I'm going to be doing a couple posts today, on different subjects. I wanna keep them separate, because then I can link them in the sidebar easily. One will be the Vogue Knitting review, probably. If not today, then tomorrow. The other is some information about bast fibers, because I had a couple requests after yesterday's stuff and since it involves plants, I find the subject interesting.
As for the environmental rant yesterday, I didn't mean to come across as saying we should all say 'fuck it' and knit with anything and pollute all we want. Nor did I mean to come across as some kind of purist who lives on nuts and berries in the woods. It was due in part to my education with plants, and in part just because I'm frustrated by any type of situation where people say/think one thing and do another. (I know, that makes us human. Cut me some slack. I've got a sinus infection and quite dislike being human at the moment.)
I do all I can for sensible consumption, re-use, sustainability, and all that. I drive as little as possible, knit with fibers I think are earth-friendly (and bio-degradable), use dyes and mordants that are safe and break down into even more safe chemicals. It's stupid not to; the safe stuff is as affordable and easy to find, often moreso. I just don't think that all these 'green' fads are doing much, if anything, to save the environment. When governments are filling in lakes or draining them, radically altering coast lines, and encouraging the blasting of chemicals into the atmosphere, whether or not I use plastic grocery bags really doesn't mean jack shit. I hate to be a downer, but there it is.
Take a look at this:
That's the Aral Sea in Russia in 1973. Then people started diverting rivers for cropland, for power, for larger and larger cities and every damn thing. And now it looks like this:
Actually, that photo was taken in '04, so I'm sure it looks even worse now. But you get the idea. With crap like that going on, I seriously doubt the planet gives a shit what yarn I knit with.
This sort of thing isn't new, either. We've been filling in the Persian Gulf for twelve thousand years; all that irrigation has washed most of the topsoil down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers into the Gulf. The coastline has changed hugely. The island of Java has been terraformed so extensively by humans, for so long (mostly terraces on the mountains, for farming), that geologists aren't quite sure what the original form was.
And then there are things like this:
Dubai's building resorts in the shape of date palms with dredged soil in the Gulf. Each 'tree' is expected to house HALF A MILLION people. There are at least two of them that I know of. (They're visible on Google Earth.) At least in the stone age we altered the environment so we could EAT, not so we could have nice fancy resorts with lots of coastline for our oil-guzzling yachts.
So, I hate to be a downer, but until governments get involved, really involved, what I do or don't do has little to no impact on the environment. But I still won't bury car batteries in the back yard, I promise.