I was watching something last night on TV about protestors at a power station and it got me thinking. Are we all just “eco hypocrites”.
To be honest I am less interested in environmental issues than some of you may think. I am still dubious about Global warming and I know many of you will be sighing in sympathy for my stupidity. Well, that is as may be. The truth is I am more in to being self sufficient than anything else.
For me this means:
- No bills
- No mortgage
- Growing veggies
- Keeping chickens
- Working for myself
- Not spending to keep up with the Jones’s
All of that we have achieved. But I wonder about the whole “eco” thing. What does being more “eco friendly” mean. Buying organic, by driving your car to the supermarket?
Using energy efficient lightbulbs yet still using electricity produced by Nuclear which you absolutely DO NOT AGREE WITH?
What is with the whole Eco thing?
I don’t even know what it means any more.
Is it having a box of seasonal veg delivered to your door even though you could grow it yourself. But oh, you don’t have time because you go to work to pay the bills, to buy the veg, to feed the family, to clothe the family, who you never see because you go to work to………
I am not saying I am any better. I want to be self sufficient but we drive a 4X4, live somewhere so it is a 2 hour drive to the supermarket, which is about as environmentally friendly as our Car in the first place.
We have 3 Dogs which means expense and lots of methane ( an awful lot). We say we want to look after the environment but we still buy clothes that travel around the world and are full of synthetic crap, who knows what is on the little vegetable plugs that we buy, even though we then use no chemicals on them.
I just wonder what it all means at times.
Is it enough to do our own little bit? It all helps right?
Is it fair that I use a blog to make money now and then by selling solar panels and compost tumblers to people. Is that an un “eco” thing to do? Should I only write about how to be more self reliant and how to only get things for free? This is a self sufficient blog after all.
But this is not the way of the world is it?
If I went out to work working in a factory making items full of pollutants and left others to make money from selling solar panels and composters, and only wrote about how to spend less and grow veggies, would that make me a better and less un Eco person?
I don’t know.
I do know that I, well, both of us, have found a middle ground. We do our bit, but is it for the greater good?
Hmm. How many peoples actions are. I can sit at home, get up when I want, and make my living from the Internet. Yes my laptop is run by solar. But the Sun does not always shine and the generator that give us backup power is run by 95 unleaded which is not giving us and brownie points.
What a hypocrite.
It’s odd, I wonder what being eco really means.
Personally I think it is about minimizing the waste, not using pollutants if you don’t really have to, growing your own, making compost, and for me it is about getting out of the rat race.
For others it is something totally different.
Others will say it is about being a vegetarian and not wasting good crop growing land. It is about being organic and riding a bike and selling the Car.
What are your thoughts?
What does being “Eco” Friendly actually mean?
For me it means doing the best I can. We all make choices and no one is perfect and I appreciate that you seem to be saying the same thing. I compost, work from home, have chickens, etc. but I’m also far from perfect. My big thing I won’t do away with? Long hot showers. Not very eco-friendly at all. I truly believe that “every little bit does help” and we should be encouraging and celebrating those little bits.
Oh for a long hot shower. It seems every time I try the battery that powers the pump decides it is time to go flat and not allow enough pressure for the boiler to kick in. Roll on Summer when the water is hot from being heated as it runs through pipes outdoors.
I’d have to agree with both of you. There will always people willing to take it to the extreme but personally I believe if I make a few changes over the course of a year it will still benefit the “eco” way of life. I find as I get older the eco thing kind of ties in with wanting less and saving money as the years go on. Fewer “toys”, lowering our energy bills, smaller house, smaller yard. It’s seems like a natural progression. Well, for my wife and I at least.
That is what I think is the right idea. Doing things that also allow you to enjoy life a little more. Being a little more “eco” does not mean you have to knit your own yogurt.
I think there’s sometimes an assumption that when you’re trying to be eco-friendly, you have to be an utter purist, otherwise you’re a hypocrite, or you’re wrong, or you’re failing.
I don’t think the case.
The fact is, by just being here, we’re using up resources. I think it comes down to re-addressing the balance, and trying to replenish, cut back, live as sustainably as you can, and give back when you can. If everyone tried, we’d be in a completely different state than we are. But at the moment there is something drastically wrong with the balance.
Perhaps being eco-friendly means is some significant changes to a ‘normal’ lifestyle – for some, that means getting out of the rat race, recycling, working for yourself, growing your own, going veggie, giving up your car… it depends what angle you take and how you tackle it, your circumstances and opinions. It’s very complex. And we’re all different, so we all do it in different ways. It doesn’t mean each way is wrong or hypocritical necessarily.
But it would be nice if being ‘eco friendly’ was the norm…
Lucy, well said. I just find it difficult at times to try to get a handle on the “eco” thing at all. The good lady would probably say I am more “careful with money” i.e “tight” than “eco”. I have just never wanted to waste things and spend when it is not needed, and now that means I am more eco than mean. Whoopee 😉
If the only way to not be a hypocrite is to have zero impact on the environment, we’re all out of luck. The only way to be truly ecologically neutral is to not be born in the first place, and it’s a little late for that. Luckily, the planet’s capacity for absorbing the byproducts of our endeavors, vehicles, and follies isn’t zero, either.
We’ve got chickens and will have bees. We have a big garden and we grow mushrooms in the woods. We hunt, fish, and forage. But I don’t hesitate to turn on the lights, wash the dishes in hot water, or drive into town (where, I was recently informed, I shouldn’t wear my dirty boots) to buy the many, many things that stand between us and real self-sufficiency.
I’m trying for a prudent use of resources. Given that I’m already born, it’s the best I can do.
Tamar, well said. No dirty boots in town? That would be us buggered then, ’tis a rare day when the boots they are clean!
Hello – a very interesting post, from some-one who is setting up an eco-gite which people will travel to in order to have a holiday!? Lots of contradictions there. I have recently been thinking about these in relation to waste. People on some very high profile blogs are trying to create zero household waste yet in doing so some of the choices they make are far from eco. “Oh I bought product x because it is 100% recyclable but I had to drive an extra 20 miles in the opposite direction to get it.” or “I bought this jar of made pasta sauce and will recycle the jar and lid so that is good” but had they grown the veg and made the sauce themselves that would have been more sustainable/eco.
What I do know is there is no one right answer but if we lead our lives trying to be as eco as possible whilst being willing to change if you discover a better way then you are heading in the right direction….. I think!
Rosie , thanks for the comments. And I know exactly what you mean. I still slightly fume when I think about a house building program that I watched. The owners knocked down a perfectly well sized bungalow to build an “eco” home. Yeah right!
I expect we’re all eco-hypocrites to some degree. Buying eco-products is often a ‘lifestyle’ choice and as much part of the consumer circus as any other ‘lifestyle’ choice.
For what it’s worth I don’t see anything wrong with promoting compost tumblers, it’s not going to make the world a worse place! You could have just as easily (more easily) decided to build weightloss sites or pushed acai berries and any other number of dodgy web scams.
Whatever philosophy or beliefs underpin your desire for self sufficiency I think it is a way of life that is by default more environmentally friendly than most.
Ok! I just submitted that in all innocence and it came up with one of those info links automatically! Whoops!
No problem Goo, it may even make us an extra 2 pence if someone clicked on it 😉 Thanks for the nice comment, I was feeling very contemplative at the time. Interesting about the eco products. I do wonder how many people buy such things because of their environmental concerns and how many buy them because it is simply the “in” thing, or even because of peer pressure because of the social circles they mix with.
“Tight” Mr Dirty Boots? I would never hint at such a thing!
Well…. mmmmm…. maybe just a touch…..
I have chickens,(the reason I found this site) turn the light off when I leave the room, buy only things that I need, walk if I have the time, etc, etc, and generally try to contribute as little pollution as practicable into the environment. (I had a reputation for being tight even when I was at school)
Then in my mid thirties, a rush of hormones (or something similar) helped or pushed me to take the plunge.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife and three teenage sons (couldn’t and wouldn’t give them up for anything) but am now self- imprisoned by decades of debt and responsibilities. My wife’s idea of roughing it is late room service and my sons fall someway in between. All the long hair, old clothes and worn out dirty boots in the world, won’t give me a “Get out of Jail Free” card .
However, I will never give up the cheap dream.
Paul Muggins (one of the millions of Muggins throughout the World)