Vintage Green Review and Green Living
I am a DIY, vegan environmentalist and home-decor enthusiast seeking creative ways of reducing, reusing, and recycling the things in my home. And making smarter decisions about what I choose to buy. My goal is to inspire you to do the same, and to offer suggestions for everyone– regardless of where you’re at on the environmental spectrum!
I created this Web site because there’s one question I ask myself every day: If people know better, why don’t we often do better?
We all have ideas about what’s good for the planet and what’s not. Yet people often act in ways that are out of alignment with what we know is healthy, safe, and good– to varying degrees. Plastic bottles still end up in the street or make their way to lakes and rivers even though we know that pollution is a major problem. People still eat meat when we know that most animals are treated in horrible ways through factory farming practices that contribute more to global warming than cars do.
The answer to that question is obviously subjective but I’ve decided, after much pondering, that there are likely three main reasons:
1.) We assume most people know more about environmental issues than they actually do. Ourselves included.
What I know about environmentally friendly habits comes from taking environmental studies courses in college. Or from reading environmental Web sites and news articles on my own. I researched and wrote about these topics because I had a passion for saving animals. I also needed stories to write about for my newspaper job and got to interview experts in a wide variety of fields. Volunteering with local nonprofits was easy to do in New Orleans after Katrina because everyone needed help. Now that I’ve been living those habits for over ten years, it’s easy to forget that not everyone has access to the same information I’ve received. My goal is to research and provide the best information possible about environmentally healthy alternatives to some of the everyday products and habits we currently rely on.
2.) People don’t want to work hard, and they have no time or money to do right by Planet Earth.
I think most people actually DO want to do the right thing but they know that the right choices probably aren’t the easiest, cheapest, or fastest options. That’s Aesop Parable Lesson #1: the road less traveled… etc. etc. We all know that. But we don’t often stop to question is how we might perceive something as “difficult” based on our assumptions about what it might cost (in time or money) rather than reality. We give up before we even have the facts. We might assume that biodegradable kitchen garbage bags are more expensive than generic plastic ones. Others might think that all vegan food is going to be inferior in taste to the “real” version. Or make the generalization that all organic produce is more expensive than all conventional produce.
Sometimes we feel hopeless when we believe that things are too hard, too expensive, or impossible to achieve. We may give up before we even have the facts. My goal is to research and provide a range of environmentally friendly options so that everyone can start somewhere, dispelling myths like, ‘you have to be rich to afford eco-friendly options’ or that ‘green habits require too much time and energy for families with young children.’
3.) People are evil and they want ice caps to melt so polar bears to go extinct and penguins die.
There is a big part of me that just knows there is at least a teensy, eensy part of every person that has to love and respect animals and nature on some level, at least a little bit. (Unless you are a sociopath, in which case you won’t be reading this Web site anyway.) Everyone can enjoy a beautiful sunset, a hike in the mountains, a trip to a clean beach, and to know that the planet will still exist when their children and grandchildren are grown. My goal is to build this site and create a community of people that proves people aren’t evil. And that, with the right tools, everyone can find ways to do better.
So here it is, Vintage Green Review…
Vintage Green Review will post throughout the week with different environmentally-friendly ideas for everyday green living– even delivered straight to your email if you sign up! VGR’s unique perspective combines my love of history and vintage with an awe and respect for modern technology. My posts will compare products and processes from modern life with those in the past to suggest a variety of creative new options for reducing and recycling waste.
I believe in doing things in smart, efficient ways that save time and energy while remaining safe for humans and animals. My goal is to support the environment by living a zero-waste, vegan life while reducing my carbon footprint–so I’ll be sharing my research with you, providing ways you can contribute too, no matter where you’re starting from!
And, finally, why compare the present to the past?
We’re talking about recycling, right? And reducing what we use? We all know the basic spiel about how important it is to the environment. But as mentioned above, many of us have become traumatized, too depressed, or frozen by how overhwhelming things are. We put off thinking about it, hoping someone else will do their share and that we’ll all just be okay.
The reality is, we need ACTION NOW. We need fresh, hopeful, new ideas to keep us invested in living a truly green lifestyle that’s also a happy one.
Many modern household items create excess packaging, chemicals, or plastic waste because of how they’re mass-manufactured and produced. Technology makes life easier, more efficient, and more affordable; but are modern ways of doing things always better than the past? Sometimes they’re better (yay hybrid cars, contact lenses, and iPhones!) but sometimes they’re worse (boo plastic bags and oil spills!).
Similarly, life in the olden days was tough–no one wants to live without the polio vaccine or a refrigerator. Yet, we can find a lot of useful green tips throughout history; for example, making high-quality, hand-crafted products from natural materials rather than cheap, synthetic plastic. In fact, you see a growing interest nationwide in moving toward more high-quality, handmade products with the rising popularity of Etsy or hobbies like craft beer home brewing. And perhaps you’ll see some of these options in future blog posts!
My goal is to bring the past and the present together to find the best of both times; to provide reclaimed ideas from the olden days and re-imagine them in modern ways for a healthy, happy green life. I hope you enjoy reading! I look forward to your comments as I take on this new project!