It’s very popular these days for people to talk about how we all need to practice being green, but how does that line up with the rest of your life? Don’t let trying to be green overcome you with anxiety…
“It’s Not Easy Being Green,” Says Kermit.
I feel like a little baby goldfish in a great big ocean that is about ready to open its mouth and make a statement that will get him in big trouble. He knows the chances of his being heard in that great big sea of even bigger and louder fish is probably very small, but is going to open his mouth anyway.
He is pretty sure that those great big sharks who don’t want to hear him will probably gobble him up before he has a chance to finish his sentence but for the sake of his fish buddies he does it anyway.
So I am going to be brave, too, and speak out like my little goldfish. What I write about next, I write with the purest of motives. I just want to make sure that when you buy things or do things, you do it with your eyes wide open, using your best common sense. I hope to make sure, as a consumer and a person, you are not doing things because of what “they” say you should do or because you are caught up with emotional fear.
As I have said so many times before, “God does not give us the spirit of fear.” Any time we act upon something because of fear, we need to really question the reason we are doing it. It isn’t wrong to experience fear, but it is wrong to act upon that fear and let it control us.
It seems the there is such a mob or panic mentality over everything anymore. There is a perfect children’s story that illustrates this same point called Chicken Little.
For those of you who have never heard the story of Chicken Little or have forgotten it, it is about a character named Chicken Little. (Make note: When someone is always afraid, he is called chicken.) One day an acorn falls on his head, terrifying him and causing him to think the sky is falling. He runs to warn the king.
Along the way he meets Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey, and tells each one of them that the sky is falling. They all run with him to tell the king.
Then they meet Foxy Loxy who is sly and cunning. He says, “Oh my, how awful! Let me show you the way to the king,” and they all follow him. Instead of taking them to the king, he leads them to his den and gobbles them all down.
This story is often told to children to teach them not to be afraid of things but I think it is also a good example for adults to follow — not to believe everything you hear, even if a whole crowd is saying it. We laugh and think how foolish they all are but we do the same type of thing all the time in our everyday lives when it comes to the things we read, hear or are told.
In the next few paragraphs I hope to point out some of the same type of things people are talking about in loud, panicked voices. It is not my intention to offend anyone, but to open some eyes.
What am I talking about? I’m talking about everything being “green” or “organic”. What started out as a very worthwhile cause many years ago has turned into a very commercialized thing that plays on peoples’ fears to promote everything from products to TV shows to platforms for political candidates.
It’s gotten to the point where we can’t do anything: eat, drink, sleep or even breathe without worrying about whether everything is green and/or organic. No wonder we are having more heart attacks and children are more stressed about life. The things we are being told to do to help ourselves and future generations live longer are the very things that are going to kill us, just from the stress of worrying about them.
Am I eating the right food? …using the right fertilizer? …using the right building materials, beauty products, dishes, linen, clothes?? Am I breathing the right air? Let’s buy a vacuum with an air filter, a furnace with an air filter, an air filter itself. Don’t forget, there are also filters for our water and then there is bottled water, but now no one can decide if that is good or bad for you.
How in the world did my generation manage to survive before all of these things? My parents had none of these things but, somehow, they’ve made it into their 80s and are still living.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think there is anything wrong with caring for the environment. I do think it’s wrong when we become obsessed about it and then businesses jump on the bandwagon and start commercializing it.
We need to really be cautious when we hear about some new “study”. I remember, years ago, when the headlines were full of warnings not to eat eggs. “They will give you high cholesterol and kill you,” they all said. It was a really big deal. It almost destroyed those in the business of producing eggs (well not the chickens themselves but the people who raised them : ).
After all of the hype, it was found out that the doctors who had done the studies did the studies on rabbits. As we all know, rabbits normally eat carrots and other veggies, not eggs. Their bodies weren’t built to handle food with cholesterol or anything like that so of course it messed up their systems, but you didn’t see that little detail flashed all over the newspapers.
Now after many, many years and after much damage has already been done to the egg industry, eggs are slowly being given the okay again. This study is like many others that we swear by, which were not done with normal people under normal conditions.
We were told for years to not buy real Christmas trees and instead buy artificial ones because it would destroy rain forests and our tree population. I never could understand this logic since most Christmas trees are grown on tree farms and have nothing to do with any natural forest of any kind. In my mind, farm grown trees would be considered a renewable resource but again the tree business took a beating. Now the green people are telling us not to buy artificial trees but real trees because the artificial ones are filling up landfills. What next? Will they ban trees altogether? …maybe even ban Christmas? I mean, look at what Christmas does to children. They get all stirred up and excited which, I’m sure, is somehow not good for them. I just couldn’t resist being a little tongue in cheek.
Back to bottled water… Ignoring the fact that most bottle water comes from regular tap water and really isn’t any better for you, now “they” have once again found another way to make money off of our fears. “They” are now saying that bottled water isn’t good for you because of the plastic bottles.
And we wonder why we are confused.
Unlike a lot of other people, I kept eating eggs, drank tap water and kept buying Christmas trees when I could afford them. Will I live longer or less? I don’t know. I do know that I probably have less gray hairs than a lot of people my age, which is always a plus when you get as old as I am :) :). I also know that it feels really good not to live in fear all of the time.
Besides fear, “they” also prey upon our guilt. How often we are made to feel guilty if we don’t always buy “green”. This is simply manipulation. I’m sorry– I must call it what it is. If you can’t afford something that is “green” or you don’t think that is what’s best for your family, I give you permission right here and now. You don’t need to buy it or feel guilty about not buying it.
I saw an example of this on TV the other day. Someone was trying to convince people that they needed to buy bamboo sheets because they are green and by buying bamboo sheets, which are a renewable resource, you will help save the environment.
What’s wrong with cotton sheets? I’m not sure, but I thought I was taught in elementary school that cotton was a renewable resource. Not only that, it is a renewable resource from our own country. Wouldn’t it be better to buy something grown in our own country rather than something that is imported?
They also gave the impression that these linens were healthier for you. I lived in Japan for a while. I remember well the rice paddy fields and the smells. I could hardly breathe it smelled so awful. People used human manure and fish to fertilize their fields and the smell was terrible. It took months for the smell to get out of our clothes and furniture when we got back to the states.
I imagine that they use the same technique for growing their bamboo. It was totally “organic”. I’m not knocking they way they do things in Japan. They may not practice all of this now, but their standards are not the same as ours and that’s fine. I just don’t want someone telling me that simply because something has a green and/or organic label that that makes it better. We say how healthy these things are, but we really don’t have a clue how most of the products we buy are made or grown.
I have read many reviews on these products and one of the complaints I see frequently is that the product smelled awful. Hmmm… I wonder why. Why am I not surprised?
What am I most upset about? I am upset that businesses are trying to make money off of people’s fears and guilt. Tawra and I were talking today and she was telling me about how so many businesses are selling these great “environmentally friendly” canvas bags to put your purchases in.
They make it seem as if they care about the environment and are only concerned about helping the world and you. What it boils down to is they love this green craze. Now, they are making you pay for your own bags, so they make a bigger profit. They no longer have to use their own money to buy bags, but they have not lowered the price of their products, even though the cost of plastic bags has been figured into the price. They love it. It’s a win, win and win some more situation for them.
We are easily brainwashed about many things, so be careful. I constantly hear people say over and over that there is a huge difference in organic eggs or eggs from your own chickens. I had my own chickens for a while, which was a challenge since I am definitely a city girl. Anyway I tried really hard to convince myself that those eggs tasted different than the ones we bought at the store but, honestly, I just couldn’t tell a difference at all.
Just recently, when a neighbor gave me some organic “homemade” eggs, I thought I would try again. Between us, we could not tell a difference. I have tried hard with many other organic things, but the taste just is not different for me.
The mind is a very powerful thing. It can make you feel, taste, hear and smell things that aren’t there. Be careful! Don’t believe everything you see, read or hear unless it makes sense to you. Stop letting fear control every part of your life, including your money.
I can’t afford green or organic products but that doesn’t mean, in my own way, that I can’t be wise in using the things I do buy. A couple of generations ago, people didn’t worry much about the environment because most people did all things with moderation. They made-do, reused and stretched the things they did have. They did more to save the environment than most of us can even begin to think about doing.
Then we had a generation come along who didn’t have to work as hard for what they got and began taking it all for granted, which translated into waste. Now, as so often happens, the pendulum swings way to the other extreme. Neither extreme is the best. We need to have a happy medium. That is why it is called a “happy” medium.
Relax. Stop making a major issue over every little thing in your life. We worry about our children’s physical health so much. We do need to care for them but, when we are paranoid over every little thing, we forget to care for their emotional health. A child’s emotional health is usually better when the parents aren’t stressed and worried all the time. Kids can feel when their parents are stressed, so be careful.
Instead of worrying whether that carpet your kids are playing on has some weird hidden something in it, just relax, sit down and play with your kids on it. It will probably make you both feel better in the long run.
In closing, here is something to think about. Over the centuries here are a few things that “they” (government, scientists, knowledgeable scholars and famous people) said and firmly believed. In most cases it took a common average Joe to blow their firm beliefs wide apart.
- The world is flat and not round.
- Every time you bathe more of your skin is dissolved off, so don’t bathe too often or you will eventually have no skin left.
- If you drive over 35 miles an hour, the force will cause the skin to peel off of your body.
- If you drain your body of enough blood, it will heal you.
I could list many more, but I think you get the point. All I want you to do is to be wise and think things through before you follow the crowd.
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