Sunday, April 7, 2013

What Being Green Means to Me

Day 7 of the April Blog Challenge from Green Moms Network:

I really should have read all the prompts before I jumped in with both feet on this blog writing challenge.  I don't even know what to say about what being green means to me.  I do not really consider myself a "green person."  I recycle because I have a box to put recyclables in, and all I have to do is carry it (or, now that I'm pregnant, drag it) to the curb each week, and someone comes and takes it away.

Being green is not a focus of mine.  I do try not to be wasteful, and I do things like composting and home gardening, but that is because I just enjoy doing those things, and it's really not driven by the overwhelming desire to care for the earth that seems to consume some people.  I even plan to cloth diaper my son, and I encourage other people to cloth diaper, too.  Again, though, what motivated me to look into cloth diapering was the desire to save money, and what kept me dedicated to cloth diapering was the desire to add those awesome diapers to my stash.  (You can ask my husband; I have a serious fluff addiction.)

As a Christian, too, I have become alarmed by the "green movement" in this country.  I do believe that we should all be good stewards of the earth.  It is our home, and it is a beautiful, incredibly well-organized gift from God.  It is our duty to maintain it and care for it.  What concerns me is how being green has, for some people, become almost like a religion in itself.  Children who will never hear Jesus' name mentioned in their classrooms come home singing praise songs to "Mother Earth."  As Michael Crichton notes in his article "Environmentalism is a religion:"
If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.  
Now, I'm not talking about people who are out there doing their part to keep our planet in good shape for our enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.  I think that, if anything, I could really stand to work on my own dedication in these areas.  No, what I am talking about are the people who approach environmentalism as a sacred and holy way to live and give more importance to a somewhat vague notion of saving the earth than they do even to helping others and living life with love towards others.  The people who are perfectly willing to say horrible, nasty, and destructive things to other human beings in defense of their cause.  They tear others down in the name of their love for the earth, and to that, I have to object.

Because the idea of "being green" evokes these images in me, I will describe instead the things that I do to take care of this beautiful home that God created and gave to us for our use.  I enjoy gardening and learning about new plants.  I plan to take my son on nature walks and show him the different kinds of plants, animals, and trees in our world.  I will teach my children about the amazing ways in which all these organisms work together to maintain each other.  And I will use cloth diapers on my little babies and occasionally allow someone to think I am good enough to be sacrificing my time to do something good for the planet instead of just feeding an unnatural addiction to adorable prints.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this post. I am "green" in many ways, but not nearly enough for some. I do what works for me and also try not to be wasteful. There are certainly areas where I would like to waste less, but I don't guilt myself over it. I also don't guilt others over their decisions and choices to not "be green." For example, I drive an electric car, and will talk about how much I love it. At the same time I will explain to people that it is not for everyone. I do the same with cloth diapers too. I think there are a lot of people who feel like us, but the all of nothing people just speek louder.