I am a bona fide DFH.
I am coming clean, just don't ask me to take more than the minimum number of showers required to be tolerated in our modern world.
With that said, now more than ever, the DFH ethos is proving to have been right all along. Organic foods, once a fringe boutique food item, can be found at Walmart. Going green, once popular only amongst frogs, is now cooler than ever amongst image-conscious people and corporations alike. Climate change, once just a theory known as the greenhouse effect, is now a scientific fact backed by 98% of the world's scientists, and 100% of the population of non-stupid people worldwide.
The final hurdle of our eleventy-bazillion mile barefoot hippie high hurdle marathon in the little fact that even the most granola-filled and hippified amongst us still burn oil. Lots of oil.
The good news is that the solution is simple and has served mankind just fine for millennia: WALKING
x-posted @ TLP
E.C.S.T.A.S.Y. — End Consumption, Save The Air & Sea, Y'all!
A support group and discussion forum for those who want to kick the habits of consumption that are damaging the world we live in.
Before I get into the meaty tofu part of the diary, may I submit to you all this little ditty as a soundtrack for reading this, my 1st foray into the ECSTASY series-
Okay. So can you dig that crazy beat?
You have made it this far, so that means you are at least curious about what this crazy dirty hippie is going on about. That's a good start.
I realize that much of our world has become autocratic and auto-centric. I'm as guilty as any of us in enjoying the liberty and ego-stroking power that the internal combustion engine provided. For years in my (earlier) youth I would average well over 12,000 miles per year behind the wheel. It's amazing my DFH membership was never revoked in that time.
However, seeing the errors of our ways and atoning for past indiscretions is one of the great things about being humans.
We can learn from our mistakes.
The tricky part is actually changing those behaviors and growing in sometimes uncomfortable ways. Doing the right thing is seldom easy, ya ever notice that?
But it feels so good!
There are certain places you just cannot reach by fossil power.
Some of you might have caught my rescued diary about the crown jewel of our national parks system. It's a lovely place. Showing up and driving up the middle of the Valley might work for septuagenarians and otherwise differently-abled folk, but you miss out on so much of the best of what life has to offer when relying on 20th century methods.
Sure John Muir lived in that century too, but he was both visionary and anachronistic. We had a good thing going in those old timey ways before the miracle of 4 wheels took over. It is not too late to rediscover the virtues of getting back to basics and hoofing it.
The phrase Stop and smell the roses is easier to implement when it doesn't entail slamming on the brakes, pulling over, and finding a parking spot.
My pootie, as you can see, has it all figured out.
You stay on your own
two four feet paws, and you get to soak up all the beauty that life has to offer. The false axiom More is Better that drives our driving addiction is easily proven wrong.
Take the internets. If more is necessarily better, then why are YouTube comments a cesspool of idiocy previously unknown to mankind?
Less is more. When on foot or paws, we really get all of the joys of life in such greater detail- the sights, the smells, the sounds. Heck, you don't even need an 8-track player anymore to hear all your favorite records in the car! You can use new-fangled items like a Sony Walkman! Or even a CD player! What will they think of next?!?
You will be amazed what you see when it's not whizzing by as 25+ MPH.
You will be amazed how much healthier you become.
Every 3rd marketing pitch these days is about weight loss and fitness. Ok, at least in January that is true. But between beer commercials, you see an endless procession of gimmicky ads for the latest, best way to lose wight and look great.
Did you know that walking is the single best exercise known to man?
You can maximize the fat-burning goodness of bipedal locomotion by including hills and/or mountains into your regimen. Hiking is the best way to shed those excess calories without the inevitable knee/back/etc. injuries so common amongst runners. Hiking also provides your best chances to catch local flora and fauna in action.
But you can start small. Walking in your local neighborhood just a few minutes every day is a great start. You might actually even start to get to know your neighbors in ways other than waving as you drive by.
Your woozles will thank you.
Too few of us have time for anything anymore. Admit it: Your TiVo has been maxed out on shows you want to watch for years.
Guess what? You'll never have time for everything.
That's why making walking a priority is so important. Sure, a mega fast workout in the gym might feel like a more efficient way to get that quick jolt of sweat-burning endorphins. AND you get to erase a show off your TiVo afterward.
BUT, you are sacrificing some of the best parts of what working out historically entailed. Namely, getting outside.
If you are not a gym rat, walking doesn't need to be for those purposes anyway. Not in the least. In fact, I began the diary pointing out that walking can (and should) be used as a substitute for driving at every possible turn.
Think about it. Instead of driving to the Quickie Mart to pick up microwave meals for the kids, and then working out on the stairmaster, you could have simply gone for a walk to the store and carried home the groceries in the same amount of time.
And don't think that I don't walk the walk.
I love it when the cashier at the store asks the obligatory final checkout question....
Would you like help out to your car?
I'm carrying this stuff on foot all the way home
The size of my loads often gets me some rather incredulous stares; I live for that shit.
I walk like madman.
I am also routinely mistaken for someone who is in great shape.
The truth is that I spend waaaay too much damn time glued to DKos and do not work out nearly as much as I would like. However, the mere fact that I will walk a mile or more to pick up basic things from various stores and other businesses makes me fitter than your typical mouse potato.
The funny thing is that I do not do it for the health factor at all. I'm all about the other aspect of footprints, namely the carbon ones. If any distance can be walked (and even some that others would say could not), I'm walkin' it. I spent far too many of the healthiest years of my life plopped behind a steering wheel. It is now up to me to balance the scales to a degree and get in touch with my primordial roots.
It boggles the mind to a degree that not 150 years ago there was no option to walking; either you walked, or your horse walked with you on top. How quickly we have lost our bearings about what it means to travel 50 miles. In the past that would entail kissing the family goodbye and telling them you'll be back in a few days. Now people take such massive distances for granted at greater and greater costs to themselves and the planet at large.
If you want to do something to help those cute yet suffering critters covered in goo you-know-where, and help yourself in countless ways at the same time, make a point of walking instead of turning that key just a couple times this week. Maybe you'll find you like it as much as I do.
Here are a few important links:
- Annie Leonard's crucial movie, The Story of Stuff.
- An invaluable tool for calculating the ecological footprint of your lifestyle, from the good folks at Redefining Progress. What's your score?
- SCRAP - a creative reuse center, store and workshop space.
Donations of high quality, low cost, re-usable materials such as textiles, paper, jewelry findings, wood, buttons and plastics are collected from businesses, institutions and individuals then sorted, displayed and distributed by SCRAP for artists, educational and community groups.
For more creative reuse centers around the country, click here.
- Profound and stimulating philosophical perspectives on sustainability, civilization and the role of human nature from Technoshaman Jason Godesky.
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,793 groups with 7,208,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on "Browse Groups" above the search box. Have fun!
If you have a resource that should be included in ECSTASY diaries, please include the link and a few words about it in the comments.
ECSTASY diaries will appear most often on weekends and Thursday evenings. All diaries dealing with the problems of living in a Consumerist society are potential candidates. If you think you've got something to contribute, please contact WarrenS and he'll schedule you in.
The ECSTASY series thus far:
February 28: Introducing ECSTASY.
March 7: The Work of Julian Lee and Juliet Schor: Two Voices of Sanity.
March 10: G2Geek's Measure The Power.
March 14: Earthfire promoted Annie Leonard's appearance in Washington, DC.
March 21: RL Miller tells us about Chickens.
March 24: G2Geek prompts an unbelievable discussion about the
difference between Consumerist Time and Hunter-Gatherer Time.
March 28: citisven shares a thought-provoking and aesthetically satisfying look at the ways that one person's trash is another person's art materials.
April 4: WarrenS gives us the good word on Making Homemade Musical Instruments.
April 7: G2geek talks about what makes for robust and sustainable technology.
April 11: B Amer tells us how to find ECSTASY on our bicycles.
April 18: rb137 reviews Judith Levine's book, "Not Buying It!"
April 25: mwmwm's powerful rumination on our collective complicity in consumerism.
April 29: G2geek discusses the need for a new economic and emotional narrative.
May 2: WarrenS offers Eight Thoughts About Timescale.
May 6: G2geek talks about the ecological implications of Where You Keep Your Money.
May 9: rb137 gives us a powerful review of the role of "blood metals" in our consumer electronics — "Your Cellphone is Killing People!"
May 13: G2geek gives us the backstory of neo-feudalism, with more promised in the weeks to come.
May 16: Milly Watt tells us more about the power of feedback in reducing our consumption of electricity.
May 23: G2Geek presents part two of The Backstory of Neofeudalism
May 30: WarrenS asks an important question about consumerism and parenting: Can a Middle-Aged Dad Find ECSTASY?
June 2: Citisven delivers a kind indictment: we are all complicit in the horror that is the Gulf of Mexico. His piece is called "You Can't Wipe That Spill With A Kleenex®" and it's well worth your attention.
June 6: WarrenS discusses the fallacy of the GDP, and looks at some other ways to quantify the health of our economy.
June 20: WarrenS talks about Giving Music Away.
Whose shoes in the news?