Despite the beauty, my recent vacation left me with one big takeaway. Living green is really easy - if you are surrounded by others doing the same thing. If not, it is downright hard!
Home in Northern California, it feels like a third of the cars on the road are hybrids (the real kind that get kick ass mileage) or electric vehicles. During my vacation, I spotted one Prius (out of state license plate) and zero EVs.
At home, even if I forget my canvas bags, it does not matter. We have a plastic bag ban and the cashier won't have my bread double bagged in plastic before I can whip out my handy Chico bag. When visiting, or living somewhere without such a law, you are swimming against the tide if you try to avoid single use plastic bags. If recycling facilities are not readily available, you can still recycle but only after hauling your recyclables around and searching out an appropriate drop off. When surrounded by SUVs, one might feel uncomfortable in an itty bitty hybrid. None of these things are impossible, by any means, but they do require much more effort.
Living in a bubble, I assume that the rest of the world is also embracing EVs, with charging stations popping up every time you turn the corner. That solar panels pepper roofs and thirsty rain barrels suck from the downspouts. That customers line up at stores armed with reusable bags and sip from glass water bottles. A turn outside of my microcosm, though, brings home how much progress has, and has not, been made.
A recent study found that states with strong green voices are making much more progress reducing emissions than those states without. While I am proud of the progress my state is making - and am hopeful that more will be made - how do we extend this progress to states with fewer environmental advocates? How do we amplify their brave voices and encourage quicker change? How do we make it easier for greenies living in less green states?
And finally, hats off to all you environmentalists sticking to your values even while you are sticking out like a sore thumb!!