March 24, 2008

Going Green? Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett, also known as Lorna Barrett I want to go green--or at least greener. Just last week I decided that I couldn't stand to take home one more plastic grocery bag. Mind you, I have about a two dozen canvas bags--collected from writers conferences, garage sales, etc. You name it--I've got a canvas bag that'll fit it. (I've also got a closet FULL of those damn plastic bags, which are destined for my grocery store's plastic-bag-recycle bin.) The canvas bags have now been installed in my car so that the next time I go grocery shopping I won't need to bring home yet another petroleum-based plastic bag. One of my favorite TV shows is This Old House, not that I can wield a hammer with the likes of Tom Silva. I love it when they "build green." I like to see them sort the debris after demo, and take it to a recycling center, then see the products made with the recycled materials (like countertops, etc.). I have a hankering to hit Blockbuster to rent the "Living With Ed" series from HGTV. (I don't get HGTV--and for good reason. I would be a Zombie because I'd never leave the TV or sleep because it would be on 24/7--I even could watch the reruns over and over again.) I've had to make due with the little free videos on the website, and they have some good ideas. For years, I've wanted to compost. I first thought about it when our garbage disposal started gasping and choking with just one soggy piece of (formerly dry) cat food inside it. We replaced it, and, after we had our pipes reamed, I decided I wouldn't put much of anything down it. So I've been tossing the carrot and potato peelings, etc. Why? Hubby doesn't want to compost. Well, I've got a secret stash and I've decided I'm getting myself a small composter. It'll be up to me to take care of it, but keeping this stuff out of a landfill (and growing better veggies with the results) will be worth it. I've bought a bunch of "green light bulbs," but so far have only installed them in places where I'm not likely to read. (For some reason, fluorescent bulbs play havoc on my eyes. I used to have them removed over my desk wherever I worked at Kodak.) It's a start. I think I can take more "green" steps with my everyday life. Like investing in smart power strips. Turning off that light when I leave the room (although some people in this house don't feel the same way). I use baking soda instead of cleanser and other abrasive cleaners. I use vinegar a lot more as a cleaning product (and I also use it as a weed killer, too). I'm going to invest in some dishcloths so I can cut down on paper towels. I really don't like bugs on my veggies, but I think I like pesticides on them even less. I want to clean up my act when it comes to food, too. I don't trust all that high fructose corn syrup that seems to be in everything we eat. I want to cut down on all that processed stuff. Maybe this desire to go green is a byproduct of wanting to live a more simple life. Since I lost my day job, I found I don't need (or want) as much stuff. Don't get me wrong, I still have my collections and will probably add to them...but I don't have the burning desire to buy new or to have THE best. I still want things RIGHT NOW, but the things I do want aren't the same anymore. Anybody else feel the same way? If so, and you've got tips on going green that can be used in everyday life, please feel free to share them.

Lorraine Bartlett

Five women, five weekdays, many surprises.

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