Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thesis woes and Citizens Co-op

Having your own environmental blog means getting to complain about stuff that has nothing to do with the environment, like thesis-writing.  I have to meet with my director today, where she will tell me how disorganized and hard-to-follow my thesis is, and ask why I don't actually have a thesis to tie this blighted subject together.  And I will reply, "uh..." because my life is disorganized and hard-to-follow.  One sad part to all of this is that I'm writing the thesis because I would like to eventually get it published, but the shape it is in now makes it seem like a fool's errand.  The other sad part to this is that I will most likely be continuing my education with a masters in Library Science if or as soon as I graduate with my masters in English (the "if" part is still looming at this point).

Okay, I've gotten that mostly out of my system.  The other thing I want to talk about is Citizen's Co-op, this grocery co-op that has been trying to get off the ground for, what, three years now?  I go through periods of thinking it will never open, not that I'm actually doing anything to make this happen.  I've reported on Citizen's Co-op in the past here and here and, yes, I still want them to get bulk castile, laundry, and dish soap so I can use my own containers.

The reason why I'm thinking about Citizen's Co-op is that I answered a survey they sent out this morning regarding what foods and products we'd like to see at the co-op.  I realized that I'm not the picky about food or other groceries (except the aforementioned bulk items).  I'd like to get mostly local produce, but I don't seem to mind buying whatever at Publix.  Also, the Citizen's Co-op is downtown and Publix and Ward's Supermarket are much closer.  I'm beginning to wonder if the co-op might not be somewhat redundant.  I actually mapped out the bike route I would have to take and it is just a hair outside of the Two-Mile Rule (the link goes to a piece I did in 2007 talking about the Two-Mile Rule of cycling in your community).  But, then again, I used Google Maps for directions and they aren't the most accurate.

This brings up another topic that I've been wanting to write about but haven't organized my thoughts on, yet.  It's tied into the whole concept of Accidental Environmentalism (and I cannot believe my entry into the Urban Dictionary got three thumbs down!).  It's the idea of doing something environmental only because it is also the least expensive; examples such as driving a Prius not because you want to conserve natural resources and make less of a carbon footprint but because it costs less money overall (I actually don't know how true that is), or buying your clothes second-hand not because it reduces the amount of new clothing that goes into the use stream and also takes the edge off buying from companies with suspect worker policies, but because it's cheaper (my mom is a prime example of that philosophy; I don't think she ever bought anything that wasn't from a Salvation Army or flea market).

I'm thinking about this in relation to using the Citizen's Co-op versus going Publix or Ward's because it's one of those choices that you make based on things like time, money, and circumstances.  For me, it's going to take a lot of extra effort to lug myself to the Citizen's Co-op versus going elsewhere, and even my car and here's why: The Citizen's Co-op is kind of out of the way from other places I visit, like the CVS pharmacy and when I'm in my car I usually group two or more errands together to make the trip less of an impact.

Sometimes you have to make choices based on the environment even if you have a choice to do otherwise, and this is where dedication comes in.  I wonder how dedicated I will be when the co-op does actually open for business.
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