It’s only taken two and a half years, but our neighbors officially think we’re hippies. I’m going to preface this by saying that I love my neighbors so much and wouldn’t trade them for anything. They are always going out of their way to be kind to us, and we love them like family. That said, the other day I was talking to our neighbor boy about our new rain barrels, and asked him what he thought of them. Part of me wanted to make sure they weren’t annoying the neigbors, and part of me wanted to know what he really thought about them.
“Well” he started saying hesitantly, “my mom was wondering if you guys had turned into hippies. First it was hanging all your laundry out to dry, and now it’s these rain barrels. What is this all about?”
I then started talking about living simply and sustainably and how those factors go hand in hand with saving money, and why not? Who doesn’t love saving money?
“Yeah, but it is so much easier just to use the drier. And why do you care about collecting rain water; you have a perfectly good hose right there next to it.”
Ahh, teenagers. I then explained how we all have a carbon footprint and we are doing everything we can to minimize it, and ultimately I do things because they make me feel good about the way I live my life, not how much money I save or if I save the Earth. I can’t do it all by myself.
After ten minutes of hearing me blab on about those things, I think he’d had enough.
“Oh, well I better get back to my video game,” he said, and we said goodbye. I was hoping that I’d made some sort of impression on him, when he turned back around and asked me another question. “Why are you always hanging those little cloths outside? What do you use those for?”
I blushed, thinking of how I was going to explain cloth toilet paper.
“Cleaning. They are great for just about everything!” was my reply. Vague enough, right? The answer seemed to satisfy his curiosity, and he went inside. I wiped my brow, turned towards my garden, and started weeding. Ah, just another day in my life!
Do you care what your neighbors think?