May 16, 2007

i do my very best

Whew! I'm back from a great trip visiting friends and family. This was my first trip since starting the blog, and it was interesting to see how the blog has influenced me. Writing has kept these issues at the forefront of my mind. It also keeps me accountable.

A funny thing happened when we arrived at our destination airport (yes, we flew). I had reserved a car with a navigation system because of our propensity to get lost. Apparently some large conference was in town and the only car they had left was a Lincoln Navigator! Don't worry, mom go green did not take the car. Can you imagine!? We opted to take a smaller car with no map system. While there may have been a few wrong turns, we managed just fine.

It was interesting to see how some of my habits may or may not work in other places. For instance, one home where we stayed was a city apartment where building only recycles paper. If the family wants to recycle glass or plastics they have to drive it to a center themselves. That surely adds another level of challenge! However, I also stumbled upon community compost centers in two other towns. I wonder if I could be as vigilant at recycling and composting if my hometown did not have such a progressive program.

I loved and appreciated some of the wonderful local products available where we visited, while I also missed some of the ones we have at home.

Most significantly I had some great conversations with people about things I've learned and still hope to learn. We talked about how it really opens up a huge can of worms (no pun intended to you composting people) when you start to really try to live "greener". Where do you stop? How far are you willing to go? It is such a personal question which we each have to answer for ourselves. The more I learn the more I push myself to challenge my comfort level. Can I give up antiperspirant? I don't think I'm ready to stop flying places. I am still not sure about air drying all of our clothes.

Maybe one of the keys is not to feel it is a sacrifice. That the green changes don't have to be things we "give up." So far the changes I've made have been ones I actually am enjoying (I love my reusable grocery bags and will love not getting junk mail thanks to greendimes).

Little by little, step by step I will find the place where I feel I have done as much as I could for the environment and for my family. I have a long way to go. I don't expect to go so far as No Impact Man, though I do admire his efforts. As Laurie Berkner says (and my son loves to sing) in her song, "I'm not perfect, no I'm not. . . but I do my very best each day": the mantra of mothers everywhere.

1 comment:

Gift of Green said...

YAY! I'm so happy you're back! I have been having some of the same thoughts myself - If I can't do it "all" should I bother with any of it?! As Laurie Berkner says, "Who's that? Looking in the mirror? Who's that in the mirror looking back at me?" Okay, well, that one doesn't work as well, but you get the idea. Have a great day, Mom Go Green!