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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wise after the event

You know that interview question, 'what is your biggest weakness?' Well here's mine: finding something out or getting to the right answer just a little bit too late for it to be of any use to anyone. It happens all the time (one example that springs to mind is finding out about the St Luke's natural birthing center in NYC just too late to have my baby there so I had to have here in the utterly horrendle, natural-birth-unfriendly Beth Israel hospital instead, another finding out about green renovations about a week after we finished doing this place up, but trust me this stuff happens all the time).

The latest (and admittedly fairly egregious) example begins with a confession: yesterday, we booked a holiday. Involving flying. To the Bahamas.

I have an excuse for going: Dot just LOVES being naked (let's not let this worry us till she's 15, people), and since a frigid Pennsylvania winter is not terribly conducive to sitting round in your birthday suit, I've been dying to take her somewhere where she can wriggle round starkers to her little heart's content. Our tax rebate is due next week so we thought, what the hell, we'll only have our first baby once, let's just bugger off somewhere sunny.

But what I don't have an excuse for is not booking an ethical holiday - except that in the excitement of the whole thing (and of actually having enough money to do anything at all, let alone go on a holiday, for the first time in a while), I got swept up in the moment and only came down to earth with a bump once the credit card details had been exchanged and I was reading some article or another which mentioned ethical holidays.

At which point I thought, dammit.

Out walking with Dot today I pondered how it was possible that I'd managed to forget this and yet I can remember to rifle through a bin of dirty nappies (wearing a rubber glove, of course) to pick out the wipes and to buy two lbs of worms for my wormery without any problem. Especially since flying is the eco crime sine qua non.

And the conclusion I came to? I'm just a bit simple. I know it looks like I'm an inconsistent hypocrite but really, that isn't it. I'm just a bit dumb. And I'm kicking myself. Hard.

Here are the issues with our holiday: our hotels are neither locally owned nor run (to my knowledge, at least); although one is in a nineteenth century house, the other renovated rather than a new build, neither appears to be an eco-resort (no renewable energy, no sustainable materials, although both claim to use only local food); and we are flying there.

On the plus side: I will offset our flights; the Bahamas is a much shorter flight than more eco-friendly places we could have gone, like Central and/or South America; we won;t buy any new stuff to take with us; and he Bahamas is mentioned in websites like this one as a reasonably eco-friendly place to go because the local community benefits from the tourism.

But who am I kidding? This is pure, hedonistic, planet-trashing naughtiness.

Please don't hate me. We will find a way to limit the damage once we get there, promise.

PS no post tomorrow. The hubby's valentine's pressie is actually getting to talk to me after dinner. That, and Dot. She's his catch-all pressie for the next 20 years.

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