Nature Mom wrote a very thought provoking post that I first began replying to and then thought it was better suited as a post than a reply. She writes about whether going green is a religion or just smart and frankly, I think it has become both! When people compare going green to being a religion (like me) what they are implying is that it is becoming segmented and there is judgment (are you Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, etc). Yes, the guilt and confession is another component. Being more earth friendly shouldn’t be divided into “You do this so you’re this and you do this so you’re this.” Instead it should be all of us united fighting for the same cause and if some are doing more, great and if some are just joining the cause, super.  Let’s join forces but not point fingers, judge and make others feel guilty. This what I can’t stand about where I go to church and my religion it is segmented. I don’t feel supported, motivated to be involved with the community and inspired to do more….regardless of my beliefs and true feelings.  How do I know other moms feel this way when it comes to going green, they tell me every single day!

Next, Nature Mom brought up the guilt issue and whether this is a good thing.  People say over and over that you can’t make someone feel guilty and that is a load of crap. If you throw enough stuff at someone, manipulate words and truths and hit someone’s hot buttons or heartstrings, you can make someone feel guilty.  A mirror into the truth? Maybe but regardless making some feel guilty isn’t nice, healthy or won’t inspire change long term. If those “going green” want to help more people make earth friendly choices long term we need to do it in a constructive, positive, supportive fashion.  Guilt my children into doing the dishes or help them learn why they should help around the house? Guilt my husband into buying me a present or help him realize what a great wife I am and why he should go buy me that present. Same idea but different scenarios! 

Nature Mom wrote, “It irritates me when I read articles written by “green” people who say things like well, I know I should do this or that but hey “I am not that person, or that just isn’t my choice”…aka I am not the person who sacrifices for something I am supposed to care about. It sends the movement a step back”. How about thinking they are at least heading in that direction? They’re trying. Frankly, I know there are lots of things I can do better but you know what, I’m not moving to town tomorrow, I’m not going to drive a hybrid anytime soon and I don’t like tofu and won’t give up meat!  Damn it, I’m still doing something and care a lot and I’m sick of all the freaking judgment. I’m not going to be you or the neighbor or any other person, I’m going to be me and do things at my comfort level, when I’m ready.  So no, I am not that person and it is not my choice and I won’t make that sacrifice. This does NOT send the movement back. Me doing nothing that sends the movement back! Others judging and segmenting the earth friendly movement into who does what and I’m better than you because I do this and you don’t…that sends the movement back because it turns the masses off. The masses are people like me. People, who want to do better, want to make good choices, they care (a lot) about the environment but they don’t want to go to the extreme and this is indeed a choice. If a mom starts using non-toxic cleaners and thats where she starts this month or this year, she should be encouraged and supported not judged and made to feel bad because she isn’t using non-toxic cleaners AND doing this and that. 

I think Max Gladwell’s reply to my recent post on driving an SUV sums up my feelings nicely:

“When people get all high and mighty about their greenness, it starts to feel like a religion. I have little tolerance for judgmental zealots and fundamentalists of any stripe, whether it’s Christian, Muslim, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Environmentalists. Call it a flaw of human nature, but some people just need to feel like they’re better than others…that they are among the “saved” or “chosen” or “enlightened” ones. That’s precisely what this is, and I want no part of it.”

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