When my pastor at church held up a weed the other day and told me it was no ordinary weed, that it was in fact purslane, and that it was not only edible but packed with nutrients, I was intrigued as I am always looking for new ways to amp up my health knowledge. When he mentioned this was just a demonstration of more to come in a new class about sustainable living, I knew I had to check it out.
I am all about learning how to forage for my own food and plant carrots and all that earth-loving awesomeness. So much so that the other day while perusing the local farmers market I was stopped by a Greenpeace representative who asked if he could have a moment of my time. Others briskly walked past and averted their eyes, while I practically marched right up to him and squealed with delight that I loved the work he did, as if he personally was holding a saved baby seal.
Fifteen minutes later and I had forked over my credit card with promises of a monthly commitment of only a quarter a day to stop dandruff shampoo companies from ruining our rainforests. I asked him how I could get more involved, besides money:
How do I get chained to a historic building that’s about to be bulldozed? (Does Greenpeace deal with that too?)
Or make a human fence of peace to stop poachers in Africa?
Or get sprayed down with a fire-hose on an unsavory oil-rig?
How can I do that, because I am willing, I insisted.
I am always willing to get arrested for Mother Earth. He said I would have to be with Greenpeace for awhile and then apply for an action camp in which I would need to then be trained to do those kind jobs. Well, I am already off to a great start with my monthly donation, so here’s hoping that in no time I will be handcuffed for saving the dolphins.
So besides joining Greenpeace this week I also attended the sustainable living class. For the record, I am pretty hippy-ish. I hate shaving my legs. I do it, OK, because society demands it of me, but honestly I think it’s a real chore and a half. Also I love co-ops and farmers markets, and men who look like they farm or wear cowboy hats or are cowboys or ride horses, or have beards. … Wait, I got off course. I like recycling and repurposing and I adore anything that involves saving the earth. As a teen I had a t-shirt that proclaimed, save water, shower with your neighbor. Although, that was more so because I had a crush on my neighbor.
But all of it is so appealing. Well, except incense. Also, I don’t support natural deodorants. I get it, all those chemicals in the regular kind probably leak into your skin giving you cancer, but honestly, I sweat like a man and do not enjoy smelling like a eucalyptus tree. I like smelling like a dainty girl swathed in lavender, even if I am sweating like a heaving buffalo. I want to pretend I am not.
I prefaced with all this because I was in no way prepared for exactly how hippy-esque the sustainable living class would actually be. I went in hopes of finding out what weeds I could eat, though truth be told I know I would probably never look for them because I am slightly paranoid and would assume I’d located the wrong one that was actually highly poisonous and kill myself trying to load up on antioxidants, but still, I wanted to learn.
Well, I learned alright! I learned how to build a well for water in my own backyard. Actually several wells. Do you need to build a well? I now know how to build at least five and where to buy the materials, how deep to go, how to purify and even what osmosis is. This was so much more than eating weeds. I realized I was 100 percent in over my head as I am renting … in town … and can’t imagine my landlords being happy about me digging a well to conserve on water.
If I’m honest with myself, I will admit I totally take my water for granted and fully believe it will always be there and I will have to do zero work to obtain it. Will I build a well anytime soon? Sadly, no. If I marry a cowboy and he wants a well, can he build it? Of course. My cowboy husband can do anything he feels like, because he’s a cowboy.
So maybe I am not great at sustainable living, yet. But I did join Greenpeace this week. I continually support local farmers and their markets. And I contemplated eating weeds just for the extra punch of nutrition. I think as far as sustainable living goes, I am already well on my way and maybe instead of building a well I’ll see if I have any neighbors who want to conserve on water with me. Bearded neighbors that is.