Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Confession

Me, on leave: still consuming, but more for travel, less for
daily life, and significantly less overall.
or "How Unemployment Shrunk My Ecological Footprint".

Allow me to admit:  I am a paper hog and a resource squanderer by nature.

I will drive 6 miles to the library or 10 to the bookstore and then back again, and there I will (yes, resell, but also) buy books.  Books are made of trees (unless they're e-books, but those devices carry their own set of electronic resource consumption issues), which are - despite what some say - a restricted resource.  Gas is fossil fuel, and we know that has its limits too.

And when I teach, my students use literally reams of paper for essays, stories, poems, etc. and I use reams more for handouts.  And, bottom line, even after consulting my friend Doug the AP Environmental Science teacher, I have to accept that as an English teacher there's a certain extent to which - due to students' varying and often unpredictable access to technological resources - in order to offer equitable access to education, I simply must use paper. 

And may I also admit this?

This year, taking a temporary leave of absence from teaching, I'm using FAR fewer resources while finding much more time to cook locally-sourced whole foods rather than heat up microwave dinners, repair aging objects rather than dumping and repurchasing them, putter around with the veggies and fruit trees and chickens toward a native/permaculture suburban yard, walk or ride the bus places (because I have more time to fit longer transit times into my schedule), and in many other ways shrink my ecological footprint. (click the link for an interesting quiz to see how much impact you make)

And I am making zero income. 

So my current lifestyle is not sustainable.  When the savings run out, it's done. 

OK: now I've done the 'admitting I have a problem'. 

I'm turning it over to the Universe, and to all of you, to help me figure a way to maintain as much of this pared-down lifestyle as I can when I return to work.  Could you offer me a suggestion on where to begin?

I know I can do it, but I can't do it alone.


p.s.  Tomorrow our Earth Day Challenge at draws to a close at 7p.m., but there's still time to join (I'll check many times today to approve members joining via this post), then make a pledge and enter to win 20 trees-for-books to offset at least a bit of the impact from our shared passion for reading. 

1 comment:

Robyn said...

I was hoping other folks would have some ideas. I'm on sabbatical and thinking the same thing. I've been walking all over my town, lost weight without really trying because of it, and my car doesn't move for days at a time. But I walk instead of drive because I feel like I have more time, and I know it's possible to make time while you have a job, but seems so hard sometimes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...