It’s Not Easy Being Green

KermieI’m willing to adapt my lifestyle to do my part to help the planet. So far, I have the easy stuff locked down. I take public transportation, and unlike wasteful suburbanites, live in a relatively small space. Except for the travel, think I’m leaving a pretty small footprint. But there are some things that are just not so easy to align with this lifestyle I’m aspiring to.

DRIVING
I drive about 3,000 miles a year — mostly on the weekends. And when I drive, I drive an SUV. One that qualifies as a clunker. I’m talking about Curtis — you know every old car has to have a name! Curtis has been in the family for so long, that all of us have driven him at some point. Curtis is a gas guzzler which does little to help the global energy crisis. Yet, these exceptions to continue to justify keeping Curtis:
  • He’s not in a landfill taking up space!
  • He’s reused (I inherited him from my parents 6 years ago)!
  • He’s 14 and has 210K miles on him and is still going, so I’m being respectful to the elderly!
  • I only fill him up maybe 10 times a year!
  • He still passes the emissions test, so he can’t be that bad!

PLASTIC BAGS
I usually shop with reusable shopping bags, but have to get plastic bags sometimes to reuse for doggy duty. A friend suggested that I try using newspaper. She explained to just wait until your dog is settled in position and then slip the piece of newspaper under her. Once she finishes, fold the paper and you’re done!
Well I tried it a few times and little Miss Cupcake ain’t having it. First I have to wait for her to do that sniffing and circling thing. Then once she settles, I slip the paper under her and she jumps up like I would if there were a rat in the toilet. Then I have to wait for her to turn in circles again. Back to the plastic bag.

PLASTIC BOTTLES
I know it’s better to fill a container with tap water instead of buying water in bottles. I’ve tried to change. I don’t like the taste of NYC tap water, so I’ve bought filters and that Mio stuff that gives the water a fruity taste. I’ve bought refillable bottles to take to the gym, and sometimes I remember. But I still find myself taking plenty of plastic bottles down to the trash room each week.

CLEANING PRODUCTS
There  are natural cleaning agents which are better for our environment (and health) than the conventional chemical agents most use for cleaning, But damn if most of those don’t work.
  • Doesn’t work as you would expect: When I use a toilet bowl cleaner, it doesnt feel right unless I have that thick blue layer to scrub off. This environmentally-friendly stuff is like water. There’s no way this is cleaning something.
  • Confusing — You can’t easily tell from the bottles what they are intended to do.  The granite tile cleaner looked like furniture polish, apparently, and months ago the maid used it on my wooded desk. Months later, I still can’t get the oily residue off.
But some natural things do work: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are miracles!

DEODORANT

I gave two non-chemical deodorants a try. Both led to embarrassment. Back to Secret with all its chemicals that work.

PRODUCTS MADE OFFSHORE
I admit, pretty much none of my attire is made in America. Not on purpose, somehow  I don’t often pick up things that are made here. Since Italy seems to be the main culprit, perhaps I need to change my lifestyle to live there for a portion of the year. Doesn’t help that I don’t like Italian food though, but hey, I’m sure I can work something out.

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