Back to basics

A few years ago, and in some communities still today, it was cool to drive a big, gas-guzzling SUV, own a giant home, grab on to all the latest conveniences, and hit up megastores. Big, flashy and convenient were the hottest trends.

What’s cool today looks quite different. I believe it use to be referred to by the not-so-endearing term, “granola.”

When I hear words like green, bicycle, farm-to-table, carpooling, public transit, hybrid, solar energy, down-sizing and farmers’ market, I get all gooey inside.

Awareness, along with the economy, has brought about a new appreciation for properly caring for and utilizing the environment and our natural resources.

When we were suddenly unable to afford basic necessities – gas, utilities, milk – we wanted to point fingers and rage about unreasonable cost inflation, but a lot of the finger-pointing needed to be done in front of a mirror. We wanted everything we had, until we had to suffer the true cost. I hate a recession as much as the next gal, but I’m grateful for the wake up call, and I like where we’re trying to go now.

People are proud to serve fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs from their own gardens. We know what a carbon-footprint is. We are gradually taking steps to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Before we make purchases, we think about where they came from, and we scan the labels for unnatural preservatives and chemicals. We recognize that an extremely long shelf-life is a sign that something might be off.

We approach cleaning, and illness, with a more holistic approach because we are learning that natural options and cures exist, and are less likely to lead to negative consequences. If your child accidentally drinks your lemon-vinegar concoction, he’s going to fare much better than if he drank a chemical cleaner, and natural cures are less likely to kill good bacteria in addition to bad bacteria.

We own more fashionable reusable bags than we do purses. I’ve always known green was my color.

I can’t think of many things cooler than knowing your local farmers by first name and knowing what chicken should actually taste like.

We still have so much to learn, and no one expects perfection, but every time you take pause to think about our future, Mother Nature gets the warm fuzzies.

When it comes to eating our words, at least granola tastes good.