kiddo makes great strides every day, and has every day of her vegetarian life, if you consider these facts:

"More than a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels consumed in the U.S. are used in animal production. Beef production alone uses more water than is consumed in growing the nation's entire fruit and vegetable crop. Producing a single hamburger patty uses enough fuel to drive 20 miles and causes the loss of five times its weight in topsoil. In his book The Food Revolution, author John Robbins estimates that "you'd save more water by not eating a pound of California beef than you would by not showering for an entire year." Because of deforestation to create grazing land, each vegetarian saves an acre of trees per year. "

So by her nibbling alone, she is baby steppin' in line with the rest of the eco-revolutionaries. Beef might taste good, but Mother Earth thinks it tastes real nasty.

Some other things:
A garden. We dig in it and munch on it, and we make the fertilizer for it ourselves. When the real revolution comes, those who plant seeds will reap the survivor's harvest.
A bike. She rides behind me all over this city. She has a helmet and a special song, that she sings only when we're cruising. We should ride more, or someday only ride, but for now we've moved to a much smaller car for those daily trips to BeavertRon.
Lights. Ours take a second to blink on. That's cuz compact flourescents take a bit to warm up. And we pay PGE to invest some of our dollars in sustainable power.
Stuff. We talk about how she don't need so much of it. Even at Goodwill, she has to choose one book, one movie. Not ten -- just because the stuff is cheap. Part of my continuing effort to minimalize. Our home is fully equipped and i refuse to listen to the more consumerist members of my family who come to visit, and tell me 'O Nikki you need this to live life like a normal person, so you can be comfortable."

Change is not comfortable, my good people. So tell me what you are doing for your grandchildren and how you are doing it. Then i will try to follow suit.

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