Wednesday, August 8, 2007

How Green Are You?

Don't freak out and skip this post! There is no lecture or chemically free soap box here. I just started wondering where the middle of the road is on the environmentally conscious highway. I watched an episode of Wife Swap that I had taped from Monday night. Kyle laughed through the whole thing and was still making jokes this morning. It seems one of the wives that traded places is VERY green. She lives in an eco-village. They do not use toilet paper and bottle their urine to pour over their garden. Yes, they eat the veggies. They dig through dumpsters for old food, as it is not ecologically responsible to throw food away, even rotten food.

So, back to my question. How green are you? I felt pretty green until I watched that, and I am sorry, but I will be buying toilet paper, and in bulk!!!
Some of the changes I have made were to switch to more chemically free cleaners. I really miss my Lysol smell, though I am getting use to Murphy's oil mixed with some drops of tea tree oil for a natural disinfectant. My window cleaner no longer reads "WITH AMMONIA-D" proudly displayed on the front of the bottle. I DO miss my Febreze since we got this puppy, and may have to break down and get a bottle. Just not the antimicrobial. I had no idea that these antimicrobial agents cause cancer!
Now lets talk paper. I stopped buying paper towels and paper napkins. Sweet Hubby had a fit!!! I did get some paper napkins for him but the rest of us continued to use cloth napkins and rags for eating and cleaning up respectively.


There are napkins on the counter and a stack in the towel drawer. I really like to use them. Sweet Hubby can not get rid of his love of paper products. Oh well. I am not going to put up a stink. Some people could say that the extra soap and water it takes to wash the cloth napkins is not good for the environment either. You really can't do everything right. We need to "live" in this world too. You will find rolls of paper towels in my home in the last few weeks also. Since puppy potty training requires clean up I am not willing to do with a cloth rag I am using paper towels! These are not displayed on a pretty paper towel holder as before. They are kept in a drawer so that little hands (and big ones) do not grab for them without thinking.

I think I am at least a light shade of green and do not walk in fear of my lifestyle harming the earth. Baby steps, right? What shade of green are you?

13 comments:

Su Bee said...

I'm the same as you - light green. I agree whole heartedly with the principals and try to eliminate as much as possible, but this is the 21st century and we have to live in it. BTW - foraging for food out of dumpsters makes me green, and not the way that woman intended! EEEwwwww!!!

Karolee said...

I'm probably a bit light green also. Love Toilet paper - and I use paper napkins and paper towels. I do, however, use real plates instead of paper plates. I bought a bunch of plastic ones at Target and we call them "Picnic plates". I also compost - but I would never spread my urine on my garden - yew!

Melzie said...

I'd say I'm a varigated green :) I am just of late becoming more consumer savvy but havent made a TON of changes yet. I am green tinted perhaps LOL.

That said, the OTHER lady the DOG lady OMGOSH have you EVER seen such a level of total RUDENESS? And she didnt change a bit. :( I felt sorry for her son. xoxo melzie

Libby said...

I don't know exactly where I fall on the color wheel. Paper towels and napkins are still in use here - toilet paper will never leave *s* I do use things like vinegar, baking soda, Murphy's Oil Soap for cleaning around the house. I bring my own bags to the grocery store each week. And I use the recycle bins provided by our city for paper, aluminum, plastic and green waste (yard clippings) I drive a 'gas guzzling' SUV, but I've had it for 14 years, kept it well maintained and certified bi-annually by our state to not be a polluter. My school of thought is that as long as I can safely drive it - it's not rusting and rotting away in a landfill. I would love to dry my clothes on a line - but my HOA is not green *s* Every little bit helps - I think we are all trying in our own way and that will be the greatest impact of all.

meggie said...

This was a good post Bren. We try to be environmentally coscious, & use as many recyclables as possible. And as many natural products. One of the best tips I have seen, & now use, is to use Pantyhose for cleaning! It really works for taps, sinks stainless steel, bathroom basins & baths. And you dont need cleaners to use with them, just the pantyhose! Of course they are synthetic too, but I think about all the chemical cleaners we dont need to use. And of course, good old baking soda & vinegar make wonderful deodorants & disinfectors.
Couldn't go without toilet paper though?
We can line dry laundry, so that is good.

Rose said...

I actually thought i was pretty green, until i read ur post. Paper napkins, paper towel, toilet paper and tissues r still in use in this house!!! But i use the cloth shopping bags and recycle a large amount of our rubbish and we have a great range of cleaners down here called "Green Earth"......so im guessing im a light green also!!! Thnx Bren that was very interesting!!!

Wendy said...

I'd say we are a few shades of green. I will never give up toilet paper and we do use paper towel and tissues. But we recycle glass, paper, card board, plastic, aluminum cans and yard clippings. We drive gas saving vehicles and walk to the store as much as possible.
Great post, makes you think more about going greener.

Kiva said...

I am pale green. :) We do use the Seventh Generation cleaners but I still have some of the other items in the house. We still have paper towels and we are not giving up toilet paper. I am trying to refashion my clothes and not consumer anymore. I have dumpster dived before but it is usually for some awesome thrift find defintely not food!

Debi said...

I am afraid that I am not very green, but we do eat only organic foods and pesticide/growth hormone free beef and chicken, no pork.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

There is a TV show on here called CarbonCops, and they go to a house and measure the amount of carbon emissions from the combined gas, electricity and cars. Shocking to watch. It has made me much more aware of turning off electrical items that aren't being used. We are also swapping over to energy efficient lightbulbs in Oz, and due to drought I am catching water in the shower that goes to waste. We are on strict water restrictions - no hoses at all. I still have all the 'stuff' but am much more aware about turning it off. You get used to it very quickly.

Yvonne said...

We do recycle as much as we can. I'm not gonna pee in the yard, give up my toilet paper or forage thru dumpsters for food....I think I may be purple :)

Jenny said...

Little by little I learn new greener habits. I think (hope) the next generation will be much smarter than us.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

We use loo rolls and kitchen rolls made from recycled paper. Our local council gives us special bins for glass & plastic bottles/ cans, garden refuse/cardboard and also paper. If you put something which should be recycled into the ordinary household waste bin, you can be fined up to £1,000.
I use Ecover products for laundry etc. I use lavender oil as a disinfectant. Not leaving tv's etc. on 'standby' saves quite a bit of electricity, we also use those energy saving lightbulbs. We dry washing on the line and I don't use fabric softener, ever. It is really bad for you. I could go on and on!