It’s not something that I discuss often here, or even that frequently with my (highly socially-conscious and terribly opinionated) friends, but I spend a lot of time mulling over social and environmental issues. (And probably even more time being guilty about ‘not doing enough’.)
I’ve been trying to implement changes in our daily life for the betterment of a) us and b) everyone else. We get a local-organic veggie and fruit box delivered every other week. I have avoided sodium laureleth sulfate/parabens/etc. in body cleansing products for about 5 years now. I now home-clean with steam alone (ok, so it was consumerist, but I love me my new steam cleaner!), or vinegar/baking soda/lemon. Much of my wardrobe is, has been, and will continue to be thrift-store, swapped, and/or handmade. Our vehicle is diesel, and we use it about once every 2-3weeks, thanks to living in a high-density urban centre. Yet for all of these choices, I still know there are tonnes of other things I could, and probably should, be doing to help make this planet better for every one/thing to live in and grow.
I’ve recently started reading more “green” blogs: No Impact Man, Crunchy Chicken, good ol’ Treehugger, and such. Some I’m just ‘tasting’, others are fully-subscribed in my reader. One of these new blogs, Green Bean Dreams, has issued a great challenge for the month of May: Read Something!
I’ve been inspired to break out that most classic of classics, H. D. Thoreau’s Walden, both to get to the roots of part of the environmental movement and to get back to reading “smart books”*. I am also getting quite intrigued by several other books on the “recommended reading” list over there. (Perhaps I should pay off my long-overdue library fines and check one out?)
There can be nothing wrong with becoming informed, or finding a new perspective on things (even if you end up not agreeing with it). And even if you’re not sure what can be done about current socio-environmental issues, I think perhaps the first step is to start asking informed questions. So why not take up the challenge, and “Be a Bookworm” in May?
*Almost 2 years ago I finished my Masters in English Literature, and since then I’ve spent most of my time reading YA and speculative fiction, virtually dancing around saying, “nyah nyah, I’m not reading anything of literary value and you can’t make me!” I’m about over it, now. I do, in fact, still like “smart books”, have begun taking up pieces from the Canon for pleasure reading (recently, a Jane Austen), and have even been feeling the urges to polish up my Latin (or at least Middle English) once again…
3 responses to “Reading Green”
Well this is exciting! It’s nice to hear about environmental-consciousness from knitters. It’s one of those things that’s really close to my heart, and I too started reading the blogs lately as well. I may take them up on that challenge, privately. Hopefully my hometown’s library will have some good green books, because I haven’t been doing much reading with finals looming on the horizon…
I LOVED Walden when I read it. And if you haven’t read it yet, you need to read “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan. And the library is a great way to do it…why buy the book when you can reuse one already bought?
If you like Thoreau, you should read The Secret Garden – the same theme but more fiction than philosphy and in this instance reverence for nature from the point of view of a child.
I found Little Women and Jo’s Boys to both be outstanding parenting books – especially the latter when raising a boy!
I favour the themes in good fiction over non fiction “How To” books and every child loves to have stories read to them! I think my English degree has been one of our greatest assets in raising articulate, responsible children!