Filed under: Going Green
I've never claimed to be a consummate environmentalist, but I think our household does a pretty okay job of it.
- We've been switching over to the new low-energy light bulbs that are supposed to last forever but take five minutes to get bright enough to read by so you have to plan ahead.
- On trash day, our recycling pile is larger than our trash pile unless kids haven't cleaned their rooms in a while and their father takes care of the problem. (I prefer a Salvation Army/Goodwill deposit, myself.)
- We have a low-flow toilet. We'll likely get more but first we need to get some teenage boys out of this house because there are some things low flow is just not equipped to handle.
- We utilize public transportation, carpool, bike, and cut out as much unnecessary driving as we can while keeping our kids busy enough to keep from assassinating each other with all their free time.
- Our house is furnished in a style I call "Early Thrift Store, Kids Still Bent on Destruction" and most of their clothing came from garage sale finds and dumpster diving. (Okay, not really that last part, but that's what I tell them if they start getting too attached to any one item of clothing and over-wearing it to the point where it can stand up on it's own.
- We've started using aluminum water bottles instead of plastic ones which keeps waste out of the landfill and money out of college funds from the due to replacing lost bottles
- We compost, mulch and shun lawn chemicals preferring a year safe for kids and animals to one that is lush and green from being sprayed with something from a truck by a guy wearing a hazmat suit.
So it's deliciously ironic that the very year I recover from my Perfect Family Holiday Fantasy, my youngest child goes and turns all Al Gore on me.
A family drive to look at neighborhood light displays resulted in, "Wait a minute! We're just driving around WASTING GAS?! What about the polar bears?!" Passing by a festive Christmas tree lot brought on, "Those poor polar bears. I wonder how much electricity is being used to light up all these cut-down Christmas trees."
The daily influx of holiday greetings in the mail, the festive wrapping paper, and increased oven usage for baking seasonal goodies hasn't escaped notice either. It's sort of like living with a shorter version of Ebenezer Scrooge. Only instead of having his eyes opened to his miserly ways, my kid is Ebenezer Environmentalist who apparently believes polar bears live on gasoline and electricity and build huts out of pine trees and Christmas is just one big plot to destroy their furry little lives and we're all willing participants.
It's almost enough to drive a person to fill his little stocking with nothing but sustainable harvest nuts, locally grown berries, with a few decorative (and mulch-able!) twigs tossed in for good measure.