How Hippee Are You?

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I’m writing this while eating granola that I purchased in the bulk food section of Sprouts Market using refillable jars that I brought from home.

Yeah. I’ve gone a little hippee. 

I’m not the only one. Green living, sustainable agriculture, and climate change are big topics in the world. As an outdoors lover it makes sense to care about the environment and want to preserve the beauties of the earth. But living in an eco-friendly way requires sacrificing personal convenience.

How much do you give up for the sake of the environment?

In October, I read the book Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. Her family of four produces just one quart of garbage a year. That’s less than the average American produces in two days.

Zero Waste Home and its accompanying blog advocates living more simply by consuming less and using package free alternatives. Since reading the book, I analyze everything I throw in my trash bin – wrappers, bits of tape, food scraps – and think how I could compost, recycle or avoid tossing it altogether. It has changed my daily life.

I now use cloth diapers (much to Mountain Dad’s dismay), bring my own containers to the grocery store and carry a handkerchief instead of tissues. I choose to garden, make my own reusable bulk bags, and scrutinize every item that enters my home with a view on how to dispose of it when the time comes.

Living in the mountains requires us to haul our own trash and recycling away, so we naturally have an incentive to produce less of it. It also makes it easy to compost since our yard has no grass, just trees and native landscaping (mostly weeds).

But even so, I view my life from the outside and wonder, What happened to me? I used to think the only people who refused straws and used their personal water bottle at restaurants were the fringe of society. The crazies who hugged trees and wore free range wool or fair trade cotton. Now I am that person!

Maybe I should expect this kind of change living in an outdoors loving community. Tree hugging. Granola. Anti-plastic.

I realize that I live on the banks of mainstream society. But I don’t think I’m weird or abnormal. I think the rest of society is.

When I see people leave the grocery store with a cart full of plastic bagged food I judge them a little. It’s not hard to buy a few reusable shopping bags and keep them in your car. You go grocery shopping every week and will for the rest of your life. Why not invest $10 and a half hour of time to making the world a little greener?

Or my sister who continues to receive her bills by mail even though she lives in 2016 like the rest of us. I know automatic bill pay and ebills take time to set up, but one hour of your life is a small price to pay for greater convenience and fewer dead trees. 

Everyone has their comfort level in this area. For me it’s where cost, convenience and logic intersect. I compost and recycle because it’s cheaper and easier than hauling trash down the mountain. I cook homemade meals because it’s better for my family and I can use package free ingredients. Plus it tastes better.

There’s a little hippee in everyone. How Hippee are You?

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Author: Mountain Mom

Hi! I'm Mountain Mom. I live with my husband and three young kids in the mountains near Sundance, Utah. When we're not hiking, biking, skiing and camping, I spend my time doing Mom stuff and reading. Summer of 2016 we traveled over 7,000 miles along the US National Park to Park Highway.

0 thoughts on “How Hippee Are You?”

  1. I am getting Hippee in my old age. I put on solar panels and drive an electric car. Julie thinks Im crazy because I keep turning off the lights when we are not in the room and I flush the toilet only when its dirty. "When its yellow, let it mellow, when its brown, flush it down."
    After living in Mexico where they dont clean their water, it seemed a shame to flush cleaned drinkable water down the drain. Ill join your hippie movement.

  2. I'm getting there. We are a long ways from zero waste, but we only put a bag of garbage out every 2 weeks. It would be less if we composted – that is next on our green to do list! We cook most of our food from scratch (it's how I grew up, on an acreage with REAL hippy parents), don't buy bottled water, and try to conserve electricity and fuel by biking when we can, but I keep learning new things and know I could do better. I LOVE that it is becoming more mainstream to give a crap about the environment. There was increased awareness in the 90s, then everyone sort of forgot about it, but now it's come full circle and people are trying.

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