Friday, January 18, 2008

Greener Than Thou

Image_previewMy friend A. recently asked me if I get annoyed with people playing "greener than thou." She was specifically referring to old friends of hers who are having solar panels installed. Despite driving SUVs and living in the city, in a house twice the square footage of hers, they thought they'd educate her about the benefits of their 30K improvement.

There is so much more we could be doing, that we want to do...eventually, that I'd never be tempted to engage in such a competition. Still, maybe it is a good sign. If people are silly enough to be competitive over their green habits, at least they are making efforts to help the planet.

There are things I feel good about, and things I feel bad about in terms of our impact.

The good: Living where we do, I normally fill my gas tank once a month. Outside of winter, we can walk to most places. Our water comes from the surrounding mountains instead of the Colorado river (alleluia!), we grow veggies in our garden using a drip system, and conserve water with a xeriscape garden out front, we can buy locally-raised meat at the butcher shop (thank you 4H!). We recycle what we can here and take the rest with us to Colorado once a month or so.

Thanks to Bri, most of our light bulbs have been switched out to compact fluorescents. I have to give him all the credit for training the boys--and me--to turn off lights. I remember him walking me home from a date and looking up disapprovingly at the light still on in my empty apartment.

He also gets points (man, I hope he doesn't read this) for encouraging me to wear a sweater instead of turning up the thermostat. 

The bad: we don't compost, at least not yet. And we're about to buy a mini-van.

The ugly: disposable diapers *sigh*

Aidan wore cloth diapers for the first six months. With Sean, I didn't even try.

On a more positive note, one of my favorite green purchases this year:

Cherriesetc Aidan's bento lunch box, I love it:-) Definitely more expensive than a lead-containing Spiderman box, but with all the ziplocks we've saved, I think it has or will pay for itself. And there is just something more appetizing about opening your lunch box and seeing your food, compared to pulling it out from a sack. The little compartments also encourage me to provide him with smaller servings and more variety. Aidan loves it. At the beginning of the year, he wanted to have a hot lunch (via the school cafeteria), but after trying that twice, he now only wants his lunch box.

Ours came with an insulated case, ice pack, and waterbottle.

I have to say I am SO proud of my little man for not losing any of it (so far!). 

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