Crossing Ideological Lines on Pinterest

PolitiChicks.comOne person’s sustainability is another person’s prep.

While surveying Pinterest for ways to rid our tent of those nasty, pinching earwigs, I was struck by how this flat-earther’s pin feed was populated with results from mostly eco-friendly and green pinners. My Pinterest feed was crossing ideological lines! My earwig results comingled with tips on composting, photos of ‘His Creation’ and quotes by John Muir.

My earwig pin feed resulted in all kinds of nuggets outside the sphere of pest control. From survivalists, I learned to place a headlamp over a gallon of water to use as a night light. From naturalists, I learned to make my own deodorant from coconut oil, baking soda and arrowroot.   (Just be sure to label it so your husband doesn’t grab it thinking it’s vanilla pudding.)

I gained quite an education from both Sierra Club and outdoorsy-type boards. I came away looking at traditionally left-leaning environmental pages with a different perspective. The same Doritos that make for camp tacos can be used for fire starter. (Maybe the anti-GMO and non-trans fat proselytizers have a point. I should rethink what I put in my mouth.)

The outdoors, camping, sustainability and earth-friendliness are not all that dissimilar. One person’s recycling is another person’s conservation. One person’s off-gridding is another’s homesteading. One may be drawn to going green for the abstract appeal of the greater good. Some people are drawn to prepping because they live in tornado alley.

Some people embrace the organic lifestyle because they prefer not to put GMO-altered food inside their body. Others repurpose pickle jars to make strawberry preserves because the price of Smuckers has become cost prohibitive.

All reasons are viable. The catalyst for action lies in the pinner’s intent. Going green connotes environmental consciousness – a broad, expansive scope that invokes a responsibility to the planet. Whereas prepping connotes a narrow, to some, a reactionary scope -a prioritizing of family sustainability over the planet’s.

Being green and being prepared are essentially the same in function: self-reliance.

Though poles apart in ideology, evangelical environmentalists and so-called flat-earthers are similar in their pursuit of self-sufficiency. (Environmentalists happen to worship the planet, whereas the flat-earther’s scope of worship isn’t restricted to the circumference of the globe.)

Environmentalists strive to be free from corporations who make processed food, footprints and a profit. The prepared strive to be free from government. It is the appeal of self-reliance connects us.

There is something liberating about the smallest pursuit of self-sufficiency. Whether you grow your own herbs for culinary or medicinal purposes or rid earwigs with a tin full of vegetable oil rather than use harsh chemicals, confidence is restored through the work of your own hands.

In fact, Pinterest is one place where you can safely survey and pin green tips or preparedness ideas without running the risk of being inundated with hostilities for sharing your ideological proclivities.

The next time you seek a do-it-yourself project on Pinterest, you may be surprised by the sources of your resulting pin feed. You may be crossing ideological lines without knowing it; contributing to ideological cohesion while becoming more self-reliant and sustainable in the process. Who knew that Pinterest could be a unifying force?

Leslie Deinhammer

Illinois PolitiChick Leslie Anne Deinhammer, writer, chaplain and proud wife of a Marine Corps veteran, writes on topics of politics, human rights and faith. Follow her at @lesliedhammer on Twitter.

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