How to be a hippie sans that patchouli smell


(or whatever smell that you stereotypically associate with hippies…)

Used to be that if you wanted to eat all natural foods, recycled, and worried about the environment, you were some sort of “long haired weirdo” who lived outdoors by choice and probably preferred to be nude.

Trust me: I have no desire to be naked outside of a shower. And I’ve had my fill of “outdoor living” when I camped at the NY Ren Faire 13 years ago. And that was only one weekend at a time with a courtesy coffee delivery.

But it’s just… I mean… it’s gross. Landfills are gross. Pesticides are gross. Dead endangered species are gross. And it’s not so ridiculous to think I can do something about it without turning into some cliche.

Recycling isn’t the huge hoopla that it was when I was a kid– which is odd, because it’s actually way more complicated than the original propagandists would have had us believe (btw, I’m not using ‘propagandist’ in a negative sense– ‘propaganda’ has a neutral connotation in my book).



(That’s just fun as hell. I add it in wherever I can.)

But as I was saying… not every plastic can be recycled. Some stuff that’s been recycled can’t be recycled again. Every processing facility is different. It could end up more frustrating than effective. Do what you can, though, right? Anything to decrease the amount of stuff in the dumpster.

To that end, I’ve started composting– no small feat in an apartment. The goal is to start growing my own herb garden– although I think the Chia Pet people will have to help me out when Spring rolls around. I’ve been known to have a black thumb in the past. That was before I had kids, though. I figure if I can keep humans alive and on a schedule, I can do the same with plants.

I’m also trying to purchase the occasional organic item: mind you, I’m not reacting to anything in particular– my kids still seem healthy and there was nothing inherently unappetizing about the food I had been buying. But I thought that it would be a good move to make the transition in support of the organic food movement overall. Buttercup eats a lot of organic food, mostly because those pouches are so darned convenient! Trouble is,  organic foods are prohibitively expensive in my estimation 89% of the time (I’m game for pretty much anything that is on sale– that explains all the organic stock I’ve bought recently).

I have friends who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free… because it works for them. I have had no adverse effects from meat and bread, so that’s a choice I won’t be making. But I’ll eat something vegetarian/vegan, because why not? I have no problem killing plants to make my meal. I’ve had GF stuff, and some of it’s not bad. (Some of it is very much like chewing cardboard, but I figure people who like to keep their intestines inside their body don’t have much of an option, nor do they have much basis for comparison). Only thing what boils my haggis is when people assume my political leanings are manifest in my dietary/environmental choices.  That’s just stupid.

Oh, and the patchouli smell? Had my fill of that in college. I loved incense as a teenager– seriously, just incense. Stupid naive me had no idea that incense was a corollary to pot.

Here’s to each of us doing our part to make this planet livable for whatever future generations there are


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