Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Confessions of a Pale Green Environmentalist

  • I drive a gas-powered vehicle. My next car is likely to be gas-driven. I don't like it, but I don't think hybrids are the right answer. This hypothetical next car will get 17% better gas mileage than my current mini-van. I'm not sure why 17%, but I read somewhere that if everyone improved their gas mileage 17% something magical, mystical, and all together wonderful would happen. I forget what, but the number stuck with me, so I'm sticking with it. Honda Civics beat the mileage of a Prius, so that might be my choice. We'll see. Although I do like Honda CRV and Pilot. I seem to be fixated on Hondas. A new driver in the family will probably be the driving (hah!) force behind the acquisition of a new car. And Ben turns 15 in July, old enough to get his permit. No trepidation here, only dreams of liberation from half of my chauffeuring responsibilities, plus a little relief in the errand category.
  • I don't recycle as much as I could. They don't recycle glass in our town and there are some limits on the plastics. I could save these up and take them in to Springfield, but then that would be a trip in the car, gas, pollution, etc. I don't recycle the paper from my shredder. Having just discovered I can line my shredder with a plastic bag and save a bunch of mess and hassle (I'm a slow learner!), I'm not willing to dump it out into something recyclable. We do recycle far more than our neighbors, using three bins where every one else uses one. Or maybe we consume more.
  • I bring my own bags to the store and I never see anyone else doing this, but then I don't live in California, Massachusetts, Colorado, or Vermont, or any college town.
  • I belong to a CSA and get my organically grown veggies, meats, and eggs from them. I like them (the people and the products) and feel it is the right thing to do -- locally grown, support the local farmer, understand food production, eliminate the middle man and transportation costs, etc. I have also boiled caterpillars, eaten "lacy" vegetables, and I have learned to eat things I would never otherwise have tried. Have you ever had kohlrabi? How often do you eat turnips? What do you do with Daikon radish? And what are those mysterious greens?
  • Nearly all of the almost 200 light bulbs in my home are fluorescent, but I never unplug appliances unless I'm afraid an electric storm is going to blow them out.
  • I tend to buy organic goods at the store (flour, sugar, chicken broth, etc.) But, I also buy Eggos, frozen pizzas, Spaghetti-O's and highly fructosed breakfast cereals.
  • I can't bring myself to use raw milk. It's available, but I just can't get over childhood memories of milk-borne TB.
  • I use free-cycle to get rid of stuff I don't want. Or I have a garage sale, or I call the scrap metal folks. I am honestly trying to shed (and shred) stuff and the need for stuff -- to teach the kids to live more simply.
What else should I do? What do you do?

1 comment:

  1. Well, if you're pale green, I must be yellow! Probably the only thing I do religiously is recycle, but they make it easy here. My hat's off to you all, especially for your CSA involvement!