Green, Green, It’s Green They Say…

…on the far side of the hill

(sing along now!)

Green, green, I’m goin’ away to where…

Oh, never mind, it’s obvious I’ve lost anyone under the age of 45…

So, speaking of green…

As I mentioned in a post or two earlier this year, I do tend to get a bit anxious about landfills and water treatment and whatnot. I’m not a dyed in the (organic) wool greenie, but I do give a bit of an effort to reducing my carbon footprint.

This year, my “landfill anxiety” led me to explore the concept of composting. I am proud to say that, this past weekend, I fed my second precious wheelbarrow of compost to my flowerbeds. Ahhh…the satisfaction of watching all of those hunks of onion, coffee grounds (with filters), lettuce stems, shredded newspaper, torn up tomato plants and “whatnot” (lots of whatnot, in the perfect balance of green and brown) as they matured into dark, indistinguishable broken bits of “compost.”

That got me to thinking…if I could adopt ONE “green” habit a year, how much of a difference could I make? Well, I don’t know…but I think it’s kind of like the story of tossing the starfish back into the water…

One bright morning a boy rushed to get up and get out to the beach. There had
been a terrible storm the night before and he could just imagine all the
treasures which had washed ashore during the night. When the boy got to the
beach he was amazed to see the beach covered with thousands of starfish. They
had been washed way up onto the sand and were starting to dry out. The boy
knowing that they would die began to pick them up and throw them back into the
water. A man who was strolling on the beach watched the boy frantically rushing
to throw the starfish back into the ocean. The man approached the boy and said,
“You know you can never throw all of these starfish back into the ocean. There
are too many and they are already dying. Your throwing them back won’t make any
difference.” The little boy carrying another starfish in his hands, stopped and
looked into the man’s eye thoughtfully.. then tossing the starfish into the
waves he replied, “It makes a difference to that one!” and he rushed off to try
and save more of the dying starfish.

A few years ago, my green effort was my Brita pitcher. The thought of all of those cases and cases of plastic bottles going into the land fill made me cringe! I’ve been a Brita fan ever since; dutifully re-filling my one liter bottle from our Brita pitcher every morning before I go to work

Three years ago, my green effort was my reusable grocery bags; I have quite an assortment now. Besides the wonderful collection I received on my first Mother’s Day as a grandmother,  one of my favorites is the one I got from the Commisary booth at the Army Expo in Washington DC…I also like the ones we get from the wineries…they hold lots of canned goods as well as bottles of wine…

This past summer I also invested in two thermal reusable bags. And, I have ACTUALLY learned the fine art of returning my reusable bags to my car to have available for my next shopping trip!

Last year, I went a step further; it was my 3B Bags.

I found these handy mesh bags online; they are to be used in place of the plastic produce bags found on the roll in the produce aisle. You just pack these little babies along in your other reusable grocery bags, use them as you select your produce at the store, take them home, and then transfer your produce into these little guys…

These reusable bags are awesome for storing produce in your produce bins; they keep the produce fresher and, yes, they are washable and reusable!

So, these little practices of mine, my Brita filter, composting, reusable grocery and produce bags got me thinking of other little green steps I could take.

Recently, we had a “Plastic Round-Up” here in the Rogue Valley. You see, while there are many benefits to living in a smaller community, one of the downfalls is that we don’t have access to progressive recycling. Our curbside commingled recycling is somewhat limited. One of the most serious limitations is that most plastic is not recyclable. Do you know how much PLASTIC the average family uses on a daily or weekly basis? The “Plastic Round-up” had me researching just what IS acceptable (not very much), in terms of plastic, in our commingled bins and what IS NOT (a LOT).

Take a look at this; these are the plastic containers which cannot be recycled through our curbside commingled recycling. And this is only about a month’s worth!

And so, my next Green Effort is to recycle my plastic; tubs, zip lock baggies, dry cleaning plastic bags, wrappers from the newspaper, etc., etc., Look around! You’d be amazed at how much plastic your family goes through. Granted, I’m going to have to come up with a system for storing this plastic in between “Round Ups.”

And so, even though I might not be the Greenest Greenie in all of the land, at least I’ve planted a little seed of knowledge in my own brain; it makes me think twice before I toss that plastic tub into the garbage. And one thing about those little “nuggets of knowledge,’ once you “know it,” you “know it.” There’s no “un-learning.”

So, what’s your next green step?

Now, pardon me while I go look for a starfish that needs rescued.

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3 Responses to Green, Green, It’s Green They Say…

  1. Fae says:

    Next, you can start buying for the little ones, ‘Go Green’ toys. I just got the firetruck for little Camden. It’s a great size and it’s from all recycled plastic! It’s too bad that the recycling up there can’t do more plastic from the households. And it is truly amazing how much actual plastic passes through a common household these days. One great thing we have here in certain stores is a recycling bin to put all the plastic bags that tend to accumulate somehow even when we use our own bags to shop with! I keep them in a (naturally) plastic bag in the garage and when it gets full, I bring it with me to the grocery store, dropping it in the bin. Easy peasy.

  2. fannie1 says:

    Those toys from recycled plastic are the best, aren’t they? I got a dump truck for Cole Wadehra last year for his birthday…so sturdy! I knew his mommy would appreciate it as she is a REAL Greenie! And yes, we can take back the plastic bags that (as you said, even when you take your own) seem to accumulate; I have a special “bag” that Mandy made for me that holds these…but beyond that, it’s a sad state of affairs. Of course, you know what the answer is when we question our local waste disposal company about this; it’s not cost effective.

  3. Felia says:

    Fae told me that I needed to mention to you my worm bin. But I think your composting is a way better effort because the worms are kind of picky of what they eat, especially in the winter because it can start to smell, and although I love the Earth, I hate how it smells when She is breaking things down to its basic elements!

    I was seriously considering your reusable bags for produce, but now that we have the Basket Case delivering, I don’t really use that, which is great! Next year our plan is to turn the washing machine greywater into water for the garden.

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