Monday, July 7, 2008

IT'S NOT EASY BEING GREEN

I hang my head in shame and admit to you that my family is not very good at saving the environment. At home, we don't have a bin to recycle cans....or newspaper.....or plastic. It is one of those things that I know I should do, but just don't. I could use the argument that we have space limitations, which is true, and I could also say that we don't recycle because our town doesn't pick up recyclable materials - which is also true. But the truth of the matter is probably more likely that we're just lazy. Wow. That kind of stings to have to write that down. I know, I know....shame, shame, shame on me.

I kinda/sorta recycle at work....though it's almost disgraceful to admit. I work in a downtown area where we have a lot of street people. At least a few times every day, a street person goes through the garbage bags in our dumpster, looking for aluminum cans. So in a way, I am recycling. Right? Right???

As an educated individual, I know that I should recycle. I know that it makes for a healthier world, as well as cuts down on the amount of waste in our landfills, and the number of pollutants in our environment. While looking up some information about recycling online this morning, I found a fact that really surprised me: Recycling just one can saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for 3½ hours. It also said that is easier and cheaper to make cans from recycled ones - - the article I read said that twenty recycled cans are able to be made with the energy needed to produce just one can using virgin ore.

But before you gather an angry mob to come after me (using torches replete with recycled materials, of course), please know that Chris and I are actually doing one thing to save some of this world's natural resources. Nearly every day for the past several months, we have been carpooling to work. Now, we aren't able to do it every day, but most days, we are able to make the thirty mile roundtrip commute together. In keeping with the honest tone of this entry though, I have to admit that saving some natural resources each day was somewhat of a secondary consideration/side benefit from our decision to carpool it. We were indeed thinking green when we decided to ride together each day - - just a little more of the variety that comes in bill form. In short, our main impetus had to do with saving some money. What we have found is that when we are able to ride together most every day, we save about $50 a week on gas. Hoo-ray - - a win/win for us and the environment!

But of course, I am far, far, far from being the Green Queen of Macon County. I need to do more. I recognize that - and I'll work on it, I promise. I highly doubt I will ever become a tree-hugging zealot, but I will, at the very least, purchase a few garbage cans for the garage whose sole purpose it will be to hold paper and aluminum cans. Al Gore would be so proud.

4 comments:

papadale said...

Aleita was very taken with the idea of crushing pop cans when she recently stayed with us, as a matter of fact, more than once she asked if we wanted a can of pop so she could smash it for us. all you need is a crusher and a bin to throw the flats in, she'll do the rest. Bottled water is probably the biggest GREEN enemy out there, and, when I'm at a job site, I'm one of the worst offenders, tell Al G. I'm sorry, and I'll try to do better.

Julianne said...

Baby steps, sister Baby steps.

I find that buying super cute recycling bins is helpful. Try Target. Plus, I have the whole liberal guilt thing going for me. You need to get you some of that Becky. It really helps with the whole "saving the earth" thing.

Julianne said...

Geez. Could I sound like more of a Valley Girl in my comment.

Like, seriously?

Anonymous said...

for J. like wow, that is so cool, for Becky, it's ok to be Liberal, just don't tell your Daddy!!