“It’s not easy being green,” goes the old Kermit cliché. Actually, I find it somewhat intuitive do things that minimize my environmental impact while maximizing money saved. I’ve always been an extremely practical person with a fixed eye towards efficiency. I turn out the lights, use mainly LED bulbs (see previous entry), minimize A/C and heat use, drive for fuel economy (previous entry), eat locally and/or organically when possible, volunteer at a nature reserve that perpetuates native plant landscaping, etc. I love this stuff. I love learning about it. I love sharing my thoughts and experiences on sustainability, conservation, climate change, etc. with like-minded folks and even with folks with whom I disagree.
The TROUBLE is finding regular opportunities to discuss environmental topics with others. I’ve blogged about this stuff, as most of the external links in this entry illustrate, but I’d like to chat about environmental issues with folks in PERSON. If I wanted to chat with people about baseball, on the other hand, I could go to the game and talk stats with another fan. I could go to the bar and watch the game with the guys. I could chitchat with neighbors while taking out the trash. “How about those Cards?” But what do you do when you’d rather be talking about environmental issues instead of watching millionaires exercise?
I guess few neighbors want to find out who believes we might be influencing climate change and who believes it’s just weather and nothing needs to change (really?). Few people at the bar want to intellectually discuss problems associated with the urban jungle. Few people who enjoy shopping wish to discuss sweatshop labor or environmental shipping costs. Few people who drive like jackrabbits want to hear fuel saving tips at a party.
Consequently, socializing as an environmentally concerned person can be a bit challenging. Where can you go to network with green folks or discuss the latest environmental issue (local or global)? I’m still searching for appropriate venues. But you can surely try your local Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Green Drinks (STL Green Drinks rocks), etc. If you’re in college, hit up organizations that focus on environmental health,sustainability, conservation, etc. I wrote about trying to get involved in the St. Louis area previously.
Good Luck! And if all else fails, strike up a conversation with a buddy at the bar. You never know if they give a care, too.