By tinychoices | December 7, 2007
Vital statistics (name, age, location, link to website/blog)?
Mickey Z., 47, Astoria, NY
How do you reside (apartment or house, roommates)? Are your housing decisions dictated by choice or necessity? Please explain.
I live—by choice—with my wife Michele in a rent-stabilized one bedroom apartment, third floor walk-up in an 80-year-old building. The price and size are right, the building and neighbors are ideal, and, hey, it’s located in The People’s Republic of Astoria. What more do I need?
How do you travel (transit, car, etc)?Are your travel decisions dictated by choice or necessity? Please explain.
I walk locally, take the subway when I go to Manhattan, and have been known to ride a bus on occasion. Also, Michele has a car she uses for work and travel and I drive it every now and then.
Tell us about a Tiny Choice you’ve made in your life.
I feel I’ve made hundreds of tiny choices I could discuss but perhaps this one is most provocative: I have more than my share of the requisite skills needed to succeed—big time—in the rapacious corporate world but I chose long ago to seek a more humane, meaningful, and socially conscious path. It’s my tiny way of not fully contributing to the pervasive and planet-damaging commodity culture.
What is the one environmental dilemma you personally struggle the most with?
Both of my parents are sick and they live in Texas. Thus, air travel has become a steady part of my life.
What is one Tiny Choice you can make in that direction?
What is the one environmental Tiny Choice you make that people question (in either a positive educational or a negative hassle way) you the most about?
I guess it would be veganism. You know: “So, where do you get your protein?”
What is the one environmental Tiny Choice you would like every single person to adopt?
I hope this doesn’t come across as overly negative but I strongly believe the time is long, long gone when tiny choices can be truly valuable in a big-picture sense. We must accept the likelihood that much of what we know and do is both wrong and counterproductive…and that’s a good thing if it compels us to get creative and consider previously unimaginable avenues and approaches. Clearly, the old strategies aren’t working. If we can’t entertain the possibility that we are often part of the problem, we’re no better than the systems we’re struggling against. Unfortunately, most activists seem mired in a very disturbing (read: comfortable) mode of conformity. That said, in the spirit of suggesting an initial tiny choice, I’d ask everyone to read both volumes of Derrick Jensen’s Endgame, spread the word, and then get busy with some major changes ASAP.
Do you feel like you make sacrifices for environmentalism? Please explain.
Sacrifice is in the eye of the beholder. No matter how diligently I work to keep my environmental footprint less shallow than most Americans/Westerners, I still live an obscenely privileged life…globally speaking.
Are you generally: optimistic, pessimistic, neutral about environmentalism and the future?
To call me pessimistic would be optimistic. As a species, we humans generally appear oblivious and/or indifferent to the ever-nearing point of no return.
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