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Monday, June 14, 2010

Changing Colors

We were headed to the park the yesterday and needed drinks, since I left the little cooler on the kitchen table. Well, John started to pull into a random gas station. There is a collection of them at the end of our road. I just happened to look up and notice he was pulling into a BP station. After the horrific images we had just seen on the evening news.
"Not here", I said.
"Why?", he asked.
Why? Because I will not so much as purchase a piece of bubble gum from the company who cannot/ will not rectify what it has done to the Gulf region. I was just about to gear up to go into one of my infamous tirades when Evan covered it for me.
"Daddy, it isn't cool to not clean up your own mess!" There! My 8-year-old (well, almost 9) kid has it right. Apparenly he has learned a lesson that the BP people have not. I could ask why he doesn't apply that knowledge to his own room, but for now, I choose to focus on the fact that my dear boy has it right. He gets it.
So I have been thinking about that off and on today. Apparently Evan's school has done its part to teach these kids to be environmentally conscious. The other day, we ate something simple for lunch. I think it was hot dogs. Anyhow, I was about to toss Ev's paper plate in the trash when he snatched it from me. He wanted to use it for some type of craft. Of course I protested. I was grossed out that he wanted to keep a used paper plate when there are scads of them in the cabinet. I started to see his future appearance on the show Hoarders float in my mind.
"MOM! REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!", he shouted.
Ahhhhh. Okay.
But I think we can do more than save a dirty paper plate (ewwwww!).
Evan is right. Our family does not do enough for the planet on which we live. We blatantly waste our resources. About the only "green" thing I do is use those canvas grocery bags that they sell at the stores instead of the plastic ones. And I do that not becaue it is the responsible thing to do, but because they are handier and hold more. So...am I any better than BP? Can I really bitch about wildlife and dirty beaches when I am so wasteful? Our family produces at least 2 huge outdoor garbage cans full of trash each and every week, all of which gets buried at a landfill. We have a toilet that runs and runs and needs to be fixed, wasting water like crazy. I could go on and on.
So I am thinking my family needs to go more to the green side. I'm not talking about a huge, radical swing. But I really do think we can start making choices that are more environmentally sound. We could definitely start recycling more, for starters. I already have a fuel efficient car, but we could certainly combine trips more. We could start conserving our water more and choose to do business with companies who do more for the environment.
There are tons of subtle changes I can make in our home that could make a difference. And we wouldn't even feel a thing. Of course there are some creature comforts I will not surrender. I could not, for example, ever see myself using anything other than disposable diapers. But I can ensure that the ones I buy are biodegradeable. So I think this is going to be the family's new little project for this summer--going green.

1 comment:

  1. We are by no means totally green either - especially with the newborn. One of the things we do that we think saves a lot in terms of garbage is using a compost bin. We keep a pail in the kitchen and save all vegetable, fruit scraps as well as coffee and tea grinds. Once the pail is full we put it in the bin and eventually we have soil! I don't know how much room you have in your backyard but it also helps to get good sunlight to warm up the compost bin.