Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chartreuse? Pear? Pistachio?

We're pretty green, but pretty much everything we do is for another reason.

* We use a "reel" mower because Max doesn't want to deal with gasoline (I threatened that if he dies, the first thing I'm doing - assuming it's summer - is buying an electric mower)

* We drive one car because it's too expensive for 2 for our needs.

* We compost - again, Max liked the challenge and now it's a habit

* We don't use weed killer because I've found they just don't work on dandelions like pulling them out. Or any other weeds for that matter

* We don't drink bottled water because it's just too expensive considering it's basically tap water that someone else bottled (this was hard, since it's sooooo convenient - and actually got me drinking water regularly) Cost of bottled water (cheapest I've found): appx $0.1275/L; cost of tap water: $0.003111222/L. I could get 41 bottles of tap water for one bottle of the cheapest.

* We use reusable grocery bags... sometimes. We've got about a dozen of them, but if they make it to the car *I* usually forget them there & don't think about it until I'm at the checkout. My weaselly solution is that I give the plastic ones to my sister to reuse as dog-poo-bags (sorting out the ones with holes in them is up to her!)

* We've got a front-load machine, but only because less water saves $$
[have been planning to replace the toilet for years. Let's see: 7L - current 13L toilet - 6L "green" one - x 15 flushes/day x 365 x about 4 years we've been "meaning to" X $0.003111222/L = $477 wasted since we figured it would be a good idea. Can't recall the exact time; have never counted number of flushes; didn't account for leap year! Also didn't account for many times using the 3L flush which would make our 7L difference 10]

* I, um... drink wine from the box. Because there's um... much less... um... packaging.

* I bring stacks of (printed one side) paper home from work for the kids to draw on. THEN (depending on the artwork) it goes into the recycling. This is a cheap thing... Do you know how much art these kids produce?

On the other hand:

* I don't give a crap about watering my lawn & garden (i.e. I'll do it) - don't bother selecting low-water plants.

* I will usually drive if I can.

* I will usually turn up the heat if I can get away with it. Put on a sweater you say? Yes, I'll do that. And then I'll turn up the heat anyway.

* I live in urban sprawl. Yes, it is an "older" (beautiful) neighbourhood and the anti-sprawl crowd for some reason looks favourably on my 'hood. But the lot sizes are the same - and sometimes smaller - in what "they" generally consider to be the blight on our urban environment [the evil suburbia]. Also, because I have a back lane AND a sidewalk AND a front street (and grid is not the most efficient layout of pavement to reach every property), I consume more infrastructure than I'm generally given credit for. If we're talking density, I'm not in a particularly dense area. Screw 'em all. I like my neighbours, but not in my lap. Subject for another post? If I get around to it [ha!]

Anyone else a lazy shade of green?

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  1. don't let go of that toilet whatever you do! it's seriously worth it to only flush once!!!

  2. I wrote about this a month or so ago so it's a topic I relate to. I am getting greener and recently ponied up $2.97 for 3 reusable shopping bags and I keep them in my car (along with a resuable wine tote that holds 6 bottles - no I don't drink boxed wine) and I am actually remembering to bring them into the store with me so I am moving from chartreuse to pistachio.

    Of course, there's an assload of crap I do that's so not green but we won't discuss because I enjoy feeling virtuous.

  3. I ... um ... only borrow ideas from the best?

    I knew I either got the notion from you or AndreAnna! You can expect a post on gender divisions in our household in about a month's time... :-S (that was an ass-backward apology)

  4. my ways of being lazy green:

    -force my kids to eat leftovers to avoid throwing them out (i'm sure they will think that is practically child abuse when they are older). also, a good way to not have to cook supper.
    -recycle everything that can be recycled: hey, recycling is free, taking a load to the dump costs money
    -hang clothes on the clothesline in summer to dry
    -use freaking expensive energy efficient lightbulbs that last forever
    -my favorite: buying only exactly what we need at the grocery store. (less food that is unused and then thrown out = less in the landfill) yes, i am that effing lady in line in front of you watching the screen with an eagle eye to make sure the price of everything is exactly right and coupons (even the one i forgot was in my coupon purse until i got to the till and spent 5 minutes digging around until i didn't find it as you sigh and get huffy behind me) are all credited to the total, and making sure any and all mistakes are brought to the teller's immediate attention.
    -reusable grocery bags

    all of the above is to balance out the un-green things i do, like drive an SUV, use only disposible diapers, water my garden daily (and chase my kids around with the hose running for half an hour while watering the garden), and there is no effing way i will ever, ever give up my old million-gallon-per-flush toilet to get a low flow toilet. i refuse to even follow the "three pees before you flush" rule. ugh! gross.

    as for boxes of wine, i myself am in favor of any booze that comes with a handle in a box and cannot be broken should you get jackass drunk and accidentally drop it.

  5. As you know, I blogged last year about my list of green things I do. It topped 40 (I think) after you reminded me of a couple of things I'd forgotten that I actually do... so thanks! :)

    I've let the "green" posts on my blog kind of slide. I should really get back to it again. :)

  6. Yup - virtually lockstep with you on the green versus not-so-green. We recycle, but we don't compost. We use the push mower, and reusable grocery bags.

    But we run our washer and dishwasher enough to make a true greenie scream. And we drink bottled water.