What is "a real, green life"?

What do I mean by “real and green”? Let me illustrate by sharing some comparisons...

"Business as usual," versus "real and green"

Business as usual

Real and green

Industrial farming and food manufacturing, supermarket food, fast food

Real food, grown in healthy ecosystems, local, slow, homemade

Giant monoculture farms, depleted ecosystems, shrinking biodiversity, dwindling top soil and disappearing indigenous knowledge

Small diverse farms, cottage industry, stable farming communities and ecosystems, room for indigenous people to continue their traditional lifestyles

A growth-at-all-costs global economy dominated by a few giant corporations who sell to the entire world

A steady state economy dominated by millions of small businesses who serve local communities

Low-quality mass produced products, poorly paid workers,  world-wide distribution

Locally made, fair trade goods, designed to last

Dependence on supermarkets, superstores, government institutions, and experts; loss of personal autonomy

Increasing self-reliance, learning to think for ourselves, re-building the skills of self-sufficiency and interdependence

People living lives of quite desperation on the up-sizing treadmill

A meaningful life, with fewer possessions and richer connections to family, community, and nature

How might it feel to live a real green life?

Imagine that you...

  • ...feel able to parent yourself compassionately so you can get your personal act together (at least some of the time) - you're equipped to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

  • … could live well with less time and money spent in supermarkets and superstores, sidestepping business as usual and knowing that doing so supports your family’s health, eases the family budget, and lightens your footprint.

  • … feel connected and centered within the relationships, communities and ecosystems you are part of, comfortable with the understanding that you are both supported by them, and also responsible for how your actions impact them.

That list goes some way to describing the kind of life I want to live. 

But far from having "arrived," some of the items I just listed are among my greatest personal challenges.

Every day I have moments of deep gratitude for how far I’ve come away from "business as usual," towards these "real and green" ideals.

And every day I also have moments where I fumble and stumble, lose track of where I'm going, mess up royally, and fall far short of my ideals.

The reasons I fumble and stumble are many, but three particular aspects of our culture are significant pitfalls for me, and for most of us more on that in the next page in this Series.

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This was part of a series of pages about ARealGreenLife. The next page in the series is "3 Keys to A Real Green Life."