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Friday, December 15, 2006

Subtle Hints?

The hubby tore this out of
the Guardian for me yesterday:

"And so to our coveted award for the season's Crappiest Advent Calendar, which goes this year to the admirable Landmark Information Group, which offers "complete environmental due diligence" (though not, sadly, on the chocolates contained in its calendar, which are noxious). Along with said confectionery, each new day brings a bright new factoid, including: "500,000 homes are on or near toxic waste in the UK"; "Radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer in Britain"; and (our personal favourite) "More than 700,000 households could be affected by past industrial activity around Birmingham". Happy Christmas to you too."

He said it was an example of environmentalism gone mad. I think he might have been hinting that I need to calm down.

In fact I have noticed people acting slightly awkwardly around me lately, a bit like how I am around vegetarians (bristly because I think they're judging me, but at the same time sheepish and apologetic because deep down I know they're right).

While I would like to say they really shouldn't because I'm not here to judge you, the truth is I do inadvertently find myself sizing up friends' houses for green-ness. Ecover washing up liquid by the sink? Brilliant. Need to take my jumper off because it's so hot in there? Hmmm, do they know how wasteful that is? Glass and plastic in the trash? Etc. Then ensues an internal conflict - do I say something or keep schtum?

My tactic has mainly been to direct people here so they'll hopefully be motivated to take action by our fascinating stories, rather than browbeaten into submission. This is partly because I don't want to be seen as a hectoring zealot/smug, self righteous old cow (a bit late for that, I know) but equally because people in uninsulated old wooden houses really shouldn't throw stones (people delight in nailing me on eco-crimes, by the way. For instance, last night I saw my brother for the first time in ages. "You know how it said on your blog that T drives off to get your wine every night around six?" he said, with the look of someone about to move their bishop to check. "I know, you're going to say we should buy a case so we only do one trip every twelve days and save petrol," I pre-empted. "Bingo!" he said gleefully. (Truth is, the hubby needs to get out of the house at least once a day and we live in the middle of nowhere, but I am working on it)).

But sometimes I just can't help myself. Come to think of it, I have even found myself quoting this that I read on the
Seveth Generation website:

A 15 year study in Oregon, comparing women who didn't work outside the home with women who did, found a 54% higher death rate from cancer in the women who stayed home. The study suggested that chronic exposure to cleaning products played a role.

Scarily similar to the advent calendar; oh dear, am already a walking 'harbinger of doom and gloom' cliche. TIme to lighten up. But then, I'd want to know this stuff so I just figure you would too...

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