Thursday, September 10, 2009

Green Stuff! And My Take!

I'm a bit cynical about all this "going green" stuff.

I've noticed magazines have hopped on the wagon and have all sorts of suggestions for how we can be more "green". Some of them sound reasonable. For instance, it's a good idea to have a shopping bag that you can use over and over again. And to recycle as much as you can.

But look at these suggestions from a magazine I read this week. Some are downright whacky.

1) Toss empty makeup bottles and plastic compacts in with your kitchen recycling. (Wait a minute...on the average...that means I'll be recycling 3 plastic bottles a year. In a good year, 4. And my plastic compact...don't we keep them ForEver?? I really don't see how this is going to green up our environment! Instead of worrying about a handful of plastic bottles per year, how about something really, really big? How about getting rid of that super-difficult-to-open-plastic-packaging that manufacturer's consider sacred! I mean, why does a 50-cent item have to be secure in plastic that can only be opened with a radial arm saw? I mean, Really!)

2) Buy gallon or economy size bottles. (A gallon size bottle of dish detergent is no bargain. The smallest bottle on the shelf is generally the best buy per ounce. Pouring from the gallon into the small size is messy at best, and when I spill product I waste product. And get very, very grumpy. More than the "usual" grumpy!)

3) Purchase organic cotton balls to use with toner and nail polish remover. (Would you price organic, please! If you're really trying to green up the environment, one cotton ball at a time, how about using something else, such as rags cut from old t-shirts. Which I don't do, by the way. I generally donate my used clothing to Goodwill. But, hey, one t-shirt cut into 4-inch squares would remove lot of nail polish. You could choose the color to match the bathroom! I'm just sayin'! )

4) Don't buy new travel-size products: Refill your old ones before packing for a trip. (I tried that last trip...with toothpaste. Okay, now I'm kidding. I didn't do that. Although if one of you has tried it and it works, please let me know. Don't we ALL save and use those little shampoos we pick up at the hotel?? Or am I the only cheapo?)

5) This same mag suggested booking a non-stop flight when flying because the majority of fuel use and harmful emissions occurs during takeoff and landing. (You know, I would be really, really happy to do this...if the cost were equal. But that green non-stop flight costs a huge amount more in $$$ than a flight where there is at least one layover.)

I admit that I'm being a little nit-picky here. But this same magazine touts vacations to Timbucktu and beyond, all of which require tons of jet fuel. Maybe if we traveled a bit less, we'd save more green. Environmentally and cashwise.

And this same mag touts recipes whose ingredients must be imported from who knows where. My small-town grocery store is pretty green in that respect...these exotic long-distance items are generally not available. Hence I score really good on this one.

And I'm noticing that a LOT of the green suggestions are suggestions to buy THIS product and not THAT one. And THIS product generally costs three times THAT one. And generally it is product maker who is touting his own Green-ness and hoping to lessen the Green in my own pocketbook. I may not be too smart, but I recognize the difference between $10 and $30 long before I reach the cash register.

I have to buy plane tickets this week. Perhaps United or Northwest or Continental or Southwest will read this and put a half-price special on their non-stop flights. Now that would be really GREEN, for the environment and for my pocketbook, and I would buy in a minute. Anyone know the email address of the CEO's of these companies? If so, please forward this blogpost on to them.

P.S. You can read here about my favorite way to recycle. And here, too.


Debby said...

I love the one about the plastic packaging. Why? Why, why, why why WHY?

Daria said...

I so agree with your post.

My philosophy is that we just need to buy less ... consume less ... period. And that is very difficult to do.

Anastasia said...

Hi WhiteStone,

Thank you the comment you left on my blog, I just read it to my mom. :) My mom and I are living together right now and we get along very well most of time! Even last night we were kind of laughing even while we were arguing. I'm a little stressed/nervous about starting radiation, but I think that is probably normal enough. I like your blog, I went ahead and put it on my blog list on my page. I will be back to visit and see how you are doing! Much Love <3<3<3 and Take Care :)

Roxanne said...

Hahaha. I am laughing aloud at your examples. And you are so right on the organic. Our organuc fruits and vegetables are 3 times more expensive. Good luck on those plane tickets! Blessings to you:)

Sandy said...

You are so right. I think being "green" simply means consuming less and using your head.