This is in response to Joseph Crawley’s “The Oxymoron That Turned Green” [Letters, June 4]. I agree with what seems to be the main point of the letter: “The idea that things with a slightly reduced environmental footprint are somehow good for the environment is just good advertising.” I don’t think, though, that he is being very effective in creating any change with his letter. I would suggest, if he is concerned about “the coming global devastation,” that he stop whining about what others are doing and quit insulting those who at least think they are doing good, and become a model of what he believes is the proper way to live—and share it.
The people Crawley complains about and insults don’t know any better; they don’t get it. What they need is inspiration and education. The best way to help them get it is to do it yourself and share with an open heart what works and why. Talk up the alternatives, the things people are doing to make a positive change. Get involved and juiced up yourself about it, and turn people on.
The letter brings up “green building.” I understand that small changes can be frustrating to watch when he is holding a belief that what is needed is large-scale change. But rather than diss on some of the small steps in the right direction, he could talk up some of the great things people are doing. On the green-building front, look into micro houses, intentional communities, co-housing, eco-villages, passive solar, living machines, straw bale, cob, bermed, recycled houses—just to name a few. Maybe he already knows about this stuff, and I’m preaching to the choir.
Bill Mollison of permaculture fame demonstrates well what I am getting at here. He saw how wasteful and harmful humans could be to their environment and rather than complain about it or even protest it, he set out to create positive solutions and he shared them. Now there are permaculture-training courses around the world. There are practitioners, demonstration sites, neighborhoods and whole communities making a positive change in the world. And it all started with someone who saw that complaining wasn’t going to get him anywhere; he got up and did it. Things I am into in my own life, have passion for and share freely with others are raising kids, utility bikes, yoga, alternative building, growing and eating organics, hand drumming and permaculture.
— Sunny Keach