Eco Maniac

by Karen Topakian

It’s Earth Day 2009. And I need help.

I’ve been an environmentalist for years, so what do I do on Earth Day?

Everyday, I faithfully travel by public transportation. Have been for years. Haven’t owned a car since before Y2K. Should I eschew even public transportation and just walk?

Stopped eating meat in 1976, the year of the Bi-Centennial. Very rarely do even fishes cross my lips, and I do my best to avoid leather products. Should I become a vegan?

Started buying our food from Community Supported Agriculture when the Clintons were in the White House. Should I grow my own in the 19 by 19 foot brick courtyard outside my bedroom door? Hard to eat much more locally than my own yard, I suppose.

A friend told me he was learning about dry composting toilets, where you turn your own solid waste into potting soil. Is that what I should do next?

These questions seriously plague me as I try hard to be a better steward of our planet. And after listening to the winners of the 2009 Goldman Environmental Awards, I know I have to do more.

When my environmentalism began in the 70’s, my friends and I were considered extremists, freaks, wackos. But now we’re hip and trendy.

So what’s the cutting edge activity I need to embrace to maintain an eco-maniac moniker?




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  2. You are indeed hip and trendy, Karen! Happy Earth Day. Do you think you could maintain your stylish wardrobe and fabulous shoes & handbags in hemp?

  3. And I thought I was hard core! You’re way out there, Karen, setting a hell of an example for the rest of us. Thanks for sharing your blog and Happy Earth Day!

  4. Congratulations on your blog, Karen – how exciting and how fitting to publish on Earth Day! You’re always ahead of the pack. The next level? I think the Reservoir Ave beauty market may be ready for organic acrylic nails. They may be receptive.

  5. Perhaps a freegan?

  6. Solar is the new solar —it’s all about the sun, Karen. So go off grid, you tofu-loving, car-free, hemp-wearing, freak. Except of course for the blog, this carbon is definitely worth it so I can keep getting doses of your humor 😉

  7. Maybe Fingerhut Pleather shoes and matching handbag would be a suitable alternative to cowhide. Just a suggestion.

  8. I’d say give up flying, but vacations are necessary to keep even eco-maniacs sane enough to keep on working to change the world.

  9. My own policy of never letting political issues get in the way of my menu selections in no way diminishes my admiration of the efforts you have made to reduce your footprint on the Earth. It’s a little harder for me wearing, as I do, a size 13 shoe.

  10. Karen,

    You can’t just post once for goodness sakes! Isn’t there some law about if you start a blog you have to keep posting–like every day!!

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