Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where there's smoke...

I went into town to go mail some Paperback Swap books, and, on my drive back, noticed a huge plume of smoke ahead. I worried at first, wondering if it could be coming from my neighborhood. But as I came closer, I saw that it was a pile of recently felled pine trees, burning away. There were dozens more piles - a huge swath of woods had been rapidly cut down. A sign proclaimed that it was the site of the new "Evangeline Trace" subdivision.

My heart fell. If all these trees had to die, couldn't they at least be used for something? I had heard about "slash and burn" practices in the rainforest, but I was honestly ignorant that it happened so close to home.

And then I turned into the "Livingston Trace" subdivision, where I live.

I almost wrote "not really by choice" after "where I live" in the sentence above. Because, sure, this isn't where I would choose to live - my husband bought this house before we met. But that was just me trying to make an excuse for my part in this whole thing.

I'm vegan, we cart our recycling into Baton Rouge once a month, we compost, we use cloth diapers and napkins, I do Paperback Swap...but it all seems so insignificant when I'm forced to really see the kind of environmental destruction caused by my lifestyle. I'm sure there's so much more I'm still ignorant about.

Things I used to do, like walking or biking for work and errands, aren't even possible with this new suburban lifestyle. The roads are narrow, with no sidewalks and ditches along them which make it dangerous. Besides, there's nothing within walking distance.

I don't want to be a part of this, but I feel powerless.

1 comment:

  1. I totally understand how you feel! I live within driving distance of Manhattan, at the edge of Queens so to say, and although there are so many things around here, very few of them are to my taste. So i drive. I drive to Manhattan sometimes, other times to Long island. My car is old and it burns a lot of gas and I feel awful about polluting. I am going to visit a natural preserve,yet I drive to it! I am not near convenient public transportation, although there is pretty good public transportation in many parts of NYC.
    I lived in NOLA by the way for 1 year and loved it and really miss.