Wednesday, July 11, 2007

When is it good enough?

I'm pretty annoyed. I feel like the conservationist elite are poo-pooing anyone else's efforts to do something right. There are blogs bashing McDonald's because even though their UK fleet is switching to biodiesel made of their own grease, they still suck as a corporation and how dare they try to greenwash themselves. Bloody Hell! I too try to stay away from their sketchy farm practices but they are going to truck that food around whether they're using biodiesel or not. So why don't we support them with at least a little bit of laudation.

It's not just McDonald's people complain about: "Petroleum's bad but ethanol isn't good either. Plastic's bad but corn plastics aren't either. " Stop whining and recognize that someone saw a problem and tried something new. It's a start. Where are the voices saying "great! This is a fantastic start. Let's put this on the market as a temporary alternative but in the meantime keep working!"? It's all "whine whine whine, nothing you do is good enough."

It's this same sect of environmentalists who turn off the rest of the country from doing anything green. They feel as if it's all or nothing. I push my resistant family into doing things I know they can accomplish. My mom uses her canvas grocery bags I made her. I'm working on getting her to recycle more items. If I push too hard, I'll turn her off and she won't do any of it.

Since part of my complaint here is that people who point fingers and complain often don't offer solutions, I suppose I better come up with a solution or two. They may not be ground shaking, but if you feel like commenting perhaps you'll have an idea or two to add to the list.

1. Know the limits of those you're pushing.
2. Make them feel good about what they are able to accomplish...then push a little more.
3. I am not an engineer, but I am going to be a teacher. Part of my duty will be to educate and inspire my students to become scientists who may develop better alternatives.
4. Lead by example.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I so agree with you. When I went back to work after starting my plastic-reduction project, I was afraid to say anything about it. Instead, I went to Goodwill and bought a bunch of used stainless steel cutlery and presented it to them like this: "I'm going to put this in the kitchen for whomever wants to use it to save plastic."

Their response was, "Who's going to wash it?" And I responded that whoever used it would wash their own, and it was their decision if they wanted to use it or not. And you know what? They are using it instead of plastic! And not leaving it in the sink!

Tiny little victories like this make me so happy. And I don't think it would have happened if I had pushed too hard or had "an attitude."

Greenpa said...

Yes yes yes. :-)

And this is all such ancient wisdom. "remove the beam from thine own eye, before bellyaching about my specks, bucko."

It would be nice if some of the greener-than-thous would read a book, or even two, on human psychology. How well do people respond when being told they're inadequate? Not that well.

Hard for them to realize, but inside a giant corporation, there is some poor HUMAN BEING; sitting at a desk, trying to do something right, maybe, once in a while. Doesn't help to just beat them up- a little pat on the back goes a long, long way.

nichole said...

Beth, I love that they were confused as to who would wash the silverware! That cracks me up. Good job taking initiative to bring an alternative in!

Thanks for the support, Beth and Greenpa! I didn't know anyone read my rantings. : )

Anonymous said...

Nicole, I put a link to your blog on my web site,, a few weeks ago. I love to read blogs by people like me who are just trying to do the best we can.

So keep posting. We need to encourage each other when others in the world think we're mad.

Oh, and let me know about the plastic situation of the frozen foods that you consume so I can add the info to my list. Like I said, I don't want to have to be the guinea pig for everything!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the link! It's cute. Hey, can you email me your email address? Mine is in my profile if you click the "View My Complete Profile" link.

Chile said...

I sometimes feel the same way, Nichole, in the small steps I take in my personal life. Compared to some of the huge steps others have taken (like Greenpa and his fridge, Casuabon's Book and the 90% reduction), I feel like I'm barely helping. But I'm still moving. "Relentless Forward Motion"