Confessions of a Green Goddess

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woman praying and confessing eco sinsOver on Reduce Footprints, we’ve been asked to take a good, long look at our “road blocks” to green living and find some solutions.

We’re lifting the lid on all our excuses for NOT adopting a green activity and it’s pretty uncomfortable I can tell you…

As a solutions-based optimist I always reckon I can treat problems as stepping stones, not obstacles, but if I’m perfectly honest there ARE two areas where I feel completely stuck and out of control.

Eating seasonal, local food and reducing the amount we use our car.

Ok, here goes; sit tight, this isn’t pretty…

Both these road blocks come from, how shall I put it, mental health issues I guess.

For a long time now I’ve had OCD and an anxiety condition which can render me pretty immobile at times.

I’m proud to say I’ve finally given up disposable kitchen towel and that was HUGE for me because along with OCD comes a lot of hand washing and afterwards you don’t want to be ‘contaminated’ by using a reusable cloth.

However, progress in this area has allowed me to ditch the kitchen towel 90% of the time. If I’m under stress or in an unfamiliar situation then it all comes back again, but it’s mainly under control.

Anxiety and panic attacks means I need an escape route – i.e. my car. Using public transport is a no-no because of my fears of not being able to get away from a situation. I simply wouldn’t feel safe and with enough adrenaline to run a marathon surging around my body I’m not prepared to put myself under any more stress.

Eating more local, seasonal food falls under the remit of OCD. Without going into too many details, as it’s pretty tough to talk about, I find it hard to ‘trust’ sources of food so I stick with the devil I know.

Phew! That was hard and actually makes me shake to write it. When you are behind a computer screen you can create any persona you like. I come across as confident but you’d be pretty shocked to see me in ‘real life’. But I also value integrity and honesty which is why I decided to join in with the challenge and post about my demons.

In all honesty I’m not looking for solutions from readers because it’s a personal journey. I’m having therapy, increasing my self awareness, stretching my boundaries, but it’s a long, slow, journey which requires just one gentle step at a time and I don’t need to be asked if I’ve tried a, b or c. Because the abc that works for one might not work for another and I’m pretty done with the “you HAVE to try this it cured me in 5 minutes” hype.

What about you – what stops you taking the next green step on your journey? Do you find something too expensive? Are you addicted to certain products that come in non-recyclable plastic? Do you find it hard to line-dry clothes? Do you lack space to compost? Does your partner disagree with the whole ‘hippy’ movement? Do YOU think climate change is a scam so it’s not worth bothering? I’d love to hear!


  1. Jacqueline on January 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I want to thank you so much for sharing your challenges to green living with so much candor. I completely understand the position in which you find yourself sometimes as a recovering germ phobe myself.
    I believe strongly that by putting a face to the challenges we beat them one at a time. I am so happy you stopped by The Organic Blonde today and I got to “meet” the owner of such a special blog!

  2. Sixty Second Parent on January 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Thanks for sharing this – it is very brave of you, and I think helpful for others. I would say that my greatest challenge is time. I have a great supplier of local organic produce who is about 20 minutes away, but she is the only one working there and sometimes the whole shopping and paying can take over an hour (not including travel) – sometimes I just cave and nip into the supermarket.

  3. Small Footprints on January 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks, so much, Mrs. Green for your honesty and for sharing your story … I know that it will help and encourage others.

    My roadblock, right now, is my community. They used to be fabulous at recycling but then, probably because of budget cuts, they took a HUGE step backwards. Now recycling, for those of us who don’t have curb-side pickup, has become nearly impossible. I’ve written letters and made calls but, so far, it’s not working. I won’t give up but it’s really feeling like a lost cause. I continue to try NOT to generate anything which needs recycling but for those few items that do appear, I’m trying to find solutions.

  4. All Natural Katie on January 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    My biggest obstacle is my husband and our extended family. It is hard to persevere when people are questioning your choices and are not supportive. I have to take tiny baby steps!

  5. nadine sellers on January 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    another beautiful post Mrs G; i find beauty in the attention to detail, candid attitude and helpfulness…

    all natural katie: i sympathize with you as i have lived a long time under these conditions. however; baby steps…and i did stumble in reactionary behavior, i hid my conservative ways, i saved good foods in the freezer and all the tricks of the housewife trade…i did try to serve nutritional knowledge with meals and gave science lessons with every energy bill.

    mostly i tried to demonstrate conscious living by example–the results are now visible in my children who apply most of these in their lives–and, my formerly OCD and panic attack husband has eventually managed his end of the spectrum and is very satisfied living as green as he can –we shop together; and he includes the items which he wants.

    every year brings wonderful realizations, and i am very happy to look back and notice the things we gave up and the ways we have all improved over time, now friends tell me how my lifestyle has helped them in significant ways. thanks to mrs G because i learned from her blogs –i do try not to tell people what ‘should’ be done..that’s the road block i have been working on..

  6. Mrs Green on January 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @Jacqueline: Thanks Jacqueline, your thoughtful comment was heartwarming; I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

    @Sixty Second Parent: THanks for your support. Oh I can see why nipping into the supermarket is very tempting in your situation; I wonder how you could get over that…

    @Small Footprints: That sounds really tough. I think *our* recycling facilities from home are poor, but then I hear of stories like yours and realise just how lucky we are. Yes I have to travel, but it’s ok to combine that with another errand and I have space to store things at home…

    @All Natural Katie: That *is* frustrating. When we started out on our recycling challenge, Mr G was NOT interested and I have to admit I gave in. Thankfully he is now on board and it’s so much easier. I guess you have to lead by example over there 😉

    @nadine sellers: Nadine, thank you for sharing so much. I really hear you on the ‘should’ front; it is hard to keep ones counsel, but we continue to lead by example and just look at how many people you have inspired! That makes me truly happy (and I’m delighted to hear your Husband is now coping with life in a more comfortable way?)

  7. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on January 25, 2012 at 5:11 am

    This is such a great post! You are always so up front and honest and I so admire that about you!! We are lacking in the area of alternative energy sources. It seems as though most of the choices are pretty expensive! We are going to be working on that this coming year. I am really blessed that my husband is also very passionate about being Eco Friendly.

  8. Jennifer Ward-Pelar on January 26, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Mrs. Green,
    The honesty and sincerity is apreciated. I think you’re wonderful. One step at a time is the way to go. I’m so proud of you, woman!! OCD is so much more common than it’s talked about. I took medication for it for years, but have fought tooth and nail and gotten off. Even today though, I feel I make myself miserable with all the things I “have” to do. And when I get stressed, I refrain from eating. Even if I’m hungry. Mental health issues are no different than physical ailments. We just don’t understand them as well. I think you’re tremendously brave to write about them.

    You do an amazing lot to live green. So much more than the rest of the population. I don’t think using your car is enough to beat yourself up about. You aren’t driving cross-country. 🙂

    We moved to a small town six months ago and I could ride my bike if I really wanted to. I just don’t. I tell myself, well, I don’t go out very often, it isn’t very far, and I do try to hit all my errands in one trip. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I could do them on a bike if I were hard core, and my body would love me for it. (Sigh.)
    Goal: To pull the damn bike out of the garage and ride it downtown this weekend. (Downtown is one street that goes for like maybe 3 miles. Case in point.)

    Maybe I’ll do a post about it. 🙂
    You always inspire me.

  9. Kris on January 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    It sounds like you are doing great working through your road blocks. While it’s not something, we as readers, can offer solutions to help you, you are aware of them and you’re actively working on them. We can’t always be green (heck..I don’t use public transportation either) but you do a lot and you do what you can, that’s what matters.

  10. Mrs Green on January 31, 2012 at 10:59 am

    @[email protected] eco friendly homemaking: It’s wonderful to have your husband on board too, Alicia but I agree, so much of the technology is still so expensive it becomes prohibitive.

    @Jennifer Ward-Pelar: Thanks Jennifer; sorry to hear you suffer too. How did you get on with your goal – did you ride downtown or is your bike still gathering dust?

    @Kris: Thanks Kris – I appreciate your comment 🙂

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