Blogging is tough, make no mistake. Writing day in and day out can be a chore, and at a certain point, you get to a place where you wonder if you have anything left to write. After all, how much can one write about not shopping?
But I think with eco-bloggers, there's more to it than that. Many of us started blogging at the beginning of our journey. Our first posts were about how proud we were for giving up plastic grocery bags. Gradually, we started increasing the eco-difficulty: giving up paper towels, going to the farmers' market, cooking more, making our own butter. Some of us line-dried our clothes. Others started gardens. Others gave up toilet paper. Others gave up their fridge.
And then ... time goes by. Life catches up to you. Work gets busier. You move house. You break up with your partner. Or maybe you get married. And you realize that living this so-called sustainable life is HARD.
So you start to back slide. You start throwing loads in the dryer again. Just once, one time, because you're on a tight schedule and your son needs his soccer uniform in a couple hours. And then because you're going out of town, or someone is visiting, or because it's Thursday, damnit and you're tired. And pretty soon you're back to using your dryer all the time. And you feel really guilty about it, but you also just don't have the energy to use the dryer.
Or if you're me, you go from cooking all the time to cooking almost never. And I do feel guilty about it, very guilty about it actually. And yet, somehow I rarely have it in me to prepare a full meal.
It's not just the cooking I've backslid in. I've gone back to using toilet paper (though I buy 100% recycled, and honestly I personally think the giving up toilet paper produces such minor eco-benefits that it's more of a bragging point than anything.) I use my space heater more often than I should. I take longer and hotter showers than I should. I drink more soda than I should. I use a face wash with bad chemicals. The list goes on and on. On rare occasion, I've even committed the ultimate sin of getting a plastic bag at the store.
I think the issue is that so much of eco-blogging was or has been about challenging oneself to do MORE, MORE, MORE. Meanwhile, we live in a world where everyone else is doing ... pretty much nothing really. Where it's more of the same from our elected officials. Where Copenhagen is a big ol' bust.
So it's very difficult to be busting your ass trying to live this eco-life. You start wondering what you're doing and why. And you question whether you can really maintain work, friends and family, and your eco-nutty life. AND blog about it every day.
So my question to you is this: Is living sustainably actually unsustainable? If you think not, how do you do it? How do you find the right balance? What is your right balance? And how long have you been keeping this balance going?