It ain’t easy being green

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA lot of you read my blog occasionally – maybe even regularly.  And I bet you wonder, “Does she really live like that or are these all little ‘experiments’ that she does for the blog in between eating steaks, driving a Hummer and leaving all the lights on 24/7?”  You would be very surprised…

I am still a non-car-owning person after almost 2 months.  Life is sure different – mostly for the better.  I get WAY more exercise than I previously did.  I also get more Vitamin D.  No more will my family say, “You don’t even have a tan!” when I go home to Vermont to visit.  Believe me, sometimes I just feel too spent to walk down to the bus stop or hop on my bike.  And I am patient with myself.  But a miracle happened the other day – I actually hopped on the electric scooter and went to the grocery store!  My motivating thought to make me perform this daring stunt was that I’d have enough room in the trunk for a 6-pack of beer!  (More about that in another post.)

Riding the bus exposes me to interesting human interactions that I didn’t get whilst riding in my metal box.  It has really opened my eyes to the homelessness and joblessness here in Sarasota.  (The other day I heard two homeless folks joking about living on the top floor of the Ritz.  I was glad they could joke about their situation.)  The experience has humbled me even more and reminded me of my duty to give back.

I really do hang all my clothes on my fantastic outdoor laundry lines or my indoor racks.  (And they’re still soft!)  I really do have a garden out of which I have eaten about 10 salads worth of lettuce, 10 radishes and a few strawberries.  I really haven’t had cable TV for about 3 months.  I really compost all my vegetables scraps.  I really only generally put out one 13 gallon bag of trash every other week.  I really am trying to get rid of most of the plastic in my kitchen and replace it with glass.  I buy in bulk when possible.

Whenever I find a new way to live simpler, greener or healthier, I try to incorporate it into my life and make it part of my routine.

And I am not telling you all this to brag.  I am telling you because I want you to know that it is possible to live a simple life and still be an active, productive member of society.  I still shower (under a water efficient showerhead, of course).  I still go out to bars and have a good time.  I still eat out (but never fast food).  I run two successful businesses.  I have a loving relationship.

The things I do anyone can do.  My lifestyle takes very little to maintain.  I save A TON of money… although I find I’m giving more of it away to others in need.  I guess once you realize how little “stuff” it takes to truly be happy, you want to help provide those basic things to others less fortunate.

I own fewer possessions now than at any other time in my life (because I’ve gotten rid of many things).  I’m also making less money than in recent years due to the economy.  But I find I am 10 times happier now than I have ever been.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

William Morris (British artist, writer, printer) said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  I agree.

Sometimes it ain’t easy being green, but it is very rewarding.

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