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The Environment and I — 20 Comments

  1. I grew up without a lot as well… never thought of them as hard times though… I’ve always felt life is what you make it and am concerned about others trying to force their sensibilities on us… sometimes wonder what the real issues are if you know what I mean… enjoyed your post… Larry

    • Yes Larry it is only on reflection that one realises times were hard, one thing we did have though was freedom from political correctness. Oh! could that be something else to bitch about

  2. I sympathise with your entry to a great degree.

    I was born in 1978; I never lacked anything in my life and even when the recent “financial crisis” arrived I was well set up to get through it. I would love to save the world, but I’m not sure I’m the person to do that; rather, I prefer to just aim for not making it a worse place. I turn the lights out when I leave a room, I don’t leave the water running while I brush my teeth and I generally do what my mother taught me, resource-wise. And I try to teach these things to my husband. (And to some extent enforce them as the basic rules for our summer house when people borrow it.)

    However, I AM a creature of comfort. I don’t mind keeping a low temperature in my flat, but I DO buy imported food and have about the equivalent of a mature tree in books lining my sitting room. I don’t mind short showers as long as I can have my laptop and my phone. It’s all a matter of priorities to me; I save wherever I can without loosing comfort, and then I hope it will all be all right. (And trust me; I do tend to have no more than one light bulb on at a time, but on the other hand my bedroom chandelier is designed for 420W in total, though with energy-preserving bulbs that’s down to 35W. Oh, the dichotomy of being an environmentally conscious hedonist!)

    Apologies for the long comment… (The long, self-centered comment…)

    • Soren, thank you for taking the time to give such a detailed comment, however for those born within these years it was not my intention to tar them all with the same brush. After all I have many faults of my own.

  3. Dear Alistair, I detect real passion in what you write here today.I often think that the question for the current generation is not ‘Can I have it all?’ but ‘Do I have what I need?’ If the answer to the second question is yes, then the rest is luxury and should be enjoyed or forsaken as such.

    The promise in your gardenis palpable…not long now!!

  4. I hope I am not a lone commenter, here. You have made very valid points but hit a group of individuals really hard. I am not so sure all those born during these years are quite that spoiled. Remember that those years also had a lot of excess of materialism that could be attributed to the parents, not the kids. Sure there was the oil embargo at this time and a short lived awareness or our oil dependence, where cars shrunk but they quickly returned to huge and heavy gas guzzling SUVs. There were tree huggers, but also big development and clear cutting. A lot happened in these years that was not so environmentally correct, and it was good to have a voice speak for the environment. But, I think many of these individuals ended up back on the establishment rolls, now quite as a church mouse, but still having the same philosophical principles. I hope you take my comment not as a criticism, but that not all were as anti-bourgeois and superior as you might suggest. I enjoyed your post and do agree many of us have not experienced hardship, but I do not think you need to a experience less to appreciate more.

    • Hello Donna, thank you for your detailed comment, I did of course mean it in the same sense that we may say, youths of today are drug taking yobs, I do of course know that the majority are decent and aspiring to a good future that their parents would be proud of.

  5. Hi Alistair – your wonderful Witchhazel makes me realise what I am missing but they are so pricey. As a child of your era, cost evaluation is never far away. Funnily my children joke and say I invented recycling as they remember how adept I was at finding new uses for old things. Environmentalists bore me mostly – like teaching a grandmother how to suck eggs 😉

  6. Hey Alistair! The latest issue of How to Find Great Plants is here and your paper bark maple post is featured. Thanks so much for participating, I hope you will again next month. Here’s the issue:

    http://www.appalachianfeet.com/2011/02/01/how-to-find-great-plants-issue-3/

    I’m off to go aggravate you with some environmentalism and repurposed stuff. 😉

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist… I hope you never take my minimalism as a criticism of people who enjoy some material comforts. I think everyone deserves to enjoy what they have). 🙂

  7. There’s materialists and materialists. My father grew up thru the depression. Took his shiny new engineering degree from NZ to London in search of work. No joy. And so we four sisters were born in South Africa. I grew up in Camps Bay, not in hardship, but also not with the obvious wealth of most of our neighbours. My father’s depression mentality has coloured the lives of his four daughter, each in our own different way.

    Anyway, I really came here to ask how Myra is? In the hope that her shingles are just a nasty memory??

  8. I was born in 1985, I never really have to suffer any “hard times”, my family always had more than we need and we were taken care of properly, even a little spoiled. I think I might have a bit of a save the earth attitude but, I do love stuff too. I think the important thing is to know well the value of things and get the balance in what you can do and what feel comfortable doing.

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