Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's Not Easy Being "Green"!!!

***Edited to Add*** I saw on someone else's blog a great idea for recycling the plastic shopping bags...I can use them to put the disposable diapers in before I throw the diapers in the trash. LOL!! I think that goes against the idea, but I thought it was pretty funny.

Really, it's not (easy being green)!! In trying to keep up with what's "in", I've been thinking about what our family can do to be more "green". My family makes an awful lot of garbage. Since we have been in survival mode for the last 6 years, to say that we haven't placed 'saving the world' as a high priority is a bit of an understament.

I figured that we can start out with baby steps. I heard that disposable diapers have been outlawed in Vermont. We are sooooo not going there!! steps.

First of all, a few months ago, we finally got a recycling bin. How embarassing is that. When we bought our house, the old owners took the recycling bin with them and I never called to get a new one. Turns out, I can use an ordinary bin from Target...not like I don't have 30 of those in my basement! So, Step One ~ DONE!

Step 2, I decided that the boys and I would spend a day "goin' green" over spring break. I figured that if I got them involved, I would be more accountable and therefore, more successful. So, we all wore green shirts, I printed off "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" coloring pages, we colored them, we talked about what all of those words meant and how we what we could do in our lives to help the earth, blah, blah, blah. Yup, in one ear and out the other! That concluded my lesson on how we could save the earth....back to Webkinz and scooters. I really have no idea how people homeschool their kids, oh well, another topic for another day. Anyway, thank goodness real school stepped in with their Earth Day lessons. Since Earth Day, I have been reminded over and over again to recycle my milk containers, pop cans, waffle boxes and everything else. Yesterday, it was pointed out to me that Menards sells "Earth Day Lightbulbs". Which by the way, I already had at home(!!). And, my kids have actually been asking for the "paper with the writing on the back" rather than stealing my printer paper for their art projects. I love kindergarten!!! Maybe my family is not a lost cause after all!! It would be nice if kindergarten mentioned to turn off the water (all the way!) and to shut the lights off when leaving a room. Ironically, I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out where a strange sound was coming from tonight in my kitchen. It turned out to be the faucet that was not all of the way turned off in the boys' bathroom, directly over the kitchen. And, Jack left the bathroom today (a different time) without turning off the water AT ALL!! How does that happen?!?!? The water was running, full blast and he didn't even notice! Maybe we are a lost cause....Help Kindergarten!!!

My final baby-step attempt at "going green" is that I decided that I wanted to purchase some of those reusable shopping bags that I have been seeing more and more often. We go through TONS of those plastic bags and try to reuse them, but really collect more than we will ever use so a lot go in the trash. The reusable shopping bags look really convenient and of course great for the earth. So, I marched Charlie and I into Target to get some of those bags. I couldn't find them! So, I asked the guy, you know, the manager looking guy that works close to the registers and directs people. I told him that I was looking for the reusable red shopping bags that I had seen not long ago by the registers. He looked at me like I was from another planet...had no idea what I was talking about! He said something about them having bags like that around for the holidays? Huh, like Earth day? Nope, he meant like Christmas?!?! If this guy was that clueless, it makes me kind of wonder what the cashier would think when I handed her the bags for her to bag my groceries. Someone told me that the first time they used them, when they got home, they realized that the cashier bagged the groceries in the plastic bags and then put the plastic bags in the reusable bags. Ummmm, I guess that I am not the only one that is not "green". Since I decided to revisit the issue tonight, I thought that I would check online for reusable bags. I found the cutest ones from Walmart. There is a picture below. Aren't they cute! Here is the problem...I HATE Walmart! If I have to go to Walmart to save the earth, the earth is in BIG trouble!! I'll have to think about it. Maybe Charlie and I will make a quick trip to Walmart to buy the cool bags to use them at Target. ;)

So, that is our plan to save the planet. Any other suggestions for us?? I'd be interested in hearing what other people are doing...besides wearing green shirts and typing in a green font. :)


Cathy said...

Very cool article Kelly... nicely done!! Those are cute bags from Wal-Mart but I would have to agree... shopping at Wal-Mart is a pain!! It's a great idea.. .the only problem I would have it that I don't carry these bags all the time. Plus... we need the plastic bags... we use them to toss out the cat litter! LOL!! If our cat learned to use the toliet.. it would be even better. Yes... turning off the water would help a lot... we have a leaking faucet that we need to fix... every drop can add up to gallons of wasted water! What else green?? We recycle the ashes from the fireplace we used all winter long. You can add these ashes to the soil for you summer plants... it's good for them. Palatine gave all the residents a new recycling can like your garbage cans with a lid and wheels but about half the size of yours... so we recycle as much as we can. WE have a TV show on our DVR that Winni taped and it all about going green... once we watch the show and if there's anything to share... I will add it to the blog! Thanks for thinking GREEN!

Elaine said...

Kelly - you inspire me. i just went on line to and order some. I really have been thinking about it. I think they will come in very handy. I plan on always keeping them in the car.

The water thing will come.

Another thing that might be fun for he boys is planting a tree.

Again - thanks for giving me that push to get those bags ordered.

Anonymous said...

I've bought the reusable bags from Target (I CAN'T stand Wal-Mart) and Jewel. Now, I just have to remember to use them! LOL We fact, I need to look into getting a bigger recycle bin. Great blog today (and everyday).


Kelly said...

Thanks Guys!

Elaine, maybe since I inspired you, I can forget about the whole thing. If you are recycling because of my blog, I guess that I am saving the earth without actually buying the bags myself. Let me know how you like them when they come....we still haven't made it up to Walmart. Nice to hear from you. :)

Mishelle said...

use the reusable bags from Jewel and IKEA. I never thought about the issue of using the throw away bags with diapers...that was my favorite method to contain smell!! We aren't so green here either. I could fill two of the huge containers every week and still have leftover trash! I'm with ya! Baby steps!

Tasha said...

Green has always been my favorite color, do you know how crazy I am about recycling?? But...It's my sister who is the Queen. If she catches you throwing away recyclables, watch out. She is so obsessive about it I have to tell you about a prank: at one of her parties without her ever noticing we filled her dishwasher with all the cans and bottles--we had a good laugh.Joking aside I am very proud of her and now proud of you too, every little counts. Kelly , ya know how I never throw anything away--well I figure my house is better than a landfill jkjk. I always save my newspapers , catalogs and junk mail and bring them to the giant recycle bins that our schools have ---check that out! I have been using the Jewel , Dominicks , Target bags since they first came out ----love them!Also if you do have plastic bags they do have a bin to put them in at the grocery store- I save those up too until I remember to bring them with. Leaving the reuasable bags in the carhelps , but I forget to bring them in sometimes , but i just buy more and I use them as bags when I go places too! Anyway GREEN IS GOOD thanks for joining!

Katie said...

LOL! Great minds think alike. I had been pondering the topic for about a week. I'm laughing we had the same topic - must be a left over from all that Earth Day stuff. Of course you can link me in!