With a crazy snow storm this weekend, it was easy to find the time to write this post while we waited for things to clear up. Welcome to the third, and final, installment of the “Why go green?” series. In week one you learned about how environmental action can save you money. In week two you discovered the health benefits you can enjoy from taking even the smallest of actions. Today you will see how going green can connect you to yourself, others and the world around you. So read this, find your chi, and then get your booty outside. That is, of course, why it is there.
Area 1: World
With the sultry voice of the internet calling you, it’s can be all too easy to stay inside and entertain yourself. But should you venture out the front door, you will find that there is a whole amazing world out there waiting for you. When is the last time that you walked somewhere instead of driving? Can you picture the last stroll through the fallen leaves of autumn or the crunch on a snow-covered walkway in winter, and the peaceful feeling that ensued? Going green has the effect of pushing you out of modern solitary habits and back into the world. The REAL hot, cold, wet, dry, bright, dark, amazingly complex world that still exists, even when you are laying on the couch watching TV. So get out there and enjoy it. It will do your soul some good.
Our latest snow storm was just the push I needed this weekend to get us out of the house. Armed with shovels, the Dreamboat and I spent a good chunk of the morning removing snow from our unnecessarily long driveway. It has been over a week since I have had the chance to spend some time in the snow, enjoying the crisp, winter air. If I had quickly pushed a gas-powered snowblower up and down my property, I know I would not have had the same experience. Doing something more sustainable gave me the chance to get outside and enjoy my surroundings. While I would still prefer that minions shovel my driveway for me, I can’t deny that interacting with my husband and our neighbours as we all did our part for the environment was a fantastic start to the day.
Area 2: Others
One of the benefits of going green, that you don’t usually hear about, is social connections. Sure you could meet people online through various social media sites, and that is great. But there are real live human beings waiting to meet you, if you only start looking. There are so many different actions you can take when going green that give you the opportunity to meet new people. Whether you start carpooling, planting in a community garden or join a community action group, going green can increase your social circle.
One of our more surprising connections to others came when we purchased a share in a CSA (community sustained agriculture) program at a local farm. I can’t tell you how fantastic it was to meet the people who worked hard year-round to grow our food, and to know that they used the most organic, people and nature-friendly ways to do so. And the best part is that the CSA brings together a group of people whose values reflect our own. At our weekly veggie pick-up site, we get to meet other CSA customers that we would otherwise not know without that connection.
Area 3: Yourself
If you are like most people, there is the constant hum of electronics in the background keeping you company while you multitask your day away. When is the last time that you spent some time with your thoughts? One thing about going green, is that it allows you the chance to get to know yourself just a little better, often by getting you outside and into the natural world. Something as simple as gardening might be just the break you need to gather your thoughts and gain some perspective in life.
Speaking of gardening, that is one of the things I am most looking forward to this spring. I can’t wait to sit in the sun and feel the moist earth in between my fingers as I plant my edible goodies. I have to say that I never feel more alive and connected to everything around me as when I am in the thick of nature. This one small act of sustainability is enough to make my nature geek heart happy. Sometimes I get caught up in the distractions of the digital world, but nothing can replicate the feeling of being in nature.
And that’s all she wrote. Are you convinced to give environmentalism a chance? Hopefully you are ready to come to the dark…er…green side with me. With the end of this series, I will now begin weekly posting of my attempts at parenting and sustainable living in the north. In the meantime, what did you think about today’s post? Why not leave a comment telling me what connections you have formed by going green?