So a while ago, I read this book called "Serve God, Save the Planet," an environmental call-to-arms for Christians. It was written by a doctor named Matthew Sleeth, who after buying his giganto dream home with his family, decided that they were moving in the wrong direction and downsized drastically, moving to a radically smaller house, installing solar panels and the like, and cutting their consumption by a ton.
In a lot of ways, the book was great. Sadly, a lot of Christians need to be convinced of the disaster we're heading into. That's what the book tries to accomplish.
Unfortunately, it didn't talk about the main reason I wanted to read it:
How the heck did Dr. Sleeth do it? Not just change his own mind, but bring his two teenagers along for the ride? How did they all give up things that all of us have come to depend on, like driving everyplace? What was the sequence they did things in? What hurt most? What was the hardest shift? How much of a pain was solar paneling?
I was very, very disappointed that he didn't share any of those things.
Dyami and I have been doing some down-shifting of our own over the last year, some of it successful, and some of it--not so. But it occurs to me that it might be helpful toshare some of it here. I can be kind of a know-it-all sometimes, and a little holier-than-thou, so I kind of hesitated to share this stuff. In my family, when we get excited about subjects, we go whole-hog and kind of scare people. This happens to me a lot. But at the same time, I'm convinced that we all need to make these kinds of changes, and they are hard changes to make. Many of them (like carpooling, say, or buying fewer gifts for each other) require us to involve other people. So if I hid the bit of light I'm trying to create under a bushel, what good does that do anyone?
So here are my stabs at trying to go green. Many of them are drops in the bucket (the real biggies, like driving less and using solar power, we have not really attempted to do much of), but they're something. And you know what, they are changing my mindset, which is kind of the big first step, no?
I'm going to put them in rough order, and blog about them over the next week or two. I invite you, dear reader, to submit, in comment form, other ideas you've had, or great changes you've made. Give us more ideas!