Monday, February 7, 2011

Shhh be very very quiet, I'm hunting wabbits!

I have been wearing only my left slipper for 3 days. It is not my intention to have "cold foot", but for the life of me I can't find the right one. So what does one do? Live with 10 chilly toes or 5? This seems like a "glass is half full" moment but I am funny, not deep.

Our recycling is taking over part of our basement. I don't think I have hauled it to the bins since Mr. LbF left for his camel back adventure. It just seems like soooo much work. I start to think about it and already feel sticky from sorting number 1 and 2's.. But if you know me you know I do my best to do my part. I even spoke about it at a ladies luncheon once. I thought maybe it was time to go back and re-read what I said that day as to light a fire under my own compostables! Here's what I said:

Good Afternoon OCSC and thank you so much Melissa for having me today. If you came here today to get expert environmental advice you should get your lunch to go! The working title of my speech today has been "Going Green is a pain in my ass".
Go ahead and bring up the subject of "going green" in a group and enviably someone in that group, usually me, is going to feel inadequate. This of course has nothing to do with anyone else but everything to do with my jewish quilt. I am going to go out in a limb here a little and assume that I am not the only guilty one. But why? Trust me! This is not a complete guilt trip for I already know the answer. It has everything to do with finding the issues that are most important to you and making changes so that it works in your household. Sounds easy right? Well then, to start with I am going to need someone to explain to me... what the hell is a carbon footprint? And why I need to worry about the size of mine?

Changing the world is not a new concept for me and neither is worrying about the things I have no control over. For instance... saving the whales... This worry was instilled in me early on as I watched my Mother crawl on the supermarket floor searching the shelf for the can of tuna with the "dolphin safe" symbol. I knew then, that it must be an important thing to do, for my Mom to go to such drastic measures.

I think of myself as a good person and some might think that that is enough. I am a person who really is trying to live "Green". As a matter of fact I know almost all of the words to Jack Johnson's Song Reduce Reuse Recycle! Through out the year I painstakingly separate all the packaging to be sorted in to the appropriate containers. I even have a giant bag of old batteries and cords that I will someday find the time to take to the hazard waste drop off point here on post. And still, with all my sincere efforts, that nagging feeling of guilt comes rushing back for past indescrepancy's, For example... cleaning out the fridge. Historicaly I have been known to trash whole containers of new life forms that have grown inside my tupperware. 3 full sets and countless pieces of glad-ware have made their way through my kitchen. In order to make it right with Mother Earth I buy recycled paper products. Specifically toilet paper. I figure if I have to wipe with TP made out of last months newspaper plus take the much needed extra step of brushing off the little paper kernels left behind on my nether region then Mother Earth and I are even.

I do admire many other people for the things that they are willing to do to live green. However I know myself well enough to know, some of these things I will never do regardless of my guilt or commitment.
Here are 3:
1. Make homemade paper
2. I will not use cloth diapers, I did concider one disposable type, until I saw that after you dumpthe diaper's contents in to the toilet you must then use the complementary swivel stick to stir said contents before flushing, Yeah...I was out right then.
3rd and last, Composting, can you see me trying to explain that to Army housing, "but you don't understand... I am trying to get right with Mother Earth"!

Now, I'd like to take a personal moment to speak with all of you about... the big "O"... ...Organic! We all want to feed our family's what is the best for them. So I have compiled a short list of the biggest offenders when it comes to pesticide residue. The first one is Milk, obviously because of the growth hormones and anti-biotics given to the unsuspecting cows. Also peanut butter and apples. In 2006 81% of peeled and washed potatoes were found to still contain pesticide. Strawberries, spinach and ketchup. In fact Organic ketchup was found to have 2X the antioxidants then regular. Going Organic with just 5 foods can have a huge influence on both your family's diet and health. One big Green question I have is... why do Organic, veggie fed free range, brown, chicken's eggs come in styrofoam containers?

Another part of the "green" life that has come to my attention is the snobbery that rears it's ugly head. And not always just from others but from me..and my friend Megan. She noticed and brought to my attention that a mutual neighbor of ours did not use her blue recycle container. So of course we jumped to the outragous conclusion that she did not recycle! And then, based solely on that we determined that we could not be friends with her!!!...It's ok though... she moved . It was a case of what I am now calling "Eco Profiling".
This in turn led me to the question, why are some folks so resistant to going green? If there are small changes that we can do with in our daily routines that will help save the whales why not get on board? One answer came to me while doing research for this speech. And may have also become clear to you as well..........It can be totally overwhelming! With all of the endless possibilities out there... it's hard to know where to start! So this is what I have done and I hope that it can inspire and help some of you as well. I made yet another one of my lists. This time, it is of what I am calling my green goals. Those things that I would like our family to commit to doing. We will chose 3 to start. When those goals become habits we will chose 3 more.

Here are my family's first three goals
1...Reduce the use of plastic by buying eco-friendly kitchen trash bags
2...Start using reusable shopping bags, so I don't have to lie to the strangers behind me saying I forgot mine again. Why do I think they care?
And 3...Continue to seek out and purchase products that are Fair Trade Certified. Fair trade of course means that the product was made by people receiving fair wages for the work it took to make the product. So that as Megan so elequintay pointed out, no one has to suffer so I can moisturize.

The most important ways to go Green so that it is not a pain in your ass depend on you, your household and your ability to take one extra step in your day. It can be as easy as drying your clothes on a line this summer, or to stop trashing hazardous waste. I think that Most importantly we can teach our children the importance of Reduce Reuse Recycle!

In conclusion I can happily confess that I have gotten so into Going Green that I am wearing Organic Hemp underpants right now! Get on board lady's this Green Train has left the station, and I'm not feeling guilty!!!



And for my 2nd conclusion, I will share that I am no longer buying the shredded cardboard on a roll to use as tp. It was brought to my attention by my oldest daughter Larry that it is ok that some things in this life are a luxury. We were at a friends house and she followed me into the bathroom to use it after me. As I stood at the sink washing my hands I caught her out of the corner of my eye carefully unrolling some tp. With out looking up at me she said "oh Mama, Ms. Deana has the softest toilet paper." She then folded a few squares up into a bundle and put them into her pocket saying "I am gonna save these for later."
I want my kids to learn the good lesson but we are blessed and if they want to wipe their butts on live white rabbits that is what my babies are gonna have!!