Being an Eco-Geek
Monkey has been playing Deus Ex whenever he gets a spare moment on the PS3 . It’s a cool game to watch – enough storyline to keep an observer interested, with lots of strategy for him. He likes to be really stingy with his weapons, preferring to take out his opponants hand to hand (as he scores extra points and has weaponry ready for the big bosses at the end of every level). Monkey is overall, exceedingly stingy. That’s one of the things I love about him – he doesn’t waste resources, money, anything. Sure, he gripes about getting the newest electronic kit, but when it comes down to it, he’s fantastic at either finding the best deal, or getting it second or third hand.
We’re a stingy/eco/whatever family, overall. We’ve started composting now that we have a tiny garden patch of our own, and I am going nuts over it (in a good way). The little seeds we bought from the local nursery have become gorgeous plants that I am potting in largish pots, which will eventually go into the soil once it’s guaranteed there are no more frosts. Our composter looks like a Dalek, so THAT’S awesome, and is already halfway full with about a gazillion fruit and veg scraps (as I make 90% of baby’s food). I’m getting out waaaaay more, and getting my hands dirty. It’s wonderful to watch baby touch the plants and dig his fingers in the dirt (and only less wonderful when he tries to eat said dirt). Even if we fail miserably this first season, I’ll still consider it a win. And of course, we still cloth diaper the majority of the time, and hang laundry on the line versus the dryer. We’re the new geek – the Eco Geek.
So, how is this rather Luddite practice of reducing/reusing/recycling considered geeky? Like everything else, if you want to geek it out, you can. For instance:
Math geeks: Knowing the square footage of your plot of land/pots, and the root ball of your desired plant, solve for X (where X is the amount of plants can can thrive in the footage). Variables include soil needs and sun requirements.
Sewing geeks: Can you create a Con worthy costume using ONLY clothing you currently own but never wear? Bonus if you can source props from household items. Can you also make blankets from old tee shirts, receiving blankets for new baby geeks, or (super MotherEarth womyn geeks) your own menstrual pads?
Mechanical geeks: Using minimal purchases and empties from your bin, make an automated watering system for your plants.
Craft geeks: Can you, without purchasing anything, create all of next year’s holiday/birthday presents? Bonus points for making your own wrapping paper.
Drunk geeks: Duh. Make vodka/beer/hooch.
Apiology geeks: Can you create your own beehive and then collect the honey at the end of the season?
Chemistry geeks: Make the following eco-and money-friendly home cleaning products: Dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deoderant, window washing fluid, and body soap (and yes, you can quote Fight Club while you make the last one).
But, why do all of this when you can easily go to the store and purchase said things? Well, why do you dress up for SCA, or spend hours at a table rolling 20 sided die, or wait in line for the newest white and chrome gadget? Because you can. Because you find a challenge in it. (And in the case of the Apple store, because apparently you can’t manage a mouse with more than one button – OOOOH LINUX BASED BURN YO).
Yes, I know, there is no time in the day. Yes, we all move at the speed of light, blah blah blah. I thought it would be really hard to cloth diaper, and then I hit my stride, and it’s not. I thought it would be hard to compost. It’s not. I thought I’d never get to garden with a baby – I can. The point is, you can use your geeektastic skills outside of Second Life/behind your screen/away from the LARP, and still do great stuff.
Go Eco, Go Geek!