Thursday, May 8, 2008

"Green Green, It's Green They Say..."

Illustrations from Dinosaur Roar
by Paul and Henrietta Strickland

I'm not very green. In fact, I've turned brown. I use ziplocs by the dumpload, my newspapers are tossed in the trash, and I didn't even know about the HOV lane. A couple of green missionaries came to visit tonight and gave me a discussion. I think they're trying to convert me.

I was raised green. My mom used butter wrappers to grease the cookie sheets, and she washed paper cups. I dutifully brought home the wax paper from my sandwich so it could be used in my lunch box the next day. Though my thermos held the memory of yesterday's milk, my mother wouldn't waste extra money for a cardboard carton.

I don't know when I threw out the teachings of my childhood. I'm sure the diaper pail had something to do with it: disposables changed my life. I started contributing to the land fill problem with my sixth kid...interestingly, he's the green one! (Maybe he feels guilty.) He was the one who decided we should recycle our newspapers back in the day. Every few weeks he piled a huge stack from the garage into his truck and carted them to the special bin at the grocery store.

Our Mr. Green Jeans used to have a lawn care business, so he literally contributed to the greening of the neighborhood. He hauled loads and loads of debris to the dump. Maybe that's where he caught the vision.

Before he left tonight he washed out the baggie I'd used to store the bread; it's now hanging on the faucet to dry. As we all know, it's not easy being green. My examples wash and dry the plastic utensils after a family party; they've both bagged bottled water, and they can't let a piece of litter lie in peace. They even grow food. (I guess you can't sit on your thumbs when they're green!)

I don't know if I'm ready to change colors quite yet. Green seems so zesty and vibrant, while brown is relaxing and comfortable. It's just easy. But if I don't adapt with the times, I may become a dinosaur!

Have you converted yet? Do you have suggestions for changing colors gradually?


mary elizabeth said...

oh pete is so perfect for anna. she has always been the green one in our family, too! :D

Christie said...

You know, it's funny, I was just going to write about the "green" fellow in our family today. Great minds think alike!

My little green person recycles things I've already thrown in the trash. He can frequently be found digging through the kitchen garbage to find any hidden diet coke cans. It makes me feel bad, and most days I wish he'd stop. But he doesn't, and so I let him be.

P.S. He's totally writing a whole talk to give at the campout on going green. He's THRILLED!

Bev said...

one of the least painful (and most rewarding!) is to change all of your light bulbs to those compact floresant ones!!

they are a bit price-y (although not as much as they were a few years ago now that folks are starting to demand them), but they quickly pay for themselves in saved energy bills -- not to mention that they last a REALLY long time (I have one in my kitchen that's been going for over 5 years now).

try it!!

Ashlee said...

I have begun to use those special light bulbs too. Not because they are "green" but because I won't have to change them as often. :0) It's out of laziness. Brown is my favorite color. Maybe that's why I have such a hard time turning GREEN. It is a bright color isn't it?

Alicia said...

I live in Boulder, CO where recycling is pretty much a way of life. If your trash service offers recycling you can usually get a brochure which tells you what you can & cannot recycle. Most communities offer paper and comingled container recycling so all you really need are two bins to sort and the handy guide which tells you what you can throw in and what needs to be trashed. Good luck!

MissKris said...

I've been recycling stuff for years now, mainly because Portland's always been such a 'green' city and we've had recycle bins provided for each household forever, it seems. My newest venture into becoming more green is using cloth grocery bags that I keep handy in my truck and take into the grocery store with me now. I've also tried to be as organic as possible outside in my flowerbeds as well, using steer manure for fertilizer and any kind of 'green' solution for bugs and fungus. I also harvest Mason Bees. I want to be a good steward of my little corner of the world.

mama jo said...

have to say, i'm not green....maybe mom did to much for us....we just didn't 'get' it..