Confessions of an Eco-Evader
Note from Mrs. Green – The Mrs. Green journey has always been about creating a community of people who care about the planet. I am thrilled to introduce you to Sue Nelko Carr, a welcome new member to Mrs. Green’s World. Sue is, self-admittedly, in the “going green” category and is willing to share her journey with all of us. It really is about one step at a time. Welcome, Sue!
Confessions of an Eco-Evader
When my friend, Kelly, asked me to write this blog, I thought perhaps she had finally lost it. Okay, truth be told, I knew she had lost it a long time ago; I mean, what other high-school kid would co-host a formal Clue-themed dinner party where all the guests had been instructed to refer to one another by pseudonyms like Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock? Granted, that was a long time ago and I was the other co-host, but still…
I questioned her sanity this time around because I’m not a diehard environmentalist by any stretch. I drive an SUV when I really don’t need to, I shop at a store that encases all its produce in plastic packaging, I use plastic bags to clean out my cats’ litter boxes, and we load a bin with empty water, juice, and seltzer bottles every week. I find myself tuning out of conversations about fracking or global warming or oil spills, mainly because I feel these issues are far too large for someone as small as me to impact, but partly, too, because that very idea frightens me to the core. If terrible, unstoppable things will happen to our environment regardless of my actions, why even bother trying? It makes for a chilling sense of helplessness, one I’d rather ignore than face.
Then I got to thinking about changes I’ve made recently—to my lifestyle, to my diet, to my thought process—and this idea started to gel for me. No, I’m not a diehard environmentalist, but I am becoming a more conscientious consumer. I read labels and find myself seeking out natural, inexpensive alternatives for my home and my body. I shop for all-natural foods and non-toxic cleaners. I recycle—not only plastics and newspapers, but clothes, toys, and other household items. While I’ve never counted myself among the tree-huggers, I’ve fostered at least a half-dozen saplings in my yard that have now grown taller than my nine-year-old. I cultivate a herb garden every year. I compost our yard clippings. I may be a flawed environmentalist, but I’m taking small steps each day—with each trip to the grocery store and each visit to my CSA pick-up spot—to bring my family around to a more natural lifestyle.
So the thought occurred to me that maybe—just maybe—if I shared my small actions with others, they might feel inspired to make some similar changes, or they might share ideas with me that I could then implement and pass on to others; and then, through this crazy ripple effect, we might actually be able to do a little something to change the world.
So here I am, ready to share my journey with you, and hoping that you’ll share your tips and ideas with me in return. I am far from “Mrs. Green” (maybe more “Mrs. Chartreuse”), but I’m trying, and that’s a start.
Sue Nelko Carr is a freelance writer and editor, and a full-time mother, trying to live a greener life in Pittsburgh, PA.