Visiting Blowing Rock in the North Carolina’s high country recently, I was taken by a few friends to a wonderful lunch spot where our server began to engage in her views about sustainability. This was brought on after we complemented the establishment for offering paper straws. At 23, Allison has already nurtured her inner Earth Mother and quickly let us know that her caring for the planet was wholesome. Being delighted by finding her tucked into the mountains of what might be called a rather conservative forest, we egged on her tales of living a sustainable life.
From buying only repurposed clothing to selling plants in vintage cups and vases, she gave meaning to my interests in what I call Eco + Logic concepts, beyond political and into a balanced existence in partnership with Earth. In the great Smoky Mountains, she was able to be a student, serve customers and carve out a niche business that seemed promising to everyone at our table. Her view of the world can be summed up in a story she allowed. Seems that beyond the issue of getting rid of the plastic straws, she was baffled by why Americans might never accept silver ware straws. After all, we all, yes 99.9999999% of red blooded USA-ers stick metal flatware in our mouths whenever dining out. So, why not a metal straw? Seems, that in her unscientific café polling, her feedback on this promotion was akin to. “Ewe, we wouldn't suck from a straw that had been in someone else’s mouth.” But hey, everyone loves to lick that ice scream spoon dry after a big clump of Rocky Road.
The conversation soon moved on to keeping rags around to substitute for paper towels, and never taking plastic bags from the grocery. In Allison’s world, everything is repurposed, recycled and Earth worthy.
Having taught a masters communications class at the University of Florida this past year, I gave the students a class project to choose being a PR professional at a company or non-profit and designing a national campaign to eliminate plastic straws as a prime service item. The results were promising and the students took to the assignment with high energy and thoughtfulness. Hope springs eternal.
The act of using up all of Earth’s natural resource in a few generations is ludicrous, yet we are doing just that. Discussions about the reasonableness of living a sustainable life immediately will plunge one into the deep dark space of political polarization. In many ways, we are unworthy of a benevolent Earth. We seem unfit to be our planet’s partners. That is shame.
It is so comforting to find an Allison among us. She was cool, with it, and feeling her role as a young steward of nature and humanity. And, lest you paint her into a corner to fit your neat view of the world, she’s a hunter who eats what she kills and kills what may threaten her.
Perhaps we can begin a broader discussion about working together for a planet that is prosperous in natural resources, today and in the years to come.
eco^logic with peaceradioman.com