Meet the Greenie Pig
Psst. Hey you. I know a little something about you. Let me guess:
- You own a bike — or a public transit pass, or a pair of boots made for walkin’ — and you use it.
- You think seeing a recyclable plastic bottle tossed in the trash is akin to witnessing the clubbing of a baby seal.
- You consider Organic, Seasonal, and Local the holy trinity of foodstuffs.
- You slurp your French roast from a reusable mug, you turn off your CFLs when you’re not home, and you generally give a crap about climate change and deforestation and clean water and all that heavy stuff.
I know. Me too — well, kinda. Yes, I’m part of the “Green Is The New Black” generation. Yes, I’m a devout recycler, I want to save the spotted owl, and I feel a personally responsibility for the abysmal state of the planet. But like a lot of Americans, I haven’t fully committed to the uber-green lifestyle. I don’t have a composting toilet. I don’t even have a backyard clothesline. Sometimes I take two showers a day — hot ones.
That’s where the Greenie Pig comes in.
You see, I think there’s a clear border between Reasonable Sustainable Lifestyle Land and Crazytown. For some, that line might be drawn at ditching the family car. Not using the heat all winter. Using a — oh, the horror — pee rag.
Me? I’m wondering if my personal definition of Crazytown needs to be fine-tuned. Maybe I need to take a few more extreme steps in the name of sustainability. Maybe that pee rag isn’t so bad, once you get used to it.
Won’t know ‘til you try, right? So for the sake of science, I’ll be taking some brave new (for me, at least) steps for the planet. Is it possible to swear off all processed foods? Or to look OK without washing my hair? I’m going to find out, and I’ll report back faithfully each week.
Some of these steps will no doubt be old hat to many of you, but I’m going to try them anyway. Because while I tip that old hat to those of you who have reached new heights of sustainability, you must admit that composting toilets and plastic-free lives are not what we can call “normal” in 2011 America. Hell, I still know people who don’t even recycle.
To those of you who have already achieved eco-enlightenment: I hope you’ll help me along the way. Share your expertise. Give me your best tips on how to make it work. Got an idea for a new challenge? Lay it on me. In exchange, I promise to keep an open mind and to report back on my progress.
And for the rest of you, who are still struggling to live up to your green ideals? Well, you’ve got one less excuse.
Before we get started, there are a few things you oughta know about me. I’m 29, no kids, and I live in a smallish apartment in Seattle with my boyfriend, who has kindly agreed to go along with these cockamamie schemes. We’ve got no garden space and one car between the two of us.
And here’s a preview. Next week, I’ll tell you all about my first little experiment. In a word: worms. I’ve got a brand-new worm composting (vermicomposting, for you purists) bin wriggling away in my kitchen. So far, no foul smells, and I don’t think I’ve killed any of the little guys yet.