Sunday, June 7, 2009

10 Not So Green Confessions or Non-Eco Indulgences - Take Your Pick

This month’s topic for the Green Moms Carnival is Green Confessions. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone and that even the green super heroines that make up the Green Moms Carnival all have their own versions of kryptonite. In an effort to keep my New Year’s resolution about not embracing Green Guilt or fight a possible case of Green Fatigue I’m going to rename my list Non Eco Indulgences because for the most part, the things on my list are things that I’ve made a conscious decision to keep in my life at least for now. Here goes.

1. Eraser sponges. Sometimes stubborn shower yuck or bathtub ring can’t be moved with vinegar and an old toothbrush. That’s when I break out the eraser sponge. It’s also my go to for cleaning mystery marks off of walls. No one knows how these things appear on our walls. Must be the work of aliens. Or pod people. Or fluffy one eyed dogs and their human male counterparts. Or aliens.

2. Nail polish. There’s some pretty bad stuff in nail polish and remover but I like to wear it to feel pretty and girly. I’m afraid if I have painted toenails peeping from my sandals at BlogHer this summer, another Greenie may pounce on me. On the other hand, I want to look cute during the conference. Help me out, got any ideas for a more environmentally friendly toenail polish?

3. Some organic food. While I garden organically, I don’t always buy organic food, or local, or in season for that matter. We have winter. If I only bought local or in season I’d only have veggies in summer or expensive greenhouse grown veggies (lots more energy to grow those!) the other 8 months out of the year. I shop at the farm market as much as I can during the summer. In some cases I think organic is more gimmick than healthy, for, say, things like organic candy, tortilla chips, and craft beer. I’m pretty sure that drinking too many organic pale ales is going to make me just as drunk and fat as drinking too many regular pale ales – either way that’s not good. Husband and I may have to test this theory further, you know, for science.

4. Pantone chair. Sure it’s a big freaking hunk of petrochemical laden plastic but it’s a damn sexy chair and I want one – BAD.

5. Eggs in a carton. I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to raise urban chickens. My parents first home was the ultimate fixer upper (I learned how not to be afraid of tools from the “You want to help? Here, hold this” School of DIY.) The former owners kept live chickens under the kitchen sink. It’s a miracle that my parents were able to save those solid wood cabinets, because - yeah, live chickens kept under the sink! My eggs come from a paper carton from a store or farm market. Always.

6. Plastic packaging. My city recycles #1 -7 plastics so I can recycle almost all of the plastic packaging that comes into The Condo. There are times that I honestly choose something in a plastic container because I can reuse it after the container is empty like in my super duper organized refrigerator. Often the plastic bottle version is a large size that allows me to generate less household waste or is the only one available unless I want to zig zag all over the city buying one plastic free version here and there. That wastes time, energy, and gasoline (which is how we end up with the raw material to make all those plastics in the first place.) I’m still selective about my plastic packaging though, which is another reason why I don’t always buy organic food – sometimes it only comes in a nonreusable or nonrecyclable plastic package. Some plastic items allow me to do very green things like my plastic compost bin for example. Sorry Fake Plastic Fish but I can’t totally give this one up.

7. Coffee and chocolate. Two things that make life worth living. I try to do fair trade, but it’s pricey and we’re trying to economize where we can. That means a little more CafĂ© Bustelo and a little less fair trade for now.

8. Fleece. It’s warm and soft and allows me to turn down the heat in the Condo and save energy. You will have to pry my fleece pajamas out of my cold dead hands on a winter’s day. Don’t even try it, you will fail.

9. Some building and craft supplies. I like using salvage materials in my projects. Often the material I'm trying to make over and keep out of the landfill isn't very environmentally friendly to begin with. Some of the items I'm trying to use up in my craft stash aren't as environmentally friendly as I'd like them to be either (hello craft paint and glue! I'm looking for better options though, if you know of any.) I really try to do what I can but sometimes I make comprisese due to budget or availablity. Most recently I was tempted by a sweet buy one get one free deal on a stain blocking VOC laden paint that normally went for $24 that was on sale for $5 a gallon. I could paint my craft room for only $5! I didn't buy the paint but I was really, really, really tempted to (we bought a carload of organic topsoil and humus instead.)

10. Fast food. I like it. I try not to eat it too often but it happens. Sometimes evening activities give me only 5 minutes for dinner. Or for lunch. Or because it’s Tuesday. Or because Taco Bell hard shell tacos are as addictive as crack.

What are your non-eco indulgences? It’s OK, you don’t have to feel guilty about it, we’re all friends here. I’m just curious. What can’t you just live without?

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This is Condo Blues’ submission for the June Green Moms Carnival where our topic is green confessions. The Carnival will be held at The Green Parent. Please check it out after Wednesday, June 24th!