Friday, June 19, 2009

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner.

Crunchy Chicken made a post this morning that I can totally relate to (for the first time in a LONG time), and I have too much to say about the subject to put it in a comment on her blog.

I'm not AT ALL on the same wavelength wiith most of the online envirowackos I once read almost daily. Farmer's Daughter mentioned herself the reason why I stopped being interested in many of the environmental blogs. FOOD seems to consume everyone these days. Food's important to life and it IS something that we can do something about environmentally, but we're in our 60s and it's NOT a good idea for us to suck down pies or liquors made with entire CUPS or (as in one CC recipe) an entire POUND of sugar. Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise, people. Stop with the sugar!

I felt pretty good about the job I did self-catering my daughter's outdoor wedding reception from an envirowacko point of view. The wooden plates I'd ordered didn't arrive on time so the wedding planner suggested some black plastic numbers that I said, "Yes" to and absolutely hated once I'd seen them, but we did glass jars for drinks that people could take home with them, reusable serving dishes, etc. So, the crappy plates got sent to the dump and the napkins got burnt in the fire pit with the recyclers taking all the beer/liquor bottles, pop cans, etc. I put away all the plates today and Em made a slight stink about that, but I really want to get away from using paper plates.

I felt less good about the job a painter did painting our foyer and hallway with environmentally friendly paint. Em felt less good about that, as well, as it costs about $38/almost gallon - It's not a complete gallon, but comes in a plastic recyclable can which our recyclers threw back on the lawn. It also took FIVE gallons to cover white on white and we still need to touch up in some places that didn't cover AND it stunk for DAYS on end. It's advertised to have no CHEMICAL smell, and it didn't stink like chemicals, but it STILL stunk.

So, I'm not interested in painting anymore because I didn't want to lay down a toxic primer (as the painter suggested) so I could have the envirowacko paint as the top coat without laying out billions of dollars to paint. The most environmentally friendly thing I can do is not paint at all and that works for me right now.

Plastic and aerosol use still drives me nuts. After switching to home-made lemonade, iced tea, and frozen pomegranate juice for Em, he spotted a sale on 2 liter Minute Maid and stocked up. [sigh] I just finished the LAST can of spray starch and won't buy any more. You may also notice small candles and books of matches in our bathrooms as I wean Em from the aerosol sprays.

Haven't bought ANY new clothing in years, actually PREFERRING the options at our local Thrifttown, AND I prefer the "look" of cotton, so I need to iron my clothes. Frugal Living showed me how I can make my own spray starch (not wanting to go back to the soaking the clothes in starch of my ancestors) AND a pseudo bleach.

So, in many ways I'm getting MORE environmentally friendly (and even MORE enviroWACKO), but in other areas I blindly accept that Kroger's frozen vegetables in plastic bags are more healthful to me than the dishes that Abby, Chile, or Crunchy make from scratch.


Olivia said...

Interesting post and I can completely relate. I was a hippie back-to-the-lander back in the day and was young enough and naive enough to think that we were in the forefront of environmentalism and the rest of the world would soon climb on board and copy our sustainable and eco-friendly ways. It obviously did not happen. I seems to me, as well, that the new 'green' is just an excuse for more consumerism as people scramble to replace their 'non-ecological' items with 'ecological' ones. More buy, buy, buy. I guess as we get older we realise that things are just not as simple as we would like to think they are and this old world just continues to go round and round and round. We are here for such a brief time and if we could just learn to relax and enjoy life without wanting to consume it or browbeat everyone else into our own particular mindset - if we could see ourselves as visitors here who ought to treat everyone and everything else with respect - then perhaps we wouldn't get ourselves into such messes.

Oldnovice said...

if we could see ourselves as visitors here who ought to treat everyone and everything else with respect - then perhaps we wouldn't get ourselves into such messes.

I agree totally, Olivia. Good to see you here.