Monday, June 1, 2009

Live like it's the norm

Yesterday, being the crazy woman that I am, I had my son's 7th birthday party/bbq in the late afternoon after his final performance of a community musical that he was in. He did three performances over the weekend and they were all fabulous - the DVD of Friday night's performance will be on a continuous loop on my tv if you want to stop by and see :)

Anyway, at the bbq, I served burgers made with locally raised beef from grass fed, free range, happy cows that weren't treated with antibiotics or hormones. I didn't tell anyone what kind of beef they were eating. At least not until everyone started asking where I got the burgers because they were so good. 

Once the questions started coming, I was able to tell them that I had gotten it at the farmer's market and let them know how it was raised and that it was only about 75 cents more a pound than the ground beef you get at the grocery store. 

Why didn't I tell them beforehand? There's two reasons.

First of all, I don't want to be the obnoxious green person. Because of my job as an environmental writer, my friends already know we live green. The last thing I need to do is announce at the beginning of a party to my friends who live out their own various shades of green (or not) that "the burgers are from happy cows, the paper plates are made from recycled materials and are 100% compostable, and look - I'm using real silverware (well not real silver, but you understand) instead of plasticware." That's just obnoxious.

The second reason is this. If I believe that living green should be the norm, then I should live like it's the norm. When serving factory farm burgers was the norm in my home, I never announced "Hey, tonight's burgers are from cows that lived miserable lives and were pumped full of drugs that made them get large and uncomfortable and fed food that was unnatural for them." (not that I actually knew any of those things back then). 

I believe in "show not tell" when it comes to living out my greenness in my day to day life. Yes, I write about, and there is an awful lot of telling in my writing. But when you come to my house, unless you ask, the things that I do differently now than I did a few years ago are just done. They aren't announced. And if someone asks, I answer and then move on. 

The green changes that we make in our day to day lives can make a huge difference, but they don't have to be a huge deal. They just have to be the norm.

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balmeras said...

LOVE this, Robin!!! You know I am all about modeling appropriate behavior.

Good for you! Cheers- Bethe

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