So, about this Big News of mine. The Solution. The Plan.
The developed world’s worst habit may be the waste of energy in all of its forms; caloric, solar, mental, physical and industrial. We’re only now beginning to comprehend the amount of irreparable damage our wastefulness has done to mankind and the planet. We’ve wiped out entire species and habitats, created and fought racial and sexual inequality, bled the planet’s carbon reserves dry, grown overweight, diseased and apathetic. I haven’t spoken to a twenty-something American who isn’t concerned about being “green” or saving money, and yet… as so often happens… they forget the small steps it takes to do either.
I’m starting to see the disconnect. Those of my peers who will one day have the power to redefine agriculture, couldn’t care less. They send away plates full of half-eaten food, talk over the state legislator who is making a plea for local organic business support, and trip over themselves to shake a hand or make a “connection.” I understand. I do. I’m looking for work in a rough economy as well, but there are far more important things to do in the meantime.
If this is illegal, please don’t bother telling me now. What’s done is done, readers. I am not proud.
The most rewarding aspect of composting is knowing that you’re reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, returning nutrients to the soil, and stemming the flow of greenhouse gases which decaying, shipped and buried garbage creates. So once you’ve started composting, it is your right to bask in the glory of your sustainable awesomeness.
The American diet has become a monochrome mess. Every plate seems to boast something between brown and yellow. Bread, potatoes, muffins, pies, cakes, queso, cookies, fries, chips, chicken, pancakes, corn, pasta, ground beef, cheese pizza… the list continues on and on. When is the last time you ate something magenta?
It isn’t hard to understand how we’ve become so detatched. We were sold microwaves, magazines, sitcoms, couches, meals in boxes and cans, and all sorts of useless ilk. We’ve become depressed, anxious and dull, and have forgotten our true potential. Almost as terrible; we’ve forgotten food.
For years, the common trend in food science and retail has been “convenience.” Everybody is scrambling to make a product that lazy louts the country over can buy at ridiculous mark-ups and continue buying. It’s an ingenius system, as far as commercial viability goes. You dumb down consumers by shrouding the kitchen with an air of mystery, allow them to prioritize a TV program over cooking, tell them you’re improving their quality of life by buying commercials on that TV program and Bam! A profitable, self-sustaining business model.
…At the cost of Americans, good taste, and the environment.
It isn’t 1955 any more. I don’t stay at home ironing in chiffon and washing dishes with rubber gloves, thank heavens. But if we can uproot the dated, preposterous societal girdle that was mid-century sexism in the house, how are we frozen in time with what lies just outside of it? What purpose does a lawn of grass serve? As far as I can tell, standing on my front porch, all it does is turn brown, collect garbage, smell like dog feces and tarnish an otherwise pretty Capital Hill neighborhood. And yet these are the yards that are legal. The beautiful ones that are groomed and full of life are “unsuitable.”
My first week of putting my eco-agricultural smarts to good use showed exactly how much I have left to learn before spring. A short winter ended months ahead of schedule, I ran afoul of the law, and my roommate’s dog took out his mineral deficiency on all of my hard work.
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