Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Garbage is Boring.

There, I've said it. Boring. B-O-R-I-N-G. We've been doing this challenge for less than a week, and I don't know what else to say about it. I'm tapped out.

We're still doing it, of course. Buying food with less packaging. Carefully recycling. Composting. Re-using. Blah, blah, blah. It makes a difference, and it is definitely an area where my family NI (needs improvement, in the jargon of kindergarten report cards)'s not sexy. And it's not fun to write about buying carrots that are tied together with a rubber band instead of a plastic bag.

I am finding myself thinking that this BORING factor is one of the biggest obstacles facing the environmental movement. We know we need to save power, save fuel, throw out less stuff, decrease our carbon emissions, and those are the really important things. But when I surf around looking at "green" blogs (and believe me, I read a lot of them, though I am aware that there are probably literally hundreds of thousands that I've never heard of), these things are rarely mentioned.

One of my pet peeves are "green" blogs that feature frequent giveaways. I am sure that these contests drive traffic to the blogs, but is that really green? Should environmentalists be looking for the next slightly-lower-impact-product (and figuring out ways to ship said product to a reader who is potentially thousands of miles away)? Or should the goal be to decrease consumption overall? Are eco-friendly clothing/books/toys/whatevers turned into garbage any less frequently than their less-green alternatives? Is the green product boom just a way for us to continue our consumerist mindset while feeling less guilty about it?

So...I've digressed from garbage. But I'm sure you'll forgive me. Garbage isn't any less boring to read about than it is to write about.

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I have created a "contest" within our own home. We keep a tally of how many compost bowls we take out during the week. We see how FULL we can fill our 4 recycle bins before the next pick up day, and we try to only take our garbage can to the curb every two weeks instead of every week. We have once gone 3 weeks between garbage pick ups. As for carrot rubber bands. We delight in buying produce by the band instead of by the bag. My husband finds all sorts of uses for waste. He is an avid biker and since we only have one car we sometimes end up with a store of popped bike tubes. He uses them as weather stripping and now that our entire house is outfitted in these rubber strips he has voluntarily started outfitting the homes of friends and family. I can see how one could find this subject boring, but I am thrilled to see someone writing about it. Waste is a SERIOUS problem. What use is organic food if you are throwing away its equal weight in trash? Working for better planet health is like taking care of a person. You can't only just focus on one part of the body. Let's here it for all the trash talk!