Thursday, June 10, 2010

This is a Lifestyle Blog-and this is my lifestyle-It's on my hands

Being a "lifestyle" blog, I post pretty things.  Peony's and garden parties and gorgeous recipes and lots of "Pink and Fluff".  But my lifestyle is dependant on oil.  Travel.  Products.  Driving my car.    Everyday I look at photo after photo of the Gulf oil spill.  But this is not just a one-of occurence.  It happens in Nigeria. It happens in the Middle East.  It will happen again. Sometimes on the way to the cottage we pass Mennonites in their horse drawn buggies, women hoe-ing the fields by hand and hanging a mile of laundry on the line. No gas or oil for these people.  I sometimes chuckle and say "Can you imagine living like that?"  The truth is.  NO.  I can't imagine living like that.   I feel sick looking at these pictures.  What can we do?  What can I do?  I honestly don't know.  I can think on it.  Think long and hard about what this means and where we are going and how the Gulf is going to recover or not recover and I can barely look at the photos of the birds.....I make myself look at these pictures....because it is difficult and this is shameful and this is reality and this is the least I can do......
I googled "How can I help Gulf Oil Spill and found THIS which offers some good suggestions.  Support the Gulf tourism industry, donate money, buy Gulf seafood.  Boycott BP.?? that seems a bit like shooting oneself in the foot.  They need to pay for the cleanup.
Or I could use stop using so much oil.  I thought that sounded good until I read this

Products made from oil
Art supplies
Artificial limbs
Cleaning products
Fishing line
Floor wax
Guitar strings
Heart valves
Nail polish
Paint brushes
Panty hose
Petroleum jelly
Shaving cream
Shower curtains
Sports equipment
Trash bags
Vitamin capsules

       Although that list makes it seem impossible, many of those could be eliminated from daily life.
So this post leaves me sad and disgusted and angry and scared and feeling guilty.
And I have to show this because this is what it is.


  1. thanks for this post! glad i'm not the only one talking about this! scary stuff indeed. i feel so helpless and images of the sweet birds are so disturbing. :0(

  2. It sickens me to think that these tragedies keep happening. Yes, we all need oil, but at what cost? Great post Chania.

  3. Hello Chania....It's TERRIBLE to feel so POWERLESS isn't it....?! When I watch the news & see the pelicans sitting motionless in the sludge with no colour my heart is heavy with dread....We are lucky down here to be so far away yet I wish I WAS closer so I could help in some small way with the clean up....!!

  4. What's happening in the Gulf just turns my stomach. I started to cry when I saw a bird covered in oil on the front page of our newspaper. I just can't look at the images of the poor, innocent animals who are dying 8-( And this is just one environmental tragedy that's happening right now -- the Tar Sands in Alberta is another huge environmental catastrophe that's been going on for years. And how many oil leaks and chemical leaks are we NOT hearing about??

    Earth has been here for 4 million years, and at this rate, it's only going to take humans a couple of hundred years to destroy it 8-(

    It's beyond sad -- it's tragic.


  5. Chania, do not feel guilty. Your post succeeded in raising awareness and has made me consider all the things I use which require oil and made me more intent on cutting down my consumption of everything - not just oil. For this reason you are far from helpless, you have helped.

  6. When I look at that list there are many of those things that could still be made with natural substances that are sustainable. In the West we are a capital driven society. We are all guilty by association. Did you know by next year the laws have changed on paint, and they will be eliminating the use of oil based paints? They are also making the tints low VOC. Benjamin Moore is the only company in Canada and right now in the states(California has changed the laws and leading the states in changing the laws) that has WATERBOURNE TINTS AND PAINT. Natura Paint by Benjamin Moore (NOT Home Hardware Brand) Has NO VOC's if the waterbourne tint is added. OTHER brands may claim their paint is low VOC, but when traditional tint is added that is no longer the case, nobody knows that. They are thinking they still have low VOC paint, and they don't. Benjamin Moore has low VOC stains also....Arborcoat. Go check out a Benny Moore website.

    If we want to do our share and still paint our brains out....we need to buy low VOC paint. The laws are changing and soon other companies will forced to follow suit. Home Depot , Lowes , General Paint etc are all going to have to change there tint system...and those cans of paint are going to get more expensive.

    All I am saying is if you expand on the list up there to include VOC's you might just want to live like the Mennonite.

    Good post. Shame on BP for not having a back-up plan.

  7. Chania.

    Posts like this are pivotal for our continued humanity. Those of us who participate in blogdom are aware of the power of the post and awareness has value far beyond pretty pictures and Give Aways. As much as those things inspire our creativity and unite us in shared passions, the not so pretty pictures keep us grounded in the reality of what is truly important in our lives and hopefully inspire change in each of us.

    Small changes in how we conduct ourselves in daily life can add up to enormous change for our world. Use your fuel consumption wisely, vote for environmental change and support candidates who will bravely do the same. Make informed product purchases and always have your cloth bags with you when shopping; and here's my favorite and latest trick:

    Almost every supermarket has 99 cent reusable bags. Next time you are in line using your cloth bags and the person behind you is not, buy them a bag or two. It is a small thing for me to do and still affordable on my limited budget. My cashiers love it, the person I give the bags to is always surprised and hopefully that small action will inspire them to be more aware.

    Thank you Chania for an important message. No one can hide their head in the sand about this....the sand is too coated with sludge.


  8. Wow. I just found your blog and am pulled in by this post. It is ugly and sad and painful. Thanks for your message.

  9. i feel it is rather discusting...completely unfortunate..and we do feel totally helpless in this situation....

    i know that we do depend on oil for our 'way' of life..or at least how we've grown used to living it...

    but wouldn't it be great if things were simpler...and we didn't need to be this 'grand' in life.

    I think those humble field workers 'using their own elbow greese' are onto something!

    ciao bella
    thanks for sharing this thought provoking post!

    creative carmelina

  10. so sad but thank you for posting. awareness and reminders always need to be.
    we all need to make changes and do our can make a difference

  11. Oh God, it's so depressing, isn't it? That genie has certainly come out of it's bottle this time. Black Bile.

  12. Well said, Chania. It's easy to forget that lifestyle can obliterate reality.

  13. Chania, thanks for sharing this post with us. Sometimes a call to reality is in order. The posts about "pink and fluff" have value in the escapism and creative expression they offer, but here is a crisis that cannot be overlooked. As mentioned previously, we are all guilty by association in the western world. I try to do all my purchasing and consuming of resources mindfully to help me stay conscious of the choices I make and how their impact spreads throughout the rest of the globe. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problem. Speaking out helps. Well done, my friend!

  14. amen!!!

    ps-thank you for stopping by my blog & leaving such a kind note

  15. Just saw this post... and I think I am you! I couldn't imagine not cooking on my gas stove, it would be so sad and awful. But so many things have been created with the low economical costs of oil. But the cost of oil is shown with this devastation, had they been able to cap this mistake immediately no one would be talking about a slight spill... but this hasn't ended, beaches are becoming non-usable, tourism, livelyhood and most of all life (animal life-- food sources, water sources) If we could all swim deep and cover that whole all on our own.

  16. Hi chania,
    wow, I am new to your blog and it is so refreshing to see a post like this; it is reality unfortunately. Maybe your post will help us to all contribute, if even a little bit to helping this problem.
    laura curriexx

  17. Hi - found your blog via oldgreymare.

    There's an American Indian proverb that goes:
    "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
    we borrow it from our children".

    We do have the power to change things - one day at a time by taking a good hard look at how we are living now and what we can change to live a better life. My husband & I are doing this now, living small, off-grid, with "enough" instead of "more than we need".

    Kudos to you for bringing positive ideas forward!!!

  18. Chania,
    All I can say is torture to see this happening, and heart breaking to see the harm to the wild life.
    I fear the seafood chain now and all the toxins.
    I care for the planet and agree with the other bloggers who buy low voc's it is a beautiful thing to care for our earth and our health living toxic free if all possible.

    Thank you for this post!
    your a good person Chania.

  19. I too feel saddened by what has happened in the house, my home is only a few miles away from the water. But I have faith in mankind to not only fix the leak but clean up after the accident. If we could put a man on the moon, we have the ability to make things right.

  20. Well said Chania!!!Neil and I have made drastic changes in our home so we don't have to use oil. Insulating and alternate heating that is safer to the environment. We live smaller and are using our vehicle less. We ride our bikes and walk. There are simple things we can all do to lower the impact and footprint on this earth. This situation is frightening and will not be over soon. Susan :)


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania