Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm sort of a light green, maybe sage

LOST was one of those "let's connect the dots" episodes, so there will sadly be no talk of Dharma or the Island today. Instead, I've decided to celebrate Earth Day a little late.

My mom is all about being green. She only buys free range chicken, she grows her own vegetables, buys all organic products, and she's trying to incorporate as many green elements into her new kitchen as possible. While I've followed suit and do my part to help out, there are just certain things I can't bring myself to do. Not because I'm lazy (ok, sometimes because I'm lazy) but mostly because I don't think that that little tiny act will make a difference. Like recycling a gum wrapper. Do people really do that? I use my gum wrapper to wrap the chewed gum before throwing it away. Because who wants wads of gum stuck to their garbage can? I thought I was being polite, but I'm apparently not recycling something that's totally recyclable. Who knew.

Here's a list of things we here at DSB try to do to help reduce our carbon footprint:
  • We buy Green Works cleaning products. All natural, no chemicals.
  • We have a compost pile. Every natural, organic from-the-earth piece of food we throw away goes into this pile: banana peels, eggshells, apple cores, peach pits, coffee grinds, onion peels, you name it. My mom then puts the decomposed soil into the following item on the list...
  • We have a vegetable garden. Every year my mom plants tomatoes, string beans, lettuce, herbs, zucchini, eggplants, and various other vegetables. Let's just say we eat a lot of salad and sauce during the summer.
  • We're putting LED lights in the new kitchen. I'm too lazy (see?) to look up statistics, but I heard they use something like 10% of the energy of a regular light bulb.
  • I ALWAYS turn off lights before I leave a room. My grandmother calls me the electricity Nazi. I tell her that's inappropriate, then yell at her in German to turn off the space heater.
  • We have reusable bags for grocery shopping. And I never take a plastic bag for an item I can carry out or put in my purse. Which is probably how I ended up with that mushed package of HoHo's at the bottom of my bag....
  • I try to bring utensils from home when packing a lunch.
  • I reuse water bottles like nobody's business.
  • We have a Britta.
  • We've started instituting a "yellow is mellow" rule. At least I have. And if you don't know what that is, I feel sort of uncomfortable explaining it in such a public forum. Thank god for Urban Dictionary.
And here's a list of things for which I'm probably going to Green hell:
  • I don't differentiate between bottle caps and bottles, colored glass and regular glass, colored paper and white. It all goes into the appropriate recycling bin and gets hauled to the curb twice a week. What happens to it after that is simply not up to me.
  • I throw recyclable stuff away if I feel it's too dirty to recycle. Like aluminum foil stuck to something cheesy or plastic wrap after it's been in the microwave. Can you recycle that? Or would they just throw it in the "regular garbage" at the recycling plant?
  • Sometimes I turn the A/C on in the summer just to drown out the street noise.
  • If and when I do have children, it's disposable diapers all the way. I don't want to even begin to think about how to wash a cloth diaper.
  • I turn on every light in the kitchen when I cook. I also salsa dance when I cook, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Sometimes when I'm hanging out in that room next to the kitchen that's about 20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, I turn the oven on to keep it warm. But hush on that one, Mom thinks I was heating up pizza and forgot to turn it off.
  • I often use multiple paper towels when a sponge or dishcloth would suffice. And that has nothing to do with being lazy and everything to do with wanting things clean and not spreading a germ-infested sponge around.
  • I would never, ever give up my car. Not even if I lived in Brooklyn down the block from a subway station. Not even if I lived in Manhattan. (Mostly because if I could ever afford to live in Manhattan, I could probably afford the extra $500 a month for a place to store it.) I don't care what anyone says, I NEED my car. Not every friend and family member I have lives within easy access of public transportation. And I travel to Long Island. A lot. In fact, every job I've ever had (in NY) was on Long Island. And what about groceries? And Ikea furniture? How would I get that stuff home if I didn't have a car? I won't have to worry about that though, because I will ALWAYS have a car. Preferably a hybrid, but a car nonetheless!
What about you? What dirty little secrets do you have when it comes to not being green? Do you throw away soda bottles? Do you drive a Hummer? Do you stage fake parties with loud music and Christmas lights so burglars don't know you're home alone?


red said...

Wow! You guys are good!

Real Simple had a What You Can and Cannot Recycle article a few months ago. If I remember correctly, you can't recycle stuff with food caked on it as it can ruin the machines or something.

Z-Man said...

That's very green of you. I also turn on all the lights when i cook.

when are you trading in the dsb-mobile for a jetsons-mobile (read:prius)

PS: Death of the Courtesy Wave is making a comeback! stay tuned.