You don’t need a Prius – you need a fucking bike!

I was totally inspired this evening by an article my friend Stacey sent me about eco-homes.

The article talks about how in a lot of ways “sustainable” homes are not that at all because despite the fact that they might have grey water recycling toilets, all the materials and labour has to be trucked in. Buying a simple, modest home where you open a window instead of running AC, plant a veggie garden instead of going to the super market, and use good old fashioned cow poop on the garden instead of chemical fertiliser is likely to be just as sustainable of a lifestyle as what any snobbish “eco-home” can offer.

It reminded me of the line in the flick “Baby Mama” where Tina Fey asks Amy Poehler why she doesn’t eat organic food and she says “that stuff is just for rich people who hate themselves”. That line always cracks me up because in a lot of ways, she’s right. Organic foods and “green” products have become elitist and pretentious!

For the record I believe that the philosophy behind the green movement is awesome and I’m all for it. I buy as much organic stuff as possible (including all my cleaning products and makeup) BUT I really believe that the “green” homes, the “green” cars, and the fucking $7 “green” carrots just make the average person feel like living life in a sustainable way is out of reach for them.

And when the whole Green movement isn’t elitist it is really hippy, right? Well I don’t know, anymore actually, because I always have associated hippies with being broke and there’s no way you can be broke and afford the crap these eco-pushers are selling.

Have you ever been to a “co-op”? You’d think they’d be cheap-as because everyone who goes there is either a uni student or a dread-locked, bare-footed 22 year old BUT A JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER COSTS LIKE ELEVEN DOLLARS!! Honestly, maybe these kids could afford shoes if they weren’t buying such expensive peanut butter!

Also, have you guys ever seen those “eco-clothing” stores? I’ve wandered into those on occasion to find FIFTY DOLLAR T-SHIRTS!!!! OMG!!!! Seriously, have you people never heard of the SALVATION ARMY? Second hand clothing does not require any extra resources to create, wearing it prevents it from being thrown into a land-fill, and usually it’s been sourced locally. PLUS IT COSTS LIKE THREE DOLLARS! Granted, a lot of people (myself included) have an aversion to second hand clothing because a lot of it is ugly but I’ll be the first to admit that we all need to give it a try. It’s just a matter of wading through the crap to find the kick-ass vintage treasures. I’m going to plan a thrift store adventure soon. I’ll post some pictures here for you guys when I do.

OK this post is getting a lot more ranty than I had planned but honestly, this whole subject makes me angry because I really think that we should be promoting the cheap stuff that people can do to live more sustainably instead of raising the “green standard” to a level where it is unrealistic for the average household.

Here are some of my ideas for alternatives to elitist, green snobbery:

You don’t need an “eco-home” – you need a fucking small house that you don’t pollute with nasty chemicals (or a yurt if you can stand to be that awesome).

You don’t need a Prius – you need a fucking bike! (click here for an awesome set of baskets for carrying your groceries on your bike)

You don’t need $7 carrots – you need a fucking veggie garden!

You don’t need organic free-range beef – you need to become a fucking vegetarian! (or at least cut out as much meat from your diet as you possibly can and then buy the free range, ethical stuff.)

You don’t need $10 free range eggs – you need a fucking chicken! (haha)

OK I better stop before I get too carried away but honestly, if you want to live sustainably just go visit your grandma and ask her what life was like when she was growing up .. and then just go do that. It’s really that simple.

Photo credit

2 replies
  1. kathryn
    kathryn says:

    May I add…find ways to use something more than one way.
    Clothespins are great for closing chip/cookie/flour bags.
    I also use rubber bands for that purpose too.
    Make your own laundry detergent for pennies a load.
    Reduce the amount of toothpaste you use. Squeeze the tube to get it all out..then cut it open to get a few more uses…same with other tubes.
    Hold the shampoo/conditioner bottle upside down, until you use it all. Then shake it with some water for one more use.
    Ketchup and barbeque sauces…fill with water/vinegar and use in a recipe.(sweet n sour)
    When your towel gets a hole in it, cut it into washcloths. When they tatter, use them as rags.
    If your sock gets a hole in the toe…mend it.
    If your sheet gets a hole, put a patch on it, make pillow cases with it, sew a seam up to remove the hole. I’m sure there is something you can do with it.
    My grandmother made amazing braided ragrugs.
    It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it,and how little it actually costs to live.
    You’d think you were depriving yourself, but in many ways your are empowering yourself. The self satisfaction is immense.

    Reply
    • Carly
      Carly says:

      Great ideas kathryn!! My great grandma also used to make those braided ragrugs! Right now I’m living/working on a rural site 2 hours from the nearest town so it’s been a great excersize in not spending money!

      Reply

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