We don’t have company very often, but we’re getting ready to have a party with some friends and coworkers, and I’ve been worrying (just a little) about how my “greenness” will come across. It doesn’t seem to me that anything I do is extreme or off-putting, but all the small changes we’ve made have added up gradually to what amounts to a new lifestyle. I’ve had time to get used to it all, and all this stuff is normal to me now. But to the outsider, we might look like hippie-environmentalist cheapskate freaks. And I worry about that.
It’s not that I want to hide anything about the fact that I live environmentally consciously, I just want to make it seem less “out there.” I’ve just been trying to take a look around my house and see things as an outsider. It made me realize I should clean out the compost bucket. So instead of asking others to take a deep breath and hold their nose before adding anything, it’s a clean and easy disposal. I’ve fixed the flip-up lid on the bin for our used toilet rags so they’re all covered up now. I still have regular toilet paper out too, but the option is there for anyone who wants to use them. I’ve gathered up all my half-used tissue rags into the laundry so there’s only clean ones out. Not that I really want to admit that I leave half-used tissues around, but there you go. Not everyone is used to these things, so one thing I thought would help would be to put a sign on our trash can, reminding people to please make sure their trash goes to the right place: food into the compost, recyclables into the bin, and only landfill trash into the trash can.
I don’t want to be preachy or seem self-righteous, and I don’t really want my lifestyle to be a pervasive topic of conversation. I just want to bring a little awareness. Someone can ask if they want to know more, and anyone can see how do-able it is to maintain these changes because I make it look so easy! I’m not going to change. I’m not going to stop doing anything I would normally do because I’m afraid of people thinking I’m crazy. I just want it to be there and to gently make people aware of how even small actions and changes can impact our environment, and that it’s not that hard or weird to just jump in and make those changes.
Have any of you other “greenies” experienced this? How do you prepare for visitors?