Friday, June 27, 2008

And Speaking of Perfection....

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the media's unattainable, unsustainable portrayal of American life pushes many of us to dream of bigger houses, faster cars and more stuff. How our "keeping up with Joneses" attitude is a major contributor to "keeping up the carbon count". And basically, how we should all just get over our lame attempts at Hollywood perfection and just be happy with the bounty that is our daily life.

Well today I'm taking aim at eco-perfection. That's right. Eco-perfection, although a noble goal, is also pretty unattainable. And if you're really going to make this carbon-reducing attempt a permanent, lifestyle change, you need to accept the fact early on that you will not be able to do it all.

In the past year, I've tried a lot -- and I mean A LOT -- of eco-friendly changes. Some are easy, one-time changes and others are tasks that require me to up-end my daily schedule. While I've been able to stick with most of my changes, I have totally faltered on a few. And that's ok. Because it's the overall picture that matters. I have greatly reduced my overall emissions without making myself (or my family) go absolutely nuts.

So as we near the kickoff of our collective Going Green challenge, remember that's ok to pass on a couple of the changes. Some of these may skeeve you out. Some may not be financially feasible. Some might just not work in your particular situation. It's ok. Just don't give up. Because maybe by this time next year, it won't seem so gross. Or maybe you'll find the extra cash. Or maybe your situation will change.

Or maybe it won't. But you'll be kicking ass on other changes, so don't worry about it. Do what you can. Challenge yourself. But don't make yourself crazy with it. If you slip up, learn from your mistake, let it go, and move on.

Just don't get frustrated and quit.

You are psyched about it right now. Keep the attitude and the rest will follow. I promise.

Wow. Does anyone else think I sound like eco-Richard Simmons right now? I think I'm gonna go don my rhinestone-studded tank top and too-short, stripey shorts and run around the neighborhood looking for folks who don't recycle.


Bobbi's Book Nook said...

What is the Go Green Challenge? I want to join!

I have just recently started following your blog and so far, I love what I see (or read, as the case may be).

Keep up the good work!

Heather @ SGF said...

Oh, Burban Mom - bad mental image there at the end :) My mom used to work out to those videos. That guy is hilarious. Of course I did all the original Buns of Steel videos. I suppose if I went back and watched them, they'd be pretty bad too.

You are so right about perfectionism. The real struggle is to not become an eco-nazi. It's ok not to be perfect. We all do what we can, then try a little something new, then try a little something else new, and let a new way of life transform us. Besides, if I did it all (and turned off my AC), I think my hubby would move out. Not a good plan.

Allison said...

I want pictures, ha ha.

My kids' school has a motto:

"Shoot for the moon and you'll land among the stars"

I think that is a great way to describe going green.

Be Green.

Artistmama said...

So, right. A balance in everything is best. It's like going on a diet, not quitting because you can't make every change or you can't do it all at the same time. I love your balanced approach.

arduous said...

Totally agree with you. If we all got hung up in what we couldn't do, we'd be ineffective!

leslie said...

I'm a Sweatin' Oldie!
Wait...that didn't sound right...
Thanks for this post. Perfectionism is bad for your health.
My post, "The Devil's Broth" was an attempt at showing the general resistance and challenge we faced from out "unusual lifestyle".

eco 'burban mom said...

Oooh, do you have a funky perm too? Sweeet!

Thanks for this post, sometimes I am totally kicking myself for not having a compost pile, but it's just not in the cards at the moment. Though, I hope for the future! Thanks, burbs!

Green Bean said...

Great point, Burbs. We need to do what we can when we can and not be too hard on ourselves. We're all moving in the right direction, even if some of us apparently look like Richard Simmons. No short shorts though - pleeeeaaaassse!

rhonda jean said...

I agree completely. It's too easy to give up when we feel less than perfect. I found the more small things I did the easier it was to keep going. Good luck to everyone on the challenge.