|Beautiful despite their energy use: Christmas lights in downtown Salt Lake City.|
I've been called out by my cubicle-mates in the past few weeks for some "organic living" inconsistancies, like:
"Cookies! You don't eat COOKIES!"
First of all, they were coconut cookies - not much white sugar, but still, you have a point. Admittedly, I've commited some blatant no-no's lately. And I blame the holidays.
It's my first Christmas with Chris, and I have this untamable urge to buy him the WORLD!! Though our philosophy is less is more when it comes to stuff (we've both gone through purges in our lives), I've been a major materialist for him this year! And judging by the boxes piling up under the tree, he's been bitten by the same bug.
ALL WRAPPED UP
The Clean Air Council says that, during the holidays, Americans create five million ADDITIONAL tons of waste, with four million of that coming from gift wrap. I certainly don't want to add to that number, so Chris and I set out on a Saturday quest to find recycled wrapping paper. We went to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and asked everyone in sight - but no dice. So, because we were already out, we ducked into Staples to buy regular ol' gift wrap, as wasteful and tree-killing as it is. If I were smart, I would have gone with gift bags instead, which are more likely to at least get reused. Or I could have done one of these cool tricks to wrap gifts. But....I didn't.
'Member when Chris and I bought our tree? The fakie? We didn't want to contribute to any tree-chopping (and the mass dumping that follows), which is why we opted for the plastic version. But, according to reports, we may not have made the right decision. The San Francisco Chronicle breaks it down this way:
The National Christmas Tree Association's Web site (www.christmastree.org) opens with a chart itemizing why real trees are more environmentally beneficial than artificial trees: lead-free, PVC-free, carbon-neutral, biodegradable, replenishable and natural. Its big points: Non-renewable petroleum and metals go into the makings of the main material in artificial trees, PVC plastic, the manufacture of which releases toxic dioxins into air and water.
Carrie Chen, vice president for marketing at Treetopia, the South San Francisco company making trendy faux trees in a rainbow of colors, can deconstruct the arguments one by one. She says that there's hardly more lead than hospitals have in their plastic IV bags, that Japanese makers of PVC are strictly controlled, that more petroleum is consumed by transporting 10 years of real trees than making and transporting one faux tree. She concludes, "I think overall the artificial way is more green."
So that's more of a toss-up, but I admittedly slacked on my research there.
I fell asleep to "Christmas Vacation" last night; drove to work listening to "Mele Kalikimaka" - in addition to all the Christmas fun I've already mentioned in this blog, so it's apparent I'm having a BLAST putting Christmas together with Chris. The presents, the tree - even the cookies - get me excited, and give us something more to share with each other and our loved ones. So, even though I'm not being the greenest, I am still living authentically; following my heart towards happiness.
I'm not perfect, nor do I strive to be. What I DO strive for, is to do as much as I can every day to live consciously and green. So whether it's something as small as smiling at myself in the mirror, or grouping nearby errands together to save on car use, or sorting the bathroom trash for recyclables, at least I'm AWARE of how my actions affect myself, others, and the environment. I think a lot of us do that, which is why I think this world is healing itself one conscious mind at a time.