Since my vision of the diamond-cut life involves true sustainability, how sustainable was this group venture? Well, our crew of 22 created far fewer emissions with our snowshoes and cross-country skis than if we’d been on snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s). And vanpooling with 11 people in each van was certainly fuel-efficient. But how about our polypropylene and fleece clothing, which is all petroleum-based? And what of the large amounts of embodied energy in our high-tech skis, poles and snowshoes?
Most folks on this trip were strongly drawn to sustainability, and a number of us worked in the field. The group agreed on the merits of green buildings, renewable energy and human services, but never questioned (out loud, at least) the lion’s share of resources embedded in our own sports equipment and clothing.
Which was quite human of us. It’s hard to be objective about yourself and your choices. But I’m trying to be objective, so: How do you not use the petroleum-based clothing that keeps you warm and dry in sub-freezing conditions? Once these things are invented, how can you abstain? People had plenty of fun in the snow before high-tech clothes and gear were invented. So why are we so hooked on the current inventions?
I’m good at being happy, at finding joy in simple things and the natural world and in most people I meet, but I don’t know how to truly transcend this materialistic, fossil-fuel-based culture that I was born into. I do not have all the answers on how to live the sustainable, diamond-cut life of my vision.
I am open to people’s best advice.