Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm trying , Al Gore!

I have always considered myself environmentally conscientious. I have always hugged the trees. I recycle. I do not litter. I switch off the light when I leave a room. I turn the water off when I brush. I live by the credo: “in this land of sun and fun, we seldom flush for number one” (hi Julie!).

For most of my life, I’ve enjoyed the peace of mind that comes from living by earth-friendly rules whenever I can.

Or is it whenever I felt like it?

Whenever it was easy?


These days, living green has got to be more than a hobby. We’re in a pickle here, people! I am increasingly compelled to find ways to reduce my carbon footprint - I feel conspicuous and filled with shame when I use baggies or run the A/C.

My kids learn about the importance of conservation at school, and the blue recycle bin has always been a part of their lives. But is it too little, too late? Is the next generation naïve to hope for a recovered earth?

I want to do everything that I can to preserve the health of this environment that has been so relentlessly tortured since the dawn of industry. There are many, many things that I can do:

Look at my sassy water bottle! And the wrappers I use for lunchbox (or beach) wraps :

I’m in the market for some of these for my kids (hi Johanna!)

I want to wait just a few weeks for the solid tinted 12 ounce bottles to become available. These suckers are not cheap, and I think it will be helpful to be able to distinguish my girl’s from my boy’s

Look at my stylish collection of reusable grocery bags! If I forget them, I load my groceries back into the cart, even if I have to tackle and restrain the chagrined baggers at Vons

(an aside – why is it that with canvas bags, the baggers think they can put a cantaloupe on top of my organic vine ripened tomatoes? Why are they so hostile toward my bags? Why do they hate the earth so?!)

These are all good, useful household items. My family is on board and in agreement that we don’t need no stinkin bottled water from Costco, and our reusable items are cool and fit to be brought back home from school every day. We have not lost anything into the black hole yet.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. I have some toxic, deep seeded tendencies that I am having a hell of a time rehabilitating.

There is the small matter of my morning coffee. I’ve tried. I’ve purchased many, many commuter mugs, only to leave them on the floor of my car until the milk residue is chunky. After that, the coffee will never taste right. I use more than one of these every day:

Also pictured here are the dreaded paper towels. Oh, how I fear the thought of giving up my bounty select-a-size paper towels! They are so handy, so useful! And I’ll be damned if I’m going to clean out the gecko’s tank with reusable rags. (Guess who made that paper towel holder? Hi Dad!)

And then there are these evil contraptions:

Oh please, don’t make me waste my leftovers! Should I bring Tupperware to Oggi’s with me for the rest of my chopped salad?

Oh, and I should also 'fess up to the small matter of this:

Oh Al, I’m trying! But I’ve clearly got a long way to go.

Tell you what - I'll figure out the coffee and the baggies and the styrofoam take out boxes, and in return?? Could you help me figure out how to get my head (and my wallet) around this:





Anonymous said...

Ha! I love it! The godforsaken state of Connecticut has the highest average prices in the country. And I therefore never get in my car. Just gaze at in longingly as I bike past it........

Anonymous said...

I've been without paper towels for about a week (simply because I am so unorganized). It's killing me. I desperately miss them.

BTW, GoodHumans has some good ideas/links on their site: (Hi Mary Ann!)

Annemarie said...

It is hard! I try all the time, but dang! I think I might be better of I didn't want my grocery bags etc to be "cute". I'm with you on the gas though. I'm really frustrated by it.

JS said...

We should have been paying $4 per gallon for years, with the bulk of it going to taxes which should have been spent on research on alternatives to fossil fuels. Had we been doing so, our habits would have evolved well beyond where they are today. I hate $4+ gas as much as the next person. But we've willingly allowed ourselves to be led by gluttonous politicians. I'd say we've been complicit in their least I have been.

Anonymous said...

You might check out Trellis-Earth-Products on ebay. I think they might be a good alternative to your styrofoam habit.

Anonymous said...

Jacquie-my sentiments exactly. I am making the same strides, but it is not enough. My aunt and uncle go through one kitchen sized bag of trash every 10 days. They are amazing about reducing and reusing. I did buy reusable containers to send snack and water in everyday with the kids. It is the amount of trash we have that concerns me. Katerina offered to help me set-up a compost. That is my next step!