Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Feeling Green

Have you read the latest issue of Hallmark Magazine? Well, I have. Right now I'm getting a free subscription. I haven't really had many opinions about this publication one way or another. Until now. (You can imagine ominous tones there.)

I've noticed an unfortunate new trend in many of the decorating magazines I receive. (Hey, I'm a magazine junkie, what can I say?) Somehow, between the tempting recipes, intriguing crafts, and inspiring designs (except for those backwards books!) most magazines have now begun preaching to us, the humble readers, about climate change.

Yes, it's not enough that we are trying to raise children, tastefully decorate our homes, feed our families, and enjoy life. Now we must evaluate every single action in terms of, "Am I destroying the planet? What's my carbon footprint?"

This month's issue of the aforementioned mag has an article, "Adventures of An Eco-Mom" by Rebecca Barry. Subtitle: When my husband and I decided to go green, we had to figure out what worked for us - and how to avoid annoying everyone we know.

Let's just say I think she's failed miserably at that second item. I'm annoyed and I doubt I'm alone.

It's not just her snarky opinions about drilling in ANWR. (She contemplates giving a student an "F" on a paper for holding the opinion that we should drill.) It's not just her smug promotion of her "very sleek, very expensive European washer and dryer" and Prius. No, it's the fact that every paragraph, every sentence is full of holier-than-thou greenness.

I was merely annoyed by this until I got to the penultimate subheading: Exposing Your Kids to Nature. This is where Ms. Barry relates her unfortunate exposure to trash in floating in the water while she was vacationing. Now, I wouldn't have given this much thought but she was vacationing in...Spain. Wow, what kind of carbon footprint did that little jaunt leave? She whines later about John Travolta flying around in one of his private jets for fun, thereby undoing "everything I could possibly do for the next 40 years." Um, Ms. Pot meet Mr. Kettle?

I've had it, had it, had it with this "Green Crusade". I love Earth as much as the next gal - hey, I live here! But this is not what I want from the magazines I read. Get back to recipes and crafts and how to rearrange my furniture.

I'm going to disclose right now that I use the recycling bin so helpfully provided by my city. I don't allow my children to throw their trash on the ground. We've been known to clean up other people's mess. We plant a (small) garden. We've planted four trees since we bought this house. We do these things because we want to, not because we think that the world will be destroyed if we don't.

And all these magazine articles about "going green" are having the opposite effect on me. They make me feel like indiscriminately tossing all my garbage in our big green trash can or driving around in our non-electric vehicle just for fun. I can't think that that's the reaction these stories are hoping to provoke. I'm feeling green all right, but it's more like being seasick than being "environmentally conscious."


MacKenzie said...

I have a free subscription to Hallmark too, but I have not really enjoyed it so I wasn't sad when the move disrupted it's coming. Now I am even more glad I escaped it's preaching.

My gut reaction is the same as yours, I just want to leave the water on while I'm brushing my teeth and put all my grocery store items in their own plastic baggie.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Could not have said it better myself.

Pastor Dad

Anonymous said...

You have even more reason to be mad at Hallmark now. Their magazine article on "going green" is mild compared to their new line of greeting cards.

I think I'll be switching my business over to American Greeting Cards. That means no more driving to a special store in order to get points on my "reward" card. Hey! That means I'll be saving gas, too, thereby reducing my "carbon footprint." How's that for ironic?!


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