Earth Day: Dirtbags and Dirty Hippies

17 Apr

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Yosemite is full of dirtbags.

In most circles this word is derisive, but here you will often hear the word used with affection.  I may even go so far as to call it a term of endearment.

Urban Dictionary defines Dirtbag as:

A person who is committed to a given (usually extreme) lifestyle to the point of abandoning employment and other societal norms in order to pursue said lifestyle. Dirtbags can be distinguished from hippies by the fact that dirtbags have a specific reason for their living communaly and generally non-hygenically; dirtbags are seeking to spend all of their moments pursuing their lifestyle

Since I started hanging out with this crowd I have eaten food from dumpsters and compost bins, I have eaten dairy and meat products that weren’t refrigerated for a few days, and leftover food from random strangers (which we affectionately call “road kill.”) Hell, I have even eaten actual road kill.

I’ve also gone from showering almost everyday to showering two or three times a week.  I have gone from washing my shirts every time I wear them to wearing most of them a few times before I toss them into the hamper (or the floor).

And guess what? I haven’t died or been cast out of society.

I realize that everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to hygiene and that my own is particularly roomy.  If the previous paragraphs made you want to run screaming from the room: I’m sorry, and you might want to stop reading now. If you aren’t put off by the “ick” factor: Read on, your steadfastness can be an advantage and help you live a greener lifestyle:

Shower less: If The New York Times suggests that I’m not the only one choosing to shower less often than it must be a legit thing. The precious amount of time you save skipping the morning shower could go to other world-saving activities, like sleeping.

Wash your clothes less: Laundry hogs a lot of water and energy, not to mention time. Reducing the number of trips your clothes go through the wash cycle will save resources and make your clothes last longer. It’s always helpful to have a caring roommate who isn’t afraid to tell you if you stink.

If it’s yellow, let it mellow: I was horrified by the very idea of this water saving technique until I moved into a community where it was a common practice. I got used to it within a week, and I still practice it in my home.

Use alternative menstrual products: After years of guiltily going through box after box of tampons I finally started using a Diva Cup about a year ago. I did have a difficult time using it at first. (Dear Period, Why do you always show up when I’m backpacking?) Now that I’ve gotten used to it I love it. I am also intrigued by Glad Rags.

My poor mother is mortified after reading this post, but I’m not sorry I wrote it. Love you Mom!

~Robin

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2 Responses to “Earth Day: Dirtbags and Dirty Hippies”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Earth Day: For the Busy Schedule | Without a Map - April 23, 2013

    […] do your laundry or dishes and use cold water whenever possible to save energy. Hey, wouldn’t doing laundry less also save you […]

  2. Earth Day: All In One Place | Without a Map - August 27, 2014

    […] Kitchen April 15, Earth Day: Going Green to Save Green April 16, Earth Day: Green Smarts April 17, Earth Day: Dirtbags and Dirty Hippies April 18, Earth Day: Green Crafting Roundup April 19, Earth Day: 15 Ways to Celebrate April 20, […]

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