Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm not perfect.

I'm not sure what it is about the crunchy community, that everyone wants to be so good at everything eco-friendly.  Maybe it stems from the fact that a lot of people see it as an all-or-nothing thing?  I don't know.  In all reality though, it is such a continuum.  Even if you were to do one little thing differently, like recycle some of your cardboard, or try to turn the lights off in your room after you leave (which I am doing SO much better at, by the way!), you are making a difference.  I just sometimes am in awe of what we could do as a country and as a world if each person just did one little thing to reduce their footprint.  

But, as I said, I am not perfect.

There are tons of things that I do, that are not even remotely eco-friendly.  There are many that I am currently trying to work on, but there are some that I just can't get past, or don't want to get past, for whatever reason.  I figured I may as well put them out there, because not only does it make me feel better if I'm not trying to hide my few really-environmentally-bad habits behind the guise of being this crunchy mama, but also because maybe it will help people to see that we all can do something, even if we don't do everything right.

So, here goes.



1.  I am addicted to nail polish.  Yep, and not just the better-for-you healthy nail polishes, the bad stuff.  I have a small, okay, maybe not so small addiction to seeing sparkly glitter polish on my toes.  I don't know what it is, but if I get a little flash of glitter from my toes, it makes me feel all happy inside.  :)  Plus, I have ugly toes (well, are there such things as cute toes?  I'm not sure... but if there would be, mine would NOT be in the running!) and need to hide them as much as possible.  I did however, abstain almost completely from toe nail polish during little man's pregnancy, and now I try only to paint them once a month with this pregnancy, and I always take the polish and sit outside where there is a nice breeze and I'm not breathing all those chemicals in.


2.  I use plastic silverware at work.  I know, this one is really bad.  But here's the thing, I cannot deal with the smell of the silverware at work after it has been washed in the washing solution they use.  The silverware ends up smelling like dirty water, and every time I bring the fork with the food on it to my mouth I want to put it down and stop eating.  ( .... and I may have just come up with my next diet idea for after this baby is born!)  I need to just go to Target and buy some cheap silverware to take back and forth to work, so that I'm not constantly using the plastic silverware, but yuck, that smell....

3. I drive an SUV.  And actually, we just sold my smaller SUV to buy a bigger model with three rows of seats after the news of this pregnancy.  Logistically, we would have not been able to fit both DH and I, little man, new baby, our two dogs, and the luggage we would need for all 6 of us in my smaller SUV, which would have made it really difficult to even travel to my parent's home.  We would have had to put the dogs in the front seat with us, which I find to be dangerous and distracting to the driver, as they don't just sit still and constantly want to hop into the driver's lap.  The good thing about the new car is that it has really similar gas mileage to what we were getting before, and the gas will actually cost less because this car I can put regular fuel into, thank goodness.  Yes, we could have bought a van.  No, I'm not even going there.  I know some people love them.  I'll leave it at that :)

4. While I'm an open-up-the-windows-and-air-out-the-house kind of homeowner, DH is not.  He likes the a/c on at all times and likes it cold.  (Although I guess we somewhat make up for that in the winter because he also likes it freezing then, too)  I often-times will not argue the point and the air stays on.  This one, I have been working on, because I actually like getting some fresh air in the house.


5.  And last, but definitely not least, I'm a huge tree killer at work.  Because of my job as a speech pathologist, and the type of clients that I am seeing at my job (frequently those who are seen for initial assessments, given recommendations, and then not seen for continuing treatment), I print and distribute A TON of handouts.  I've tried making the print smaller, but then my older clients complained they couldn't read it.  I also do try to print double sided handouts when possible, but the bottom line is basically just that I kill tons of trees for my job.  

So there.   I've self-disclosed some of my worst habits.  

(Should I feel better yet?)

I guess I just have to try to rationalize those facts to myself.  I do cloth diaper my child.  I have breastfed for the last year and a half.  I recycle every item possible.  I buy used clothing, toys, and goods.  I support organic farming and organic businesses/products.  I use family cloth.  (Pretend you didn't hear that one and we'll talk about it later!) I used to carpool to my job with a coworker when it was a farther drive away.  I buy all healthy personal-care and home-care products that aren't spewing tons of chemicals into our planet when they are thrown into the trash dump.  

(I still don't quite feel better yet...)

Make me feel a little better here, people!  What is one thing you do that is really eco-friendly/earth-friendly and one thing that you do that is completely NOT eco-friendly?  


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6 comments:

  1. I always walk around the house and turn the lights off after my husband because he turns them on as he walks from room to room. My biggest pet peeve is when someone doesn't turn the water off while brushing their teeth. I personally believe it needs to be on to wet your brush and to wash your spit at the end.

    Unfortunately, my job in the teaching world requires a lot of paper also. I recycle what I can but a lot of stuff at work needs to be shredded because of confidentiality. I hope the school recycles it after it enters the shredder but I am not really sure what they do with it.

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  2. I use regular nail polish. I use regular dishwasher detergent. I use regular detergent.

    And here's the big one: we don't recycle peanut butter jars. We recycle and compost so much that our family of three sometimes doesn't even have one whole bag of trash per week. We give ourselves a pass on the peanut butter jars, because they're too much of a pain to clean.

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  3. I was just thinking about something similar this morning - I try to be pretty eco-friendly most of the time, but I fail often. I'm planning on cloth diapering, breastfeeding exclusively (first is due in Dec), we recycle everything we can...

    But, in the mornings when I drive to work, I use a solo cup to drink a smoothie out of for breakfast. I end up throwing it away, when I could just use a regular cup, bring it in to work and wash it, and then take it home. I can't leave it in my car all day because it attracts bugs, so for convenience sake I started using disposable. In the big scheme of things it's probably not that bad, but I feel bad about it anyway.

    BTW - hi! I've been lurking around for a few weeks but haven't come out and said hello yet!

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  4. PJ Mama- the peanut butter jars are only hard to wash if you don't have them licked clean first! Lol, our peanut butter jars are pretty much wiped clean by the time we're done, I LOVE my peanut butter :)

    Sara- Hey there! Glad to see you post!

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  5. Jayne-o, Ill do mine so you can feel better lol : ) However true these may be, take this as a spoof : ) Here goes: I rarely wash my car, which saves massive amounts of water and ocky chemicals on a weekly basis. It also saves on electricity, which helps preserve our natural resources by not having to run all those machines that would be washing my car. Also, I make every effort to wash one load of clothes a week, all smashed into the washer as best as I can, whites and darks together, which also saves on water, electricity, and harsh chemical detergents. I make it a point to support small businesses and never ever use a stove, microwave, or dishwasher by buying a sandwich daily for dinner, typically wrapped in recycled paper, and dont order anything to drink. I reuse my water bottles over and over. I take the napkins they give me with the sandwich and put them in my center console and use them as kleenex later. My worst non-eco friendly habit is that I smoke, but I reuse the empty packs as cute little miniature trash cans in my car. Plastic bags from the grocery store are like gold to me because I rarely grocery shop, so I use them over and over as lunch bags for work, and when they get too shoddy, they make fantastic bathroom trash bags. I also use them frequently for luggage, and have a large GNC bag that I use as a laundry hamper, which will never be thrown out, because it is exactly the perfect size for one oversized load of clothes. Hey, every little bit helps, right??? : ) Love you, Emma

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  6. LOL Emily! I'm guilty of the car offense too :( I don't wash it nearly as much as I should. And I'm jealous at the one load of laundry per week! I'd be lucky with 2-3 loads minimum, with all of our clothes, towels, sheets/blankets, and then adding the cloth diapers on top of that. I'd say you are certainly more eco friendly than I am on that one!

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