I was at Old Navy today purchasing some sandals. When the cashier started to put them in a bag I quickly stopped her and told her I didn’t need one. Would I be wearing them out of the store, she asked? No, I just didn’t need a bag I told her again, to which she excitedly replied, “Going green, you rock!”
Yes, I do rock.
And yes, that is just one of the small ways I’m trying to do my part and love the earth. For years and years and decades we’ve heard about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. This year I feel as though the three Rs are being overly commercialized (hello canvas totes, I saw a BCBG one at Dillards). Is going green trendy? And does it really matter as long as people are making small changes in their lives?
I mean no one needs excessive amounts of canvas totes. Stella McCartney came out with one that I really wanted, and TOMS was doing a tote where the proceeds went to give food to a hungry child. I wanted both, and probably the TOMS one was the better choice, but then I realized that I already had a canvas tote (a black one from the International Photography Center, c. 2004) that I used and that getting another one was a waste of money and production and everything else horrible. So don’t buy the BCBG tote is what I’m getting at, that’s so lame.
It’s not lame, I’m sorry, ‘cause if you really love BCBG then maybe you’ll use that tote for the next four years.
Anyway, tangent. I’m not at all about to say that I conserve energy and resources to the best of my ability, but I thought I might share the very few and little ways that I’m trying to do my part.
Energy Saving Bulbs
These little suckers are a bit pricier than Thomas Edison’s original version, but as the need comes to replace a bulb in the house we (my housemates and I) are opting for these. I would say 25% of our fixtures have the energy savers. We’re getting there. And our pocketbooks are in no rush to go out and replace ALL of them in one go. Little by little. Sidenote: Do not buy the cool bulbs as they will make your room feel like a hospital. I mean I saw cool on the label and I thought that's what I was going for, but no...
HEB (our local grocery store) has come out with reusable shopping bags and sells them for $.99. They hold a ton of stuff and we have about four under our sink. Now the thing is you have to remember to get one before you go to the store, but I’m getting better. I also try not to bag my produce in the clear baggies unless I have to. Now, I’m not going to lie, in order for this to be successful you usually have to bag your groceries yourself so everything fits and nothing is squashed.
I almost forgot this one. Two of my roommates decided that we would recycle. Fine. It’s not like I cared either way, I just needed to know which bin my “trash” was going into. Unfortunately the system was not yet worked out, and we had a very small box that was overflowing with “trash” that wasn’t getting taken to wherever it needed to go often enough (Confession: I might have thrown the recycling in the trash cans once or twice because I was sick of looking at the mess. Forgive me.). I had an extra laundry basket and donated it to the cause (It looks just like this, except red and with no dinosaur on it). I was all about house recycling as long as it was neatly contained. So yeah, this has been a really good recycling bin. It’s a bit stretchy so we can cram a lot in there (as long as all boxes are broken down) and it’s about the same size as the trash can we keep in the house. Now, we fill up at least one HUGE trash bin a week, sometimes two, which gets taken out to the curb, which gets taken to the dump. What we recycle would fill up ½ a trash bin or more, and that's every week. We’re so trashy. But yeah, it’s so easy. We each take turns taking it to the recycling center once a week. I honestly don’t even think about recycling until I find myself someplace else throwing something in the trash that I would usually put in the red bin (i.e., today at Starbucks when I had to trash my Grapefruit Izze bottle or at my parent’ house).
If you're in Waco, you can take your recyclables here . They're so friendly and amazing at the Cobbs Center, you don't even have to get out of your car.
I think that’s all I’m doing. I don’t know how green I am. I don’t think I’m anywhere near Kermit the Frog green or Screamin’ Green since I have an older car and I’m probably emitting crazy-dangerous stuff into the air, but I’d like to think I’m maybe Asparagus or Fern Green. These are actual Crayola colors.