Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Old Fashioned Green

I sometimes wonder if it's casually dismissed as just another new fangled concept reserved for your run of the mill tree hugging granola types, environmental scientists impassioned about wildlife extinction, and meteorology experts prone to forecasting gloom and doom. Them....and Al Gore.

Talking to a friend the other day about our family's concerted effort toward reduction of waste and conservation got me thinking carefully about my ability to articulate why this topic excites me so much, and the reason I believe it is worth our astute attention.

She said something about caring for the Earth's resources that stayed with me. I thought about it long afterward. I'm only here for a while anyway. I get that. I really do. Especially from a Christian perspective, we realize that this world is not our home, we're just a passin' through. And still, it made me wonder if this type of logic applies to other categories of our lives. Would we ever say, I'm only here for a while, so I'm not too concerned about taking care of my body? I'll only live in it for a bit, so I'm not going to maintain my home? I'm only going to own this vehicle for a few years, so who cares if it's full of garbage? Well, probably not. That could earn us a stern, but loving talk about stewardship. ☺

If we are disciplined athletes and nutritionists, caring for our physical bodies, it's admirable. If our homes and yards are decorated, manicured, and landscaped, it's commendable. If we are investing energy toward caring for the planet on which we live, the one God gave us to utilize as His provision to meet our needs, it's (sometimes viewed as) unjustified fanaticism for those crazy hippies. Call me a crazy hippie, but that is what I don't get.

On a personal note, I am a lover of all things old fashioned. Have I ever shared with you my enthusiasm for Little House on the Prairie? No? I thought I had. ;-) I am enthralled by the waste free, simple, content with very little material possession, hugely resourceful nature of the Ingalls family's lives. Highly favoring the old verses the new, I'd far rather spend my money on an antique than anything that comes packaged in a box. I adore surrounding myself with things that have a history attached to them, another life in another home with another owner. I feel as if we are able to breathe new life and meaningfulness into what might have otherwise been tossed aside to occupy a landfill forever more. Melodramatic, maybe. But it's my bend.

Over the years I've witnessed it while spending time with grandparents as well. My grandma would save up all the little soap pieces most of us would discard to make one big bar. My husband's grandmother has a virtual wonderland of useful items stored away in her basement, for a rainy day. If you ask a child of the depression era if conservation and waste reduction is a new concept, my guess is they would say, no. It is so very not new.

Could we tend to argue that living in such a disposable culture that is relatively unconcerned with excessive, unnecessary waste is actually the more new fangled idea? I think so. Maybe, those working to cut back on their environmental impact are simply an old fashioned shade of green....

The ever resourceful big grandma and grandpa ~
 A Barbie house dad made for his girlies out of scrap material ~

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