Monday, March 26, 2007

Moving The Curve

I recently came across a blog called No Impact Man and I admit, the author, Colin Beavan, has got me thinking. He sums up his year long, life-dismantling and environmentally positive reconstruction experiment in part, as follows: “A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic... while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons loving wife along for the ride.” Gee, that sounds interesting, I thought and quickly ticked off all the environmentally correct (EC, if you will) things that we do now - recycling, composting, compact fluorescent bulbs, etc. But then I read part of the blog and realized, that even on a clear day, I can’t begin to see where this guy and his family are going.

I’m certain it was the discussion of toilet paper that pushed me down the rabbit hole. You see, the debate wasn’t about which brand of toilet paper was most environmentally friendly. It was what to do instead of using toilet paper. Oh. Oh my! I’m not a complete western know-nothing. I recognize that most people on this tiny, ailing planet don’t have a flush toilet, or even consistently safe and potable water to drink, for that matter. But in truth, I have never, ever thought we shouldn’t be using toilet paper. Instead, my focus has been on gratitude that we are not using the 19th century three-holer outhouse which still stands in our barn. It’s a fabulous three-holer in that it has Mama, Papa and Baby Bear size holes set at varying distances from the edge for maximum comfort. Really. And I am consciously appreciative that we are not sitting out there, in the middle of a cold winter’s night (or a hot, buggy summer’s night), using the pages of a Sears and Roebuck catalogue. But I confess, until I read the No Impact Man blog, my thoughts about toilet paper ended there. No more. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not prepared to abandon toilet paper. But I realized, that while all the positive steps we take are good, they are falling short of what we can do - can do comfortably even.

A particularly important function of any new, radical, extremist who is promoting something excellent, yet way out on the far edge of the bell curve, is, that they gradually, eventually move the curve. So check out his blog, but be forewarned - it’s a bit like having your perceptions shaken up inside a snow globe!

No comments: