‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Monday, September 29, 2008

me, dressed as a Native American with a tear on my cheek

So my weekend overview is all written up and in limbo while I figure out where it's supposed to go. It's brilliant, believe me.

In it I discuss the possibility of bailing on the weekend because the road to the cranberry bog I toured led me almost right to the door of Target. Let's see, go learn more about local agriculture or get off my soap box for a jiffy and roll around in shiny trinkets and household items made in China by small children? Shiny trinkets that are destined for the landfill in what will probably be record time? I was torn. I really did need some shelf paper.

I ended up going to the bog. We had to drive out there and the guide asked us all if we were okay driving on dirt roads with big puddles. I nodded yes, while rummaging through my bag for my AAA card, just in case.

Of course, I was not the only person driving an econo-box down these dirt roads. After all, many of the people on this tour are on board with the sustainable living thing and are driving Priuses and Subarus with No Farms No Food bumper stickers. It was the first time in a long while that I was not in the non-SUV minority. I wondered how many new recruits CLASH was actually getting, or if they were just CLASHing to the converted.

I write that as though I have always been interested in maintaining a sustainable kitchen. Give the girl some chickens and the next thing you know she acts like she's keeping house for the Swiss Family Robinson. Or the Swiss Family Trout, as our friends are fond of calling us.

I have long envied my friend Bella, who lives in Vermont - home of the Vermont Fresh Network. All these restaurants and markets have local offerings and display them proudly. Which is fine for them. I could live quite comfortably on cheese and maple syrup. But what do we have? Clams and cranberries. And the clams? Clams don't like me. It's as if they are Jonah and I am the whale. Oh great, I just likened myself to a whale.

Anyway, my point is that if I'm getting hip to this sustainable thing, a lot of other people are, too. And now we're really spoiled. I have to eat my own cooking tonight and I am not happy about it.

Now hold on to your seats, because I'm going to get all socio-politically metaphysical on you now. As I was driving to the bog I saw a big pile of plastic bottles at the side of the road. I thought about how we're clearing out our house of things like this. Ditching the bottled water in favor of filters and reusable steel bottles. Our house has stopped producing this waste. We're busy producing other waste, in the form of contractors trash bags full of clutter, on their way to the dump. Our end goal is to clear the house of extraneous matter. No senseless plastic things. No junk. Nothing that will need to be thrown out in a year. We are working really hard to clean it up, so it will run more harmoniously.

And in the Think Globally, Act Locally sense, what we're doing in our homes can't help but effect the planet. In a literal sense, it won't be our plastic bottles lying on the side of the road. In a non-literal sense, if we're holding on to junk in our homes, we're hanging on to junk in our world. We don't need junk, how did we get fooled into thinking we did? That we deserve and desire junk?

So now my renovation fervor is renewed, with the goal in sight of an easier to maintain, more balanced home. And by home I mean Home.

But I'll still probably get the cork shelf paper.


Kristin said...

I was always passionately fond of "The Swiss Family Robinson." Now I find it a little bit preachy, as so many of my favorite classic children's books are. And wasn't it just so handy that the island they landed on had just EVERYTHING they needed?

Susan said...

kristin - more preachy than me? Also, I feel all self sufficient until the power goes out. An island with everything one could possibly need would be helpful. Including wifi.