Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jewish Ecological Guilt

Some days I feel ecologically lazy and worse:

1) My ex left me with about 50 paint cans filled with colors I hate and have no use for. He went on a paint-sale-buying-binge several years ago and left these behind and will not take them. I want to throw them away. Just throw them away. But I can’t. According to my neighborhood hazardous garbage center, I have to open the cans, dry them out, and then throw them away. Like I have nothing else to do but dry out 50 paint cans that I didn’t purchase.
2) I know I shouldn’t eat meat, but when it is served at a party, it looks so delicious. I eat a few bites. Occasionally I buy a little chicken to cook at home. I buy very little. I don’t eat my own parrots or my dog. That wasn’t funny. I should stop. I will, I promise.
3) Speaking of parrots. I feel really bad about this, but they live in cages. They are small. I am pretty nice to them, but they should be living outside. If I were brave, and had the time to do the research, I’d figure out if they could survive in the wild and take them to their home countries and set them free. Or, I would find a big aviary somewhere that would take them in. That wouldn’t be right either. They shouldn’t be living in a cage. I’m sorry. (By the way, do poodles have home countries? I'd like to set mine free.)
4) I know I should only eat and buy organic, but most of it is a long drive from my house (greenhouse gases) and very expensive and sometimes, just sometimes, those strawberries loaded with pesticides taste so delicious.
5)For that matter, I should only eat local food like Barbara Kingsolver does. I can’t do it. I’m sorry. I can’t live on roots in the winter.
6) Occasionally I forget to bring my non-BPA water bottle with me. This is bad. I’m at the gym. I’m thirsty. I don’t want to run back and forth to the bathroom and cup my hands. So I buy the bottle. I’m sorry! I really don’t do it often, but occasionally, rarely, almost never, it happens.
7) I don’t ride a bike to get around. I’d really like to. But if I were to ride my bike where I live, the drivers around here would kill me. I’m not exaggerating. This is long island.
8) Cosmetics. Cosmetics. Cosmetics. I’m an American woman. I’m fake. I’m vain. I’m superficial. I’m not a wasp. Need I say more? My body is filled with chemicals. I like body paint. I’m sorry. I have bought into the beauty myth and I can’t help myself. I’m not crunchy enough. I keep trying to find alternative body stuff that I like, but so far….
9) Diet coke. I confess. This is my weakness. Not every day. Not in my house. Not more than one. Just once in a while. I swear.
10)Only some of my light bulbs are the environmentally sound kind. The ones that are give off strange light. Sometimes I need a bright strong light that comes on immediately. I’m sorry.
11) I crashed my Prius and replaced it with a non-hybrid regular car that was much less expensive. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’d rather not drive at all but I live in the suburbs and I already explained the bike problem.
12) I do not have a windmill providing energy for my house.
13) I do not have solar panels (but I’m in the shade).
14) I do not wear organic clothes.
15) I like fragrances. Horrible, chemical French fragances. Coco Chanel. I know. It's terrible. They’re all lethal. I’m the one who posts this stuff on facebook. I’m sorry, but at my age, I deserve a little fake french flower scent in my life. This brings me some pleasure and it feels necessary. I’m indoctrinated despite my beliefs.

Here's where I am doing some minor good: I keep the heat off as much as possible, use as little electricity as possible, drive only when necessary. I sign petitions for environmental causes about 10 times a day. I donate to environmental causes. I write about environmental causes. I eat mostly organic food. I recycle. I once owned a Prius. My next car will be electric. I would like to move to a cooperative sustainable community and will if the opportunity arises. There is nothing like this within a reasonable distance of where I work. I vote green. I feed my kid organic food and she knew how to spell the word ecofeminist at the age of eight and she knows about the impact of Strontium 90 and global warming. I feed organic food to the people who come into my house. There are no sulfates in our shampoo. I don’t use any chemicals on my lawn or yard. I don’t kills bugs or most animals (at least not intentionally). I take walks in nature and try to tread lightly. I don’t litter. I’m Jewish. I’m liberal. I’m a feminist. I accept everybody except radical people to the right. I’m a mother. I marched in peace and anti-nuke rallies. I will march again. I’m nice to most people. I speak two languages. I teach college. I love my students. I respect my parents. I’m not so bad, really.

Somehow, this doesn’t feel good enough. If I were truly environmentally “holy”, I would be living in an old growth tree (to save it) in an endangered forest--like Julia Butterfly Hill. I’ll try to do better. I promise.


Anonymous said...

This contains humor and authenticity, it s problematic, and this reader cannot judge lest she be judged (by herself).

Me said...


Unknown said...

I really need to know... what do you do with the bugs?? And spiders... oh my!

Atlantic Muse said...

fun. we all have our weaknesses & guilty feelings n'est pas! cheers from a fellow ecofeminist that can't live up to her own standards some days.

.Ecofeminist and Mothering Ruminations said...

An update:
1) All the veggies and most fruit that I buy come from my local farmer through a CSA.
2) I no longer buy bottles of water.
3) My family has gone vegetarian.
4) As of today, no more diet soda.

Can't wait for all the all electric car to be on the market!
Compost heap.