Saving The Environment in Three Simple Steps

Being environmentally friendly is really very easy especially if you are economically challenged. For example buying new things is out of the question and you have to pretty much use all your stuff until it becomes impossible to use anymore. Fixing stuff is a matter of course because you can't afford to pay someone else to do it or buy new.

We live in a small house because we can't afford a bigger one but this lowers our footprint and is a good thing for the environment. I hang dry my clothes even though I have a dryer because in summer the dryer heats up the house and I'm always trying to save a dollar here and there. In winter I rarely use the clothes line because I've found that the clothes won't dry out there. I know some people say they do but ours don't. Plus the dryer helps to heat up the house so the heat energy is used to dry the clothes and to warm the house. And no I don't vent the dryer into the house, a stupid idea unless you want to have mould everywhere.

Sure we could give up our tv, dishwasher and live in a cave but socially what would we have in common with our friends and family? People are social creatures and I already find it hard talking to people when all they can talk about is their latest trip, new car, new tatoo, wines, movies, restaurants or how great their new computer is. This computer is a frankenstein one made from all sorts of parts. It's slow and is about to crash most days but still gets the job done, most of the time.

I already feel like a social misfit because we never take trips, don't drink wine, rarely go to a movie and almost never eat at restaurants. We do have a tv and cable but it's basic cable and apparently we don't get most of the shows everyone else is watching. I don't mind but it makes it harder to have a conversation with someone you don't know well and even sometimes with those you do.

Being environmentally responsible should not involve making yourself into a Luddite or social pariah. But that's what I feel like sometimes. Everyone else is consuming like crazy and talking nonstop about it and I find myself sitting in a corner not saying much. I could talk about our efforts to help the environment but everyone rolls their eyes and tunes out as soon as I speak. They'd much rather "keep up with the Jones" than save the environment and sure it's way more fun too. Some days I'd like to do the same but finances make sure I can't.

So I feel a bit resentful that I've become an environmentalist not by choice but by necessity. It would feel better if I was doing all these things to save the environment than because I can't afford anything else but I guess in the big picture I should know that I've lowered my family's footprint a lot and we should feel proud.


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