Monday, May 2, 2011

Seven: A Twisted Green Story

Some people are green because they are kind, loving people. They see that they are small grains of sand in our global mandala---inestimable, yet mighty.

And then there are people like me. My green tendencies come from a selfish, self-serving place. I am green not because I nestle in the bosom of Mother Earth, but because it makes my life easier. In fact, my green tendencies link to the Seven Deadly Sins

Lust: Nothing is hotter than a man that cleans. Especially when he cleans with simple items that smell good----hot water and tea tree oil work well on countertops, and as a bonus, don't smell like ass.

I also love anything Mrs. Meyers makes or does.

So, the secret to hitting the sheets with me? Clean them first. Bom chicka wah wow! (No, Mrs. Meyers did not pay me for this.)

Gluttony: Food. I'm a fan. And local food is so much better than food shipped from afar. It just is.
 Last year, we participated in a CSA (Community Share Agriculture). Every other week (we shared with another family), we got a basket full of organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. 'Twas lovely. This year, we're electing to try our own garden, pick fruit at local farms, and visit the farmer's market.

My farmer's market has free wine tasting. This had everything to do with this decision.

If you are interested in looking for local food options, including CSAs, farmer's markets, and co-ops, visit

I must add that my brother-in-law just started beekeeping, so we will be getting honey from him as well. The laws of cuteness specify that I must post this picture of my son in a bee suit.

Greed: My genetic disposition as a German Lutheran makes me cheap as hell to begin with. Thankfully, being cheap means that I create less waste. I don't buy anything new. Especially toys. People are always unloading them, and they are usually in great condition. On more than one occasion, I have wrapped up other people's cast-offs and put them under our Christmas tree. The kids don't care. At all.

Visit your local thrift shop or consignment store. Check out or similar sites. No need to buy for the sake of buying. Really.

Plus, that's more money for important things, like pedicures. 

Sloth: Most of my green tendencies come from my sloth. A short list:

1) We compost because I don't like driving to the dump all the time. Or walking all the way over to the trash can to throw away my food scraps.

2) I wash everything in cold water because it's impossible for my kids to mess up doing the laundry that way.

3) I use rags and cloths for cleaning, wiping, and everything else instead of paper towels. That way, my kids can wash them for me and I don't have to schlep to the store as often to buy paper towels.

Wrath: Litter makes me angry because---seriously, people? We live minutes from the Chesapeake, in a lovely forest. Why throw your Hardee's leftovers out of your car? To keep from exploding in rage, I have my sons pick up litter for me when we go on walks. I even equip them with bags.

Envy: I am envious, at times, of the lovely homes of most all of my friends. We are still on our "starter home." I tell myself that by having only 1200 square feet to heat and/or cool, we are reducing our carbon footprint in that regard. Also? Less for my children to clean.
Get to work, kid.

Pride: I do get puffed up on my lazy, selfish greenness at times. I have been known to fish out recyclables from friends' trashcans during playdates, explaining that the items are "for crafts at my kid's school." Liar, Liar pants on fire.

So, in total disclosure, here remains my green bugaboo:

I love 'em. I do. Especially in cold and flu season, I adore a clean swipe, and the feeling of germs weeping under my mighty hand.

I thought about composting the wipes, but a wise friend asked, "Would you pour bleach into your garden?" Probably not.

So, I need to either spend the money on the fancy Method wipes or find another way. Suggestions? I come to you humbly, one sinner to another.

I must thank the lovely Erin Margolin for inspiring me to share my greenness. Really, I've learned so much from her. More importantly, she is lovely and I will do her bidding. Go check her out, because she has shared so many good ideas about the green life.


tulpen said...

I do most of the stuff you do, except for the composting. We used to... and I don't know why we stopped.

Our laziness recently inspired us to pay for trash pickup instead of hauling stuff to the dump.

We get two bins, one for trash, one for recyclables. ANYTHING recyclable goes in the recycle bin.

I've gone from a bag of trash a day, to TWO bags a week. Not bad for a family of four eh?

And if I composted? I wonder if I could get it down to one....

Ms.Wasteland said...

I would love to participate in a CSA but the closest one is more than an hour away.

The bee suit is adorable.

Kim said...

I could do better. I do buy mostly used, especially kids' toys and a lot of furniture. My husband is obsessed with food in a foodie sense so he saves us there - he buys all local if he can help it.

Farmer's market with wine tasting? Can you say heaven??

Ash said...

I'm with you on all of this. I blame guilt over driving an SUV. Seriously.

But it's paid for and I look hawt driving it and I plan on it being Oldest's first vehicle in 8 years. That counts as recycling, right? I figure gas will be about $12/gallon then, so he won't be able to afford to wander too far.

PS that's the cutest bee keeper ever.

Formerly known as Frau said...

I'm green with envy I wish I was a conscious as you and need to be. I love those wipes but makes sense I would never put bleach on my garden. Great post!

erin margolin said...

I am insaneley jealous of the bee keeper & suit! Also? confession: I use Clorox wipes, too. I try to use them sparingly, i.e. when someone's sick or raw meat juices have gotten on the counter, etc...otherwise I love my Mrs. Meyers' countertop spray. Which scent is your fave? I'm partial to Geranium. YUM!

KLZ said...

Your BIL just became a beekeeper? Damn, now I want a new BIL. How wasteful is THAT?

LB said...

See, and I haven't gone green for all the same reasons. It's just too expensive and too inconvenient. I suck. Thank God there are more people like you and Erin to take up the slack for blood suckers like me.

Ms. Moon said...

This is wonderful.
I wish I had an answer to your wipes question. Hmmmm. Let me think. Okay. Take a spray bottle and fill it with water and white vinegar. Spray whatever surface you would use wipes on and wipe down with one of your cloths or rags.
As a nurse I know that even if we sterilize something with bleach, it will become repopulated with bacteria within moments. So...what's the point?

formerlyonlyamovie said...

I am mostly as green and cheap as you are. One year we wrapped up a friend's hand-me-down 5 yr old XBox for my son, and it was the Best Gift Ever.
I clean with vinegar and baking soda or essential oils and water, but also keep the Target wipes around.(I also have also used the unholy Magic Eraser, which is probably the most- Ungreen item, ever.)
Love your list, and love your format.

Galit Breen said...

First of all, you're so not selfish. or lazy or any of that.

More like a genius. Yes, a genius.

Also? Disinfectant wipes- can't live without them either!

So there.


tsonodablog said...

In my quest to be cool like all you young people, I must draw the line at Clorox wipes. I have them. I can't understand what I ever did without them. I will continue to be ungreen or uncool or whatever....but my counter will be clean.

But I gotta big Green Hug for you my friend. Way to go!

Cat said...

This made me laugh so much! Love it. I'm hoping to join a CSA this year, we just moved and I don't know if there are any in our area (big city but in a draught)

earlybird said...

Great post! I'm glad to read you are training your kids so well. So many mums seem to have things the wrong way round and think that they should do things for their kids! :)

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

I try to be green, but I always feel like I am falling short. There is so much waste in our society. I'd like to see better programs for recycling esp. where I live. In our town they only accept #1 and #2 plastics at the recycling center. It makes me mad. But not mad enough to organize a campaign or something. I need to get motivated.