Gracious Sustainable Living

February 15, 2012

You care about the planet. You know we need to do something about climate change. You use recycled bags at the grocery store. You try to shop locally. You avoid buying from companies that don’t use fair trade. You have a small vegetable garden. You compost and you adopted a stray dog. But you also have a full-time job, two kids, a spouse who works 30 hours a week, volunteer obligations at your kids’ schools and, let’s be honest, half the time you forget to take your reusable bags with you to the grocery store.

Sometimes I look at people who don’t think about living sustainably and I envy them just a little bit. It would be nice to not feel guilty about throwing away food I forgot about and let rot in the fridge. But I do.

So, what’s a sustainably conscious girl to do? I’ve been pondering that question lately and if you haven’t stopped reading by now I’m guessing you have been too.

First, let me explain to you that I don’t want to just live a sustainable life. I want to live a gracious sustainable life. What do I mean by that?

I want to buy things made buy artisans who were paid a fair wage but I don’t want them to look like the gifts we had to sell to raise money for our soccer team in junior high. I want to buy fair trade clothes but I don’t want to spend so much money on them that I can’t afford a vacation. I want to have enough space to grow my own food but I want to live close enough to town to walk to good restaurants.

I’m proposing you do two things. The first is to strike a balance. Be aware but don’t despair. Be aware that we need to change the way we (the collective we) live but don’t freak out because you haven’t gotten around to building that chicken coop or because you bought wrapping paper at a big box store. Go easy on yourself.

The second thing is to rely on me. I’ve decided to create a new page called The Once A Week Page. Once a week I will write about a product, tip, project; something you can do or buy or change about your life that will help you to live a more sustainable life that won’t require a lot of time, energy and will (hopefully) fit into your lifestyle.

My goal is to make gracious sustainable living within reach of the average family. Maybe even make it fun and enjoyable. And if you have ideas please let me know. I am always open to new ideas.


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