Saturday, May 14, 2011

It ain't easy being green

It wasn't just Kermit the frog that had a hard time being green.  It's hard for most people to be green.  Our society doesn't encourage the population to be green or eco-friendly.  Instead, it supports the convienence store life style.  What can I buy that is quick and easy?  What can I use that makes my life easier and with less "clean up"?

Those are the questions that are being answered by mass producers of stuff.  We have prepackaged dinners, individually wrapped string cheese/granola bars/cookies.  Snack pack sizes of any munchie ever known to man kind.  We have disposable diapers, paper napkins, styrofoam take out boxes.

And most of us live in communities where we pay a monthly fee for garbage service instead of a weight-based or volume-based service.  The latter types usually decrease the garbage waste by 10% or more.  And for people that use disposable diapers, you know how many bags of trash you generate each week by throwing out all those diapers.
Now translate that to a hospital.  I wonder what would happen if hospitals and businesses had to start paying by volume or weight of trash generated.  Would that finally get them to move towards utilizing non-disposable or single-use only items?  Our hospital uses "reusable containers" to gather specific items.  I think that is a misleading term-I thought it meant the items in those containers were being recycled.  Nope - just meant the containers themselves were reusable.  The objects in them had to undergo specialized treatments before being thrown into the incinerator.  So still just trash.

But what if you want to be green.  It usually costs a lot more, is less convenient, and you don't get to see the pay off for a long time.  Sure cloth diapering takes a bit more planning.  I have to stuff/prepare diapers every morning.  I have to bring them home from daycare every night and clean them (well I clean them every 2 nights).  When I want a snack to bring to work, I have to separate it out from the bulk packaging and put it in something else.  We try and use reusable snack wrappers/bags for most things.  Tupperware or glassware for other things.  But I haven't found a good airtight ziplock bag equivalent.  So I still use those, but will use the same one all week.

So like Kermit said, "It's not that easy bein' green."  Nope -not that easy, but I think it is at least something we all need to start working on.

1 comment:

  1. Gretchen,
    Checkout Lunchskins for reusable bags ( They are great and make great gifts too.