Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green

One of my later decided on resolutions this year was to be more Green. Go Green! I guess I realized that I while I cared about the environment, my health and sustainable resources I was doing very little that actually helped. In fact, I was doing a lot of things that were hurting! I knew that there was no way I was going to be able to fix every Earth-bashing practice in my life in one day. Or even one week! The frog had it right, it isn't easy being green.
So I started slow. I know bleach and ammonia are bad for us and Mother Earth and her oceans but I simple can't afford to throw out all the Costco sized cleaners and spend five times their cost on Eco-friendly ones. Plus, if I already bought them, isn't the damage already done? Instead, I moved them outside to lessen their leaching directly into my home and to make it more inconvenient for me to use them. I hoped then, I would use my steamer and homemade cleaners more.
I started using cloth diapers again. I did this when Lily was little but then, during the water shortage (laundry was limited) I switched back to disposable. I had pegged this part of my green initiative to be the easiest. I already had all the stuff, I already knew how to do it, and this one SAVES money. Golden. All was golden for the first few weeks until Lily decided the extra bulk in the tooshie was cramping her style. Although she is only starting to put words together in sentences, perhaps the funniest one is "No panties Mama! No panties!". She CRIED when I tried to put them on her. She actually dug the disposables out of the closet and handed it to me. Smartie pants. Now at home she mostly goes diaper-less. This, needless to say, has been a step forward on the potty training front, and two steps backward on the lessening my use of toxic cleaners front.
Although I think organic fruits and veggies are a good idea (and I often buy them if I am already at the health food store so I don't have an extra trip), I am taking SMALL steps here. Finances dictate that I must choose my green battles wisely. So I chose dairy and meat because I think the hormones they pump into these babies cannot be good. I have been buying organic or natural dairy products since I became pregnant, plus I am not a big milk drinker so that was easy. Unfortunately you have to be Paris Hilton to afford natural or organic meat here. Instead I decided that a significant decrease in meat consumption would be our only choice. Anyone who has known me well enough to know my eating habits knows that this is actually not a stretch for me. I spent most of high school meat-less (thank you Upton Sinclair and Aspirin) and it wasn't until I was married that I really started eating meat (besides fish) regularly. Then, I found out that meat production uses a ton more natural resources to produce that farming. VINDICATION! I was back in the game!
My plans to give the planet a hug include:

Driving less
Gas here is closing in on $4.50 a gallon so this one has bonus features. I live only half a mile for the quaint Pukalani Superette ("Your Easy Does-It Store!") so when my knees are cooperative I can bike or walk there.
The down-side to this one is this means less beach days. Boo.

Buying Less
This is a double feature too. Obviously. This one is just to decrease packaging. You know, make things from scratch, weigh wants vs. needs etc. and of course, I got some of those re-usable shopping bags. . .now if I can only remember to take them into the store each time!

Get a Green thumb
I haven't done this one yet (unless you count the fifteen strawberry plants a neighbor dropped by) but I have big plans! BIIIIIG plans. Ironically I am a horrible gardener. I kill everything. Houseplants beware! I had an herb garden for a few weeks. . .dead. But I am determined. All I need is some seeds, some starts and some courage to ask my curmudgeonly landlord for some garden space. Any tips from those of you who grow are welcomed.

My Green Goals will comprise somewhat of a mini-series here on my blog. I am hoping that documenting my efforts will help me stick to it. I am a notorious quitter. Or maybe just a great idea person. Execution gets me every time. Any advice would be great. I am learning as I go and certainly need all the help I can get.


Mr. Sparticus said...

I planted a rock garden last week... but two of the rocks died!

I won't be much help with your gardening goals!!

Erin said...

Poor rock garden guy (is that Chris?) Kudo's to you...I would like to not have to drive as much, but when you move "out" of town - as if Enoch is really out of the way, though it really is - to get away from the city, (as if Cedar City was a real city), you end up driving a lot and ruining the country you moved to to get away from the city...vicious cycle.

Erin said...
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Angi Wood said...
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Angi Wood said...

You Go Green Girl! You are inspiring, I'm not even going to try and keep up.

My guess of the identity of the mysterious "Mr. Sparticus"?


Meg said...

Angi, you are correct. Jake, sorry to have outed you. Jake Matthews, that is, for all the Hensels who thought it was the "other Jake". JM was a best pal from HS. Still as silly as ever. Love it.

Claudia said...

Hey Megarella. Your efforts are commendable. I think about this stuff often, but I share your frustrations completely. I mean, I would totally have a hybrid car if I could afford one, or even a Smart Car if it were possible for Adam and I to fit in one. And I, too, have reusable bags--and they even give a small, 15-cent credit at Fred Meyer if you reuse plastic bags--but I always forget to bring them. And there's no way I can carpool to work when I am part time, and my schedule is different than everyone else's. Sigh. But I really do think about the state of the planet and that I should be doing more. I really do. I'm glad someone I know is trying. (that would be the cue for you to pat yourself on the back and take a bow!)

Malia said...

you are so cute...i have been loving catching up on your blogs here and there. and lucky for you! june 3rd relief society enrichment is on container gardening so no need dig up your landlord's yard....(unless you want to) :) i am right there with you on this choo choo train! way to go meg, hope i can keep up!