Before I read this book, I thought it was going to be a load of crap. I was probably the least environmentally concerned person ever. I actually got a little upset and thought people were silly when they made decisions based simply on what’s best for the environment. I was convinced that the interest of people was much more important, and that if the planet’s needs contradicted my own…tough luck for the Earth. I didn’t recycle unless it was more convenient. I didn’t buy recycled anything (I still limit it because of BPA, however. And I didn’t dream of ever being the person who used reusable products instead of disposable unless it saved me money in some way. I must say that this annoying little man and his spoiled wife surprised me. They swayed me. As soon as I read the chapter about how much trash he accumulated throughout the week, and how he only used that stuff for a few minutes before tossing it… something clicked in me. I literally put down my book, went to work, and didn’t produce trash unless I didn’t have a choice.
I used my reusable water bottle all day instead of constantly getting a new plastic cup from the soda machine. When lunch came, I used a ceramic plate and silver fork instead of plastic everything. This was the first time I had ever really cared about the environment as an adult. The last time I cared was when I was forced to get out of the car by my parents after tossing a fast food soda cup out the window. They pulled over and made me go get the cup and throw it in the trash. At that age, I still believed that every time I littered, the Earth cried.
Seriously. But as an adult, I am a vegan for about a year now and I used that as my trump card whenever some annoying liberal accused me of being callus to the planet’s needs. Now I am actually worried about the environment. Or, more specifically, I don’t want to be wasteful. I am not saying that recycling is the best choice (it uses a lot of energy as well, and the BPA still scares me). But, I am saying that I want to waste and harm our planet as little as possible. I am not to the point of sacrificing too much yet… but I am getting there.
I like a lot of the ideas the Colin suggests. And I was reading about Michelle’ side of the story on a website, and I must say, she makes it sound very idyllic. She says that he little apartment is an oasis from the wasteful, consumer driven world. She has lost a lot of weight and cured a lot of her health problems by going “greener” and I think it’s very admirable to make a difficult life choice when you technically, don’t really have to. It’s all about holding yourself accountable to yourself.