Having spring break, you get to see things that you normally wouldn't. For example, this going green segment on the Today Show:
While I was proud to see attention being paid to such an admirable cause, I was at first skeptical. To me, it seemed extreme, impractical, and kind of weird. No, very weird.
But, then I looked the family up. The mother has her own blog, and THIS video helped me to look at it a little differently:
It's all about perspective, isn't it? I found the second video more uplifting. While I highly doubt I'll ever be able to take on this lifestyle completely (my husband is incredibly flexible and willing, but THAT much?), I can certainly use their example (and tips from their web site) to make attempts towards lessening our environmental impact.
The challenges that most of us face, even when we mean well, is our environment itself. How many of us have bulk options in our areas with soaps and shampoos available for filling our own bottles? I certainly think it would be awesome, but can you think of one? Also, if I were to walk into Hannaford and ask the fish guy to throw the salmon in a glass jar...well, who do you think would be the talk of the dinner table that night? *weird chick who requested it be placed in a glass jar, that's who* I know the first step MUST be to cast off the shackles of judgment, but even our families would undoubtedly be rolling their eyes...if they don't already. ;-) We'd be "that couple" or "that family". I've always agreed with moderation in life, and this is an extreme that I'm not sure I could handle. I, apparently, care too much about what others think.
However, who would much care if I brought a mesh bag into the store for my fruit 'n veg? Hell, they REALLY wouldn't care at the farmers' markets (although, strangely, most farmers' markets that we attend provide lots of plastic bags, since they know that that's what their consumers are used to).
This woman's from France. I believe that this movement would be more socially acceptable in Europe, or the more urban/eco-chic areas of the U.S.. Europeans, in particular, while modern in styling are incredibly traditional in lifestyle - that is, their histories have incredibly deep roots compared to our new American seedlings. They have residents who have made cheese for 600 or more years, or baked bread for the village as long as anyone can remember. They have a step up on utopia. Too bad they also have helped, just as much as Americans, to evolve our world into a spiraling consumerist, gas-guzzling society...but, they've taken responsibility and are moving toward fixing the environment a heck of a lot better than we stubborn Americans.
The Transcendentalist Movement with its own attempts at creating utopia (physical, philosophical, religious) can give one plenty of hope and gumption, but its ultimate failure makes one resistant. I've always been fascinated by different times; the challenge is integrated old-fashioned ideas and methods into the modern world, with its even greater ideas (such as true freedom and equality). Heck, we're already the weird couple on the street that uses an old-fashioned push lawn mower, why not go for gold?
So, final thoughts? We're already changing our mindsets to create a more simplified lifestyle, mostly by purging. I feel that once we both feel that we've purged to the point of, well, a) knowing where everything is in the house (shouldn't that be a clue that you've got too much crap?), b) being happy with the possessions we have leftover, rather than feeling choked by them, and c) have storage space, lots of it, I think that we could turn our attention towards further simplifying...and maybe, just maybe, one day our cupboards will be filled with those cool French canning jars.
What do you think? Extreme and crazy, or the only way of the future?