recipe
Sep
28
2010

Hey Treehuggers here’s a challenge or two…

I wrote recently about my quandary over recycling my garbage.  My home state is known for lots of things.  Our “colorful” politics.  Our fabulous food.  Our friendly folk. Gators.  Hurricanes.  Oil.  But it isn’t known for being green.  As you may know, I actually do a little research for these Tuesday posts and I found this information today that I cannot wait to share with Jerry. This is from Global Green’s website:

Louisiana can surprise you. Who knew that this petrostate boasts by far the strongest solar tax credit in the country? Passed in 2007, the 50 percent credit cuts the cost of installing a solar system in half. Combine that with Obama’s 30 percent federal tax credit and a Louisiana homeowner gets an 80 percent discount to go solar and live off the grid—not a bad choice in a region where storms regularly knock out the conventional power supply.

I have to say, I am impressed with this information.  I like “real” info.  I can’t jump on a bandwagon, even a green one, without some facts.  Sometimes I am turned off from an organization or group when I feel they have made a religion out of being green. I try to view being green with the same eyes I view my own beliefs about religion.  Calm yourselves, I am not going to preach or confess!  While the future is a little frightening, to some a lot frightening, when looking at our dependency on oil and natural gas and what it takes to get it, refine it and use it in safe and clean ways, the quickest way to shut my ears is to try to scare me.  For one thing, I don’t scare easily so, one will have to keep piling on threats and what ifs.  Secondly, I don’t take to being threatened and what iffed??? What if a frog had wings?  He wouldn’t bump his little green butt every time he hopped.

I do believe the “globe is warming” and I do believe we have caused some of it.  I also firmly believe the Earth is cyclical and we are pretty arrogant to believe we can destroy her.  Oh we can definitely make her uninhabitable for humans.  We can poison our environment and make it impossible to grow enough food and produce enough clean water to sustain us.  But Mother Earth will just keep on spinning and traveling around the Sun with or without us.  Well, unless an asteroid hits her and she bursts into a bajllion pieces.  There’s always that if the real news doesn’t give you enough to worry about.

Now where was I?  Oh yeah, the three Rs of green living.  Reduce, reuse and recycle(see note below). What a huge challenge it is for me.  As much as I love antiques and collectibles I also LOVE new things.  New vehicles, new clothes, new shoes.  New books! I have already challenged myself to no new clothes for a year and broke that challenge.  I “accidentally” ordered two t-shirts.  And then yesterday I deliberately ordered some new corduroys from Eddie Bauer.  Look, truth: I ruined the only pair of “leaving the house” jeans I had working outside and had to wear them to the oral surgeon’s office yesterday anyway.  So, my heart wasn’t totally in it.  Obviously. Maybe I over estimated what I am capable of in the long term.  Maybe I should give myself better goals.  I did not purchase the Timberland Berber lined hoodie I wanted really, really bad.  It’s not like I am a clothes horse.  I actually hate shopping for clothes.  If I wore a size 4 I might be dangerous.  But truth be told, I want functional, sturdy clothing.  I don’t sit around all day watching TV and eating bon-bons and I need clothes appropriate for my activities.  So since I have already lied to myself and you about not buying clothes for a year, my next best plan is to recycle clothes I haven’t worn and will never wear.  I have winter weight clothing that I bought for trips that I will likely never wear again.  I have friends that live in colder climates that I think might enjoy a wool sweater or three. I cannot even hang all my clothes in my side of the closet.  Now, it’s not a huge closet but it has more than ample room for more than ample items of clothing.  And shoes.  Oh my.  Shoes.  I do love shoes.  But no one and I mean no one needs 1/5 of the shoes I have in my closet.  So I have to weed my shoes as well.  Have to.  Must.  It would be a sin not to.  I can remember very well having one pair of shoes to my name.  So it’s not like I don’t know how not to have 30 pairs.

So here are my personal challenges and you can play along if you like.

  1. Recycle seasonal clothing
  2. Donate all excess shoes
  3. Weed my bookshelves again and donate.
  4. Look for the kindle edition of books before buying the hard copy…guess this makes me completely rethink my cake book, now doesn’t it.  E-books??? They are the future. Man, I love books…this will be hard for me.  Very hard.
  5. Weed all school books from the past and find new homes for as many as possible.
  6. Look for online subscriptions to magazines before buying paper copies.
  7. Find out if there is a school that will take recycled cardboard and such for art workrooms.
  8. Start a compost pile.
  9. Remember my cloth grocery bags when I head to the grocery.  I don’t know why this is so hard for me.  If I would just unpack them and go put them back in the vehicle that would solve this problem.

And one more thing,  as the temperatures begin to drop (I do this every year)  I will try to see just how long I can hold off turning on the heat.  I usually last longer than the girls but with them being gone all day now, and Ben being so hot natured, I think we can make it till December 1st at least.  I have made it past that but good grief at the complaining!  Jerry might never turn it on if he had his way.  But with all the insulating we have done, the house should hold its heat better – so we will see.

Did you know? The recycling symbol you see today with three arrows in the triangle shape was designed in 1970 as part of a contest sponsored by the Container Corporation of America (CCA) (now Jefferson Smurfit Corporation). As a special event for the original Earth Day in 1970 (started by John Mc Connell), CCA conducted a contest for graphic art students to design a symbol representing paper recycling. The winning entry was submitted by Gary Dean Anderson, a 5-year architecture student at the University of Southern California at Los Angels. Later that year, William Lloyd, modified the contest winning recycling symbol to create the present-day image.

Now last but certainly not least, you have to come by tomorrow and meet  Wednesday’s Woman.  You will love her, her work and her commitment to environmental responsibility.  Make her feel welcome and enter to win a great prize!


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Victoria

Great challenges and they look very doable. I have completed one, two and three earlier this year. Now about the books, I must have my books. While I can see the benefits of the Kindle I just need to have real books in my life. I have cut down on the number of books I buy but I could never give them up and magazines well I won’t even go there. So while my reading habit may not be so green can I justify this habit buy saying it’s helping the economy? Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

Kat

I’m up for the challenge…they don’t seem that hard, although down here in Florida all my “seasonal” clothing is summer….only have a hoodie and a couple of sweaters for the really “cold” days. Books, well I love them…not digital books, but good old fashioned paper books…I love to hear the spine crack the first time I open it and I love the smell of the ink and paper…hard to give them up. I manage three hotels on the beach, so when I am done with my books I take them to the lobby of one of the hotels and leave them on the bookshelf for guests to read. They can take them with or exchange them, doesn’t matter. I am bad about cooking magazines…love the seasonal recipes, but I’ll try and cut that back. I also am very bad about remembering my reusable grocery bags…but I do recycle the plastic one’s when I get them. I wish I could have heat on….doesn’t happen until about Janurary…guess I should count myself lucky, except the airconditioner is still on into December….2 years ago it was 84 degrees on Christmas Eve and we were at the beach swimming. Looking forward to Wednesdays Woman…Love the posts…

I have been on the 3R kick since 1970!!! I was 10 and totally convinced it was the only way to save the planet. Of course I have been bad from time to time (probably quite often) but here’s what I do and try to do:

1. Recycle seasonal clothing

I keep a few brown paper bags in the closet and weed through the clothes I can’t or won’t wear at least every season. Then I take ‘em to one of our many Thrift Shops. Don’t forget to get a receipt for your taxes!

2. Donate all excess shoes – Same as #1

3. Weed my bookshelves again and donate. – Same as #1 and/or I utilize swaptree.com to trade for books.

4. Look for the kindle edition of books before buying the hard copy…guess this makes me completely rethink my cake book, now doesn’t it. E-books??? They are the future. Man, I love books…this will be hard for me. Very hard.

- See above cause I’m not gonna get a kindle anytime soon. I grew up reading lots and lots and lots. The book in hand is part of the “experience” for me.

5. Weed all school books from the past and find new homes for as many as possible. – N/A

6. Look for online subscriptions to magazines before buying paper copies.

This is where I am sorta bad. we have a few subscriptions and rarely buy a single copy magazine. I used to give all the ones I had read to a friend who volunteered at the hospital. She took ‘em there to the waiting rooms. Now I just recycle ‘em.

7. Find out if there is a school that will take recycled cardboard and such for art workrooms. –

Great idea! we can recycle ours at the Recycle Center.

8. Start a compost pile. – I’ve done that and spread it on the garden often.

9. Remember my cloth grocery bags when I head to the grocery. I don’t know why this is so hard for me. If I would just unpack them and go put them back in the vehicle that would solve this problem.

- Aiii! Same here!! Getting Hubby to remember is even harder!

And one more thing, as the temperatures begin to drop (I do this every year) I will try to see just how long I can hold off turning on the heat. … I think we can make it till December 1st at least. – Those of us in similar climates should have a contest to see who can hold out the longest ;)

Susan, the more you weed stuff, the easier it gets. Keeping a brown grocery bag handy makes it easier. I promise.