Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It ain't easy being green.

We've started recycling again. We hadn't had trash service for 15 years until Grace came along and let me tell you...those diapers are indestructible. You can NOT burn them. They just pile up. Unfortunately we succumbed and they all piled up (along with all the rest of our trash) in the landfill because about a week after Grace was born I called Waste Management and signed up. Happily.

The past few months I've been toying with the idea of jumping back into recycling but they sure don't make it easy out here. There is a recycling center in Marshfield that takes aluminum, cans and #1 and #2 plastic. That's it. AND you have to take all the labels off your cans, lids off stuff etc. etc. etc. At the Lone Pine Center in Springfield, you just bring it all (sorted of course) and that's it pretty much. The pain with that is you have to drive the gas guzzling truck into town every month or so and drop it off. Overall I think it's probably worth it. We committed to it last week and this week we only had two bags for the trash service to pick up. About 1/2 to a third of what we usually have so I felt pretty good about that. We burn everything that will burn. I know that's not great but I think it's still better in the long run environmentally. We just got a new burn barrell and I can't wait to call and cancel the trash service. It was up to $25 a month now with a $9 surcharge for gas prices. You know what that means...more scrapbooking money :)

I'm trying to green us up in other ways too. You know how I like a project :) I've been using the reusable bags at Wal-Mart (the Evil Empire) and for groceries when I can remember to take them in the dang store! I just read a great article on this that described my dilemna to a T. Check it out and the great new website (sorry if you hate Martha Stewart cause it's one of hers) at http://www.marthastewart.com/article/eco-challenge-going-bagless?lnc=839a2798cf2ee010VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&rsc=taxonomylist_health_green-101
I'm trying to trade out some of the products we have been using for greener and healthier alternatives. Especially our personal care and cleaning products.

Here's my paradox: on the one hand I really do want to be green and healthy. On the other hand, I really like Quarter Pounders with cheese and french fries from McDonalds (the other Evil Empire) even though they probably aren't real meat, have fake cheese and are 21 points. (my total for the entire day). The problem is they are easy to eat in my car, quite tasty and cheap. Cheap pretty much means evil, fake and cancer causing. I'm surprised QP's don't have a Made In China label on them too.

I have issues for sure. But I make myself feel better about it all by trying. Is that okay? I don't know. Being green and healthy is expensive too and I'm generally a pretty thrifty shopper so that causes me other conflicts. Do I buy the giant bottle of bubble bath for $3 or the Burt's Bees for $6 (a fourth of the size)? One has twenty ingredients I can't pronounce and that have been linked to all kinds of nasty things. The other has mostly edible, organic and natural stuff in it. But $3!!!! That's the hard part. One of the managers of a health food store I stopped in said it this way, "You can pay for it now in better products or you can pay later with doctor bills." Good point. I already paid for a shot, pills and doctor visit after the Bath & Body Works lotion fiasco. I just don't know. I guess for now I'll just keep trying to remember to turn off the lights and take my canvas bags into the store. Baby steps and all.

2 comments:

  1. Every little step does count! I was just reading on the back of my dish deterg. (7th generation bought at Target) that if every house replaced its petroleum based dish liquid with a veg. based one we would save 81,000 barrels of oil a yr. Enough to heat/cool 4,600 homes a yr.
    Marshfield Recycle Center takes the before mentioned as well as all mixed paper, newspapers, cardboard (burnables I know), paper feed bags (from those chicks!), aluminum and steel cans. It is an adventure for us to find new things to add.

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  2. Good for you Lisa. I would like to be more green myself, since I have a degree in Wildlife Conservation and I work for the Department of Natural Resources and all. It is difficult though, and cost is a factor, believe me, I know cost is a factor. Maybe we can all encourage each other and give each other ideas that will baby step us in the right direction.

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