I juggle a lot of "stuff" in my life – projects, relationships, households, pets, clients, travel and much more. So when I added the "go green" thing to my life, it was just about the straw that pushed me over the edge. Almost.
Recycling, composting, re-using, re-purposing are all goals to which I aspire. I don’t always achieve them, however. I have to admit that I don’t always wash out plastic bags and reuse them, even though I know that 1) plastic in the landfill doesn’t disintegrate; 2) throwing away plastic is like throwing away precious crude oil and thus by extension wasting the dinosaur bones that so generously contributed that oil and 3) it takes only a minute to wash the bag and hang it up to dry.
The environment is something I’m fairly protective of….after all, I live in and depend on it.
But honestly, going eco-friendly isn’t easy for ADDivas like me. Until the "green thing" becomes a habit, it’s one more item on my To Do list – which I sometimes misplace or forget.
Some things I do already that are easy:
– When we built our house 15 years ago, I insisted on installing a composting sink. There’s a 6 x 8 inch hole that I can drop potato peelings and moldy strawberries into, then we take the bucket under the sink to the garden compost bin -usually when it gets good and smelly – yuck!
– I’ve carried around cloth bags for several years in the back of my car for groceries. I am moving them to the front seat because too often I forget to take them in with me. And I just realized that taking them into Lowe’s or Phydeaux or even Chik-Fil-A would be a smart idea. (don’t even get me STARTED on the young clerk who thought I was crazy for not taking her plastic bag…and then wadded it up and THREW IT AWAY!!!! I freaked, let me tell you!)
– I’ve grown my own organic veggies for years. I even teach organic veggie gardening, but it’s not always easy. When the beetles are devouring the grapes and the green beans are bitten and the squash has developed powdery mildew, I sometimes wish for the good old days when I was innocent of the damage pesticides do to the groundwater I drink (yes we have a well and septic system). I don’t do it. I sigh and make friends with those darned bugs — deer are another story, though!
– I know this is self serving, but I work from home so I don’t drive much at all. When I bought my 2002 car (OK, it’s an SUV but a small one and gets 20+ mpg right now) I put 25,000 miles on it the first year. Since I gave up my publishing and sales job, I drive only 8,000-10,000 miles each year.
– I save even more miles and precious fuel by trip chaining – making one big circle of errands at once instead of running back and forth several times a week … or day.
– I installed a high efficiency heat pump in the sunroom and the Enchanted Creative Cottage at GardenSpirit Guesthouse which makes my energy bills very happy.
– I’ve cut back on paper use – although during last summer’s drought we were advised to use paper products to protect the water levels. There’s a bit more water right now, but ground water levels are still under nourished so the threat of water shortages continued. Ironic, isn’t it, when the Midwest, where I’m from, is suffocating from too much rain?
– I canceled my subscription to all newspapers except the Sunday edition. And we recycle those religiously (get it…Sunday paper, religious? Insert groan here). Sometimes they go to the curb for pickup. Sometimes they go to the garden as mulch protection against weeds. It’s not as desirable these days to use newsprint because of the colored inks used by the presses. But some are soy based, which is much better for the environment.
Whew — I guess I am more "green" than I realized. But I still have a long long way to go to be even more self sufficient. I want to plant more veggie and perhaps go back to canning (if you only knew how much I detest canning….).
And I’ve had my eye on a Prius ever since they redesigned it a couple of years ago. But it’s just not financially feasible right now–I still owe a few thousand on my trusty SUV (I leased it first, then bought it) and it’s a good, solid car that should go 100,000+ without much trouble.
OK — your turn. How does going green impact YOUR ADD-ish life? Difficult? Easy? No big changes? I’d love to hear, as would the rest of our readers.
And we’ll continue this discussion in more posts – never fear. The Green ADDiva is here!