In many ways, I am very thrifty and conservation-minded towards my energy use and consumption, out of necessity from being low-income and out of a desire to be less wasteful. I’m one of those people who took out a notebook and started pencilling ideas on how to emulate God’s Gardeners in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. What amazes me about the “Green” movement is that so much of it is touted as being brand new and innovative, when really, my grandmother was canning her own food, using a compost toilet (It’s like an ice box sitting out there in the Montana winter, so that was phased out) and re-using everything she could, and my family did much of that after we found ourselves plunged into a much lower income bracket after my dad died. Other poor people have adapted techniques like this before, and of course, Native peoples in North America have been light-years ahead of the rest of us on the common sense of conservation.
I started thinking seriously again about how to be less wasteful after I subscribed to Casaubon’s Book and read Living More With Less , and I realized that there was a serious gap in the way I wanted to live which would be less wasteful and more thrifty, and the fact that I was taking up to three or four round-trip flights to see my significant other. It made me feel like a big dirty hypocrite, wanting to live a lighter lifestyle and yet taking so many flights. A bit like when a “Green” celebrity takes a private lear jet to accept an award for conservation efforts. That’s about to end soon. I will be taking my last flight for a rather long time in July, going to Seattle to see my sister, and then taking a ferry to move to Victoria. Once there, I will be able to use a lot less energy, since Victoria is much more bike friendly, everything I’ll be needing will be on a bus route or within walking distance, and I won’t need to fly hundreds or thousands of miles to see Jaime. I’ll get to see her every day! Yay!
But I am racking my brain over how to make up for three plus years of plane rides and how I can make sure we are conscious of our ecological impact and are mindful of how we live our lives so that we don’t hog resources. One of the first things I am thinking of is having a “meatless” night each week, and becoming a creative cook with legumes and dishes like butternut and spaghetti squash. I’m an ex vegetarian, but poor Jaime may find my choices utterly unpalatable, so I’ll try my very best to make them scrummy as possible. I’m also thinking of taking of advantage of Victoria’s gorgeous year-round weather and wet climate to start a garden at our new place (with landlord’s permission) with local flowers and herbs incorporated within the veggies so that bees and butterflies will be attracted. Another is taking hikes and bicycle rides, or trips to the beach on our bicycles for swimming as an alternative to watching a movie at home and using up electricity. The best part is, we won’t need to turn on our computers in order to see each other. Sappy as I am, that’s the single best perk of this “energy saving” move! *wink*
Operation stereotypical eco-conscious British-Columbian flexeterian queer couple ahead full steam! If you are green-conscious and have any other ideas, please, by all means, share them with me.