Why "green living" is like going to the dentist

I went to the dentist this week for a cleaning, and while I was laying there withstanding the torture process, I started thinking about the things we do that, while painful, are for our own good.

Like dental cleanings.

Because, really, if we did that to people without their consent it would be considered torture. But most of us not only do it willingly, we pay for the pleasure.

Exactly like trying to live a greener, more sustainable life.

It's easier to buy a box of Kraft Dinner (on sale, of course) than trying to make my own.

It's cheaper to stock up on canned tomatoes, rather than the whole, never-ending process of growing my own - saving seeds, starting them inside, hardening them off, planting, weeding, harvesting, preserving, and then the whole thing starts all over again with seed saving.

Canned beans are on sale for less than a dollar - why grow my own?

Who really wants to live on potatoes and kale for an entire year?

Why spend an entire weekend trying to learn how to make soap, when I can buy it at Walmart?


Because, for me, it's the right thing to do. Because the long-term benefits outweigh the momentary discomfort. Because I don't think we can continue to live like we are, and I'd rather be prepared for the coming changes than surprised at them . Because we have no other option but to live within our means, both financial and environmental.

And besides, I like gardening, even when it gets me a splinter under my thumb :)

So yes, even though some things are hard, and expensive, and at times painful, I know they are worth doing. And I know that I am trying something that is worthwhile, even if I do not succeed. It's the trying that's important.

On this day, the fifth anniversary of Earth Hour, think about how you can live a greener life. You do not have to completely revamp your lifestyle - every little bit helps, and small successes pave the way for larger changes. So celebrate Earth Hour this year not only by turning off, but by tuning into to changes you want to make the rest of the year.

And remember - go see your dentist. Your teeth will thank you for it :)

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