Saturday, March 24, 2007

NYT- "The Year Without Toilet Paper"...

As I write this, The New York Times is running an article online entitled "The Year Without Toilet Paper."


Pretty fun, but for me the most fascinating part is the huge interest it seems to be getting. Almost 400 comments at the moment, and today for the second day in a row it's the #1 most emailed article.

Man, that's a LOT of interest! As the blurb says, "The Conlin-Beavan family is four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment in environmentalism..."

I'm all in favor. But I gotta tell ya. I'm 30 years into that experiment. Things look kind of different from this perspective.

This article is pretty much what kicked me off my behind and into launching this blog. For 30 years, I've lived this life every day- and been almost totally quiet about it all. Largely, because I was quite sure no one wanted to hear what I had to say- I really expected the overwhelming reaction would be "you're just trying to make me feel guilty- you're being holier than thou - you're being an idiot- nobody needs to live this way."

It seems that Al Gore did indeed wake a bunch of folks up though. By far, most of the 400 comments on "TYw/oTP" are from folks either sharing their own smallish steps, or people very seriously searching for some way to live greener.

Ok, guys. Here I am. Almost everything you've ever heard of, as a "green" practice - I've done it.

Some of them make sense. Some are astonishingly dimwitted, once you try them out. (You can build your own backyard nuclear power plant! We did! Just harvest the radon in your basement!)

What I'm going to do here is talk about them- and how they really work, or don't - in the long run. The long run, incidentally, is all that counts. And who am I? Long story- read the profile. I'm qualified.

Some green ideas will make sense for some people- and not others.


That, my children, is the problem. In all this bustle to go green, the constant refrain is "just give me something simple I can do!" And in fact, the world is not a simple place.

That, however, does not have to be a bad thing, or a bad realization. Slow down. (That's Greenpa's 1st Commandment). Take the time to think about your own life; and your own needs. Think.

A favorite saying in our culture is "Life is short!" - and that's a big fat lie. Ask your elders- the one's who've been retired since 60, and are now 80. Life is LONG. You've got plenty of time to make changes, and figure out where you want to be.

So that's what this blog is going to be about- working through the complexities- taking time to find the fits. One size does NOT fit all; one size gives all fits.

Incidentally, we do use toilet paper. And- a little hope I think- after 30 years, We're still doing this experiment. It can be done. And yes, my first kids still come to visit, help- live.

I'm expecting to post daily, barring illness and the creek don't rise. I've got a list here of "Upcoming Posts" - no shortage of things to talk about. I'll also try to answer reader's questions when I can, and will often pull posts from today's news. Check back!

unstated assumptions
one size gives all fits
fat fat fat
spare time
30 years of quietly NOT holier
compact fluorescents - lead in Rome
teflon? antibiotics? RF?
fad fad fad
grab that toid and run
small wind turbines
thermodynamics and the waterwheel
the odyssey of communication
where have all the mammoths gone?
"the only way"
finger pointing
the phone is a joke, right?
how to talk to a normon
work/ time
the nature of wealth
the wealth of nature
the Religion of Science
genetic engineering
cultural senility
violence for kiddies
change- and barriers
predatory lenders; parasitic business
health and life
what's best for my kids?
such a promising species
unintended consequences
loopholes - Lost Horizons
does my lightbulb make a difference?
We Have Not Yet Begun To... think.
you DO live what you believe
The Walls Of The Erlenmeyer Flask
Toxic Growths
real "sustainability"
non-corrosive - culture


Anonymous said...

looking forward to more posts!

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to this too! I admire your tenacity and my grandchildren will thank you. We have a little group in central NH who are slowly getting much more serious about it all and would really like the benefit of some of your experience.

Bless you!!

Robbyn said...

I'll be following your blog with great interest, since I've just finished reading all the entries...backwards (most recent to least recent)

LOVE this blog...SO glad you're speaking up. I have so much to learn!

I so agree with your conclusion that we DO have time to learn and that we need to THINK and take time...

HUGE cheers!!!!! SO nice to hear a level voice with experience behind it rather than Super Hype. THANK YOU :)

Heather said...

Greenpa, when you have time, I would like to learn more about your solar-heated shower. My bf and I will be relocating to a homestead in the Pacific Northwest in about 2 years. I am doing lots of research and hate the idea of giving up a shower, one of my favorite luxuries.

nadine sellers said...

came here via la marguerite; so glad to meet intelligent practicing, by circumstance, i have lived beige and green, desert and country.
i have a fledgling weblog, greenadine.
and will read your blogpath as well.what a wonderful place, level and sensible, thank you.

Anonymous said...

starting here and looking forward to reading all the way through. glad smidge and the bear are feeling better.

WolfMamma said...

I am so glad I stumbled over you on my walk to the woods. We're currently waiting for my husband to be through educating himself and tucking away all the 'benefits' the government keeps giving us for being poor because the rest of society spends too much to live. In the meantime I'll borrow your experiences in preparation.