The Dirty South. noun. \ˈdər-tē\ \ˈsau̇th\
1: Term of endearment for the southern portion of the United States.
2: Southern hip hop, a style of rap music.
3: Proper name describing the widespread resistance of the southern states to all things sustainable, green, organic, eco-friendly, and the like.
I’ve always had a tendency toward environmental sensitivity, however, those tendencies remained mostly in the neighborhood of theory. But over the past five years or so, I’ve been slowly translating them into practice. Almost daily, I arm myself with education by staying informed on ways to make myself and my environment a little healthier. This has led to the development of that most important of tools: Mindfulness. Mindfulness about what I put in my stomach, onto my skin, into my shopping cart, and down my sink drain. As a native Texan recently transplanted to Arkansas, I have firsthand experience feeling like an ideological outsider in the land of big oil, bigger trucks, Wal-Mart, fried food, and heavy hairspray. Don’t get me wrong–I love my home–but I hope for a time when people who speak up for a “green” lifestyle aren’t negatively labeled as tree huggers, bunny huggers, hippies, communists, bleeding-heart liberals, etc….A time when we’re no longer living South of Sustainable.