How to Live a Greener Life When You’re Really Comfy with Brown

“Does ‘creation’ have anything to do with God whom I call ‘Creator’?  Oh, pish posh.  Surely God isn’t worried about how we handle His creation that He created.  His main concern is making His followers happy and prosperous, yes?…”  Jen Hatmaker

Maybe not.

“I’m beginning to wonder if the unprecedented consumption of the earth’s resources and the cavalier destruction of its natural assets is a spiritual issue as much as environmental.”  J.H.

Ok, so those of you who visit this blog often know that a group of us have been trying this experimental mutiny against excess this summer, using Jen Hatmaker’s mess-up-your-life book, 7...

The whole purpose is to try some changes that we hope will give us a better perspective on a kingdom lifestyle and help us move in that direction.   Even a tiny bit.

If you’ve read any of the posts, you know that we’ve laughed a lot and had great fun doing this together.

But we met last Monday and agreed that it feels like the party’s over.

Most of us (except for Heather who is an environmental superstar already) feel decidedly cranky about the Waste chapter – choosing 7 ways to live a greener life.

We were especially out-of-sorts about the compost part.

Worms?  Maggots?  Mush?  That does not sound like fun.  Sorry, not gonna go there.

Here’s a picture of my first reaction to the 7 habits for a greener life that Jen chose.

I hate “mug” and love my air-conditioning.  I have a decidedly brown thumb.  I like buying “first-hand” clothes.

Bottom line?  I totally want to protect this precious gift of creation that God has given us, but my x’s reflect what a selfish, comfort-addicted human being I am.  I love the idea of being green more than the inconvenient reality of it.

Maybe you can relate.

AND…  to top it off, just let me just say, I’ve failed before even starting.

Confession #1:  Every week when I put out my recycling the grouchy environmental fairy throws it back in my face.  There is ALWAYS at least one unacceptable item that they leave with a note (purple) listing all the stuff they won’t take.  (And just WHY won’t you take my butter carton??  Me thinks you are making this stuff up to tick me off.)

Confession #2:  I have carried around not one, not two, but THREE reusable grocery bags in my car for two years and have NEVER remembered to bring them into the store!!! Nope, not once.  No matter how conspicuously they are placed in my car, I have a mental block in this area.  I am a total FAILURE!!  And when the landfills overflow there’s gonna be a sign saying: This is Laura Crosby’s fault.

I told the 7 gals I was just hoping someone somewhere was giving me points for at least carrying the bags around, but Molly yelled “NO!  No points!!!

If there are points we’re ALL doomed!”  Agreed.  We’re losers one and all, dependent on grace and trying to move the dial just a smidge.

After all of our grumbling and whining (except for Heather), we pulled it together and agreed that anything is better than nothing.

BABY STEPS, people, baby steps.

So we’re all identifying our own list of 7 habits for a greener life we’re going to try to cultivate.

Mine includes actually taking one of my re-usable bags into the grocery store.  (Did you forget already?  Baby steps!)

And using just one car, which I thought would be soooo easy because I ride my bike so much already, but in reality I forgot two key factors.

Rain and Sweat.

Which leads to Confession #3:  The first two days of this experiment I didn’t think twice before jumping in my car when it looked like rain, or driving to a lunch appointment when it was 90 degrees out.

However I did have one small victory yesterday, making it through 24 hours on 2 wheels, even though it meant showing up at church looking like a sweaty Olympic wrestler.

Also we’re all thinking of bringing our garbage next time to give to Heather (or worm girl as she may come to be known) for a compost pile that she will maintain for all of us.

How do you live greener?  Baby steps, remember?

What are you brave enough to confess and what baby step can you commit to today?

9 thoughts on “How to Live a Greener Life When You’re Really Comfy with Brown

  1. Yay Laura!! 24 hours without a car! That is a GREAT step! What I love that we have had to remind ourselves of during this process is how to have grace with ourselves. Why on Earth would we ever expect to go from ‘brown’ to ‘green’ overnight?! I think we need to celebrate those baby steps and not feel discouraged when we slip up. There is nothing that makes Satan happier than when we mess up and allow that as an excuse to just forget it all.

    It is convicting to have the realization that, yes, I believe God is the creator of the universe…and, no, I don’t do very well taking care of His creation. I struggle with this all the time, so much so that often I think I need to sell EVERYTHING and go live in a hut in the middle of the wilderness. But then how useful am I to God if I live in a hut in the middle of the wilderness? So….I’m going to try my best to be less wasteful by cooking through my pantry and refridgerator, turing off the lights and water, using less paper products, finishing my dish soap before breaking into the new one I found because I like the smell better (SO LAME, I know! Don’t judge me :) ), being much more intentional about the things I do bring into the house (do I really NEED this?), and shopping local (I’ve been to the farmer market 2 times! Baby steps…).

    I’m going to keep on pressing on… :)

    • I love it that we can cheer each other’s tiny victories! I love your honesty and your everyday choices! You inspire me!! ( I’m tempted to find a Farmer’s market and buy something whether I need it or not just because it sounds so green :) )

  2. So glad I’m not the only one who receives “the notice” from the recycler. I always cringe and hope the neighbors didn’t see it! (Honestly, I think everybody gets one now and again! Some of us just more frequently than others.) Try looking at it from another angle. At least we’re trying!

    As Christians, we should be HUGE environmentalists. Planting trees is my baby. Scott teases me because I love trees so much. I even have a board dedicated to trees on Pinterest. So, I plant trees.

    I totally get the reusable bags problem. I have them in my car but usually forget to use them as well. A friend told me bacteria multiplies quickly in those cute woven bags and I’d be better off using the paper bags at the grocery store. Then I recycle the brown bags (back to the recycling bin). I recycle the purple recycler’s notice too, after I read it…again.

    • So sorry! Try leaving the recycler a treat or catch him on a hot day with a cold Coke. It worked for me. :)
      Scott has declared my compost a “mess”… soon to be history. I’ll try again after he and I build a garden shed. Then I can hide it!

  3. This would be a really hard chapter for me…My thumb is brown (we truly are related!), I cannot imagine composting, 3 kids and me on bikes would make me amish – it would take forever to go anywhere or do anything, and I use TONS of paper towels and water (sprinkler, water games, extra baths to pass time in the winter, etc). But, I am really good at recycling since we pay for garbage but to recycle is free. I am lucky because they don’t check it as they collect it, so i err on the side of “just throw it in the recycle bin”. Your baby steps are great! If you are worried about germs in your reuseable grocery bags, spray them once a week with lysol. Is that anti-green??? Hang in there!

    • So glad we ARE related! And, honestly, I didn’t think of the additional complications (and temptation to make things easier that involve water :) with kids although Cara, (see comment above) is in your season of chaos too :) Thanks so much for your honesty! It helps to know we’re all in this together!

  4. Hi, there — I stumbled across your blog while searching for the meaning of the term “scares the bejesus out of me.” How your blog ended up on the list, I don’t know but I am entertained that it did. For the record, I recycle every scrap of whatever I can lay my hands on and ever since The People In Charge of Everything started putting that little 5-cent price on plastic bags, I am always hooking those grocery bags on my shoulder when I get out of the car whether I need them or not.

    • Hysterical how you ended up here! Glad you did! We don’t have the 5 cent charge here, but I’m finally starting to remember after posting notes everywhere to prompt me! :).

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