Friday, January 11, 2013

A few greenies I admire

The bicycle commuters still going strong in January. 
Kudos to the cyclists still darting 'round the city of Chicago in this dark, cold half of the calendar—and to the few of you I see out in the 'burbs still biking to the train, though I suspect your commutes must be shorter than mine. Or at least I'm convincing myself of that so I don't feel so bad about covering my own 11 miles (round trip) by car half the year.

Environmental activists.
But not the shouting, bomb-threatening types. That's just counterproductive. Rather, the ones who chain themselves to trees in the path of loggers, the ones who go to the site of an oil spill to scrub the poor little waterfowl with Dawn soap, and the ones who defend pandas in court (thanks, Modern Family, for that joke)—you have passion and ambition that I have never quite mustered.

I could never be you. While I like to eat meat, I could live without it—if I had to. And I could live without some dairy products, because I genuinely like the taste of soy milk and almond milk. But, oh, the taste of real whipped cream. And our homemade whole-milk yogurt. (I need to write about that!) And cheese. Like a really sharp cheddar. Or baked brie wrapped in a buttery crescent-roll crust. (Or even Wensleydale, Gromit!) Plus, eggs are always a staple in our house.

The people who eat only organic, free-range, grass-fed anything.
I just bought boneless, skinless breasts for less than two dollars a pound and only paid 11 cents per egg by buying the value pack . . . but at what cost to the chickens?? Seriously though, I'll occasionally shell out the big bucks for a delicious, sustainably provided gourmet meal, but it's hard to justify going broke by choice over groceries. For widespread change

The people who raise their own organic, free-range, grass-fed whatevers.
I can barely keep up with a vegetable garden, while I have an acquaintance who essentially snuck a small farm into her backyard. I am envious.

The people who go off the grid.
First of all, I'm jealous of your resources. Of the wealth, know-how, creativity, and/or free time that enabled you to install you solar panels and gray-water system, to plot out and work that piece of land suitable for sustainable agriculture, to build a greenhouse out of recycled materials, to make the best use of your harvests, to trade your raw honey for your neighbor's grain mill, and so on. Must be nice. But secondly, and more importantly, I admire your great effort. It ain't easy being 100% green.

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