Monday, January 11, 2010

On being just another eco-stunt

So we're not ashamed to admit that Green v. Green is another eco(logical) and eco(nomic) stunt blog. Like Evel Knievel imitators in the 70s, we've strapped on our flaming pantsuits to follow in the footsteps of those eco-stuntmen and stuntwomen who have gone before us, jumping rows of Zipcar Priuses on their homemade bamboo bikes.

Aside from Walden, the original eco-stunt, two of my favorite other eco-stunts are: No Impact Man and Green As A Thistle (a.k.a. the "Sleeping Naked is Green" chick - hey, what does it say about me that I always want to misstate her title as "Sleeping Green is Naked"..? Don't answer that.) When I read these blogs and books, I learn so much from the way they described their grappling with choices, and the way they described their feelings about giving things up, or making the decision to take back a habit (or not).

When I read about these stunts, I can't help but think, "Could we do this?" So Tony and I decided to apply the eco-stunt formula to our lives, while being careful to apply it with our own core values in mind. There's no pride in simply following a list of "rules" made up by some green lifestyle pusher. This had to be our own challenge.

We decided that each day would represent one issue, and we'd debate this issue in terms of its ecological and economic impact. We thought it would make a nice point-counterpoint when we take into account both types of "green".

One superficial thing that makes our blog different is that we're a blended family in a small town in the south, with two careers and three kids between us. This demographic is fairly different than Colin's (No Impact Man, New York City, wife and one child) and Vanessa's (Thistle, Toronto, single).

We hypothesized that some of the things that mattered to us would not matter to them (packing a school lunch, for example, or living in a town with no co-op grocery YET and no sidewalks and no farmer's markets in winter), and some of the things that mattered to them would not matter to us one whit (elevators, in Colin's case, and eye shadow in Vanessa's).

Anyhow, there's nothing new about blog stunts, in fact, here is a round-up of these types of "do something for some length of time and write about it" stunts. (This list is compiled by me, Megan, so there are more "eco" type blogs listed. But trust me when I say that there are stunt blogs in every category...)

Green As A Thistle blog, book

No Impact Man blog, and book

Not shopping for a year: one
and two

Buying nothing new for a year

A year without buying anything from China

Lots of people giving up tv for a year

Giving up the cell phone for 60 days

No new plastic

Buying only local things for one year

Eat only things grown within 100 miles of where you live

Or doing a One-Less-Car Challenge

Try to make no trash for an entire week

A guy and his family who pledge to not drive the car (check out that initial investment to re-tool...)

And just because there are haters everywhere, Elizabeth Kolbert takes on eco-stunts in the New Yorker in her article Green Like Me: Living without a fridge, and other experiments in environmentalism

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