Monday, August 4, 2008

Lazy, Cheap, and Green

Stanley Fish of the New York Times, published what I thought was a rather funny column about eco-living. His main gist was that "going green" was too much work for him and he'd rather not do it. Judging from the comments, not everyone thought it was funny. The comments are worth the read; they range from denouncing global warming as a hoax to those condemning him for not wanting to lessen his carbon footprint.

As far as my carbon footprint goes, we live as green as we can. But to look at myself honestly, I'd have to say that most of the "green living" stems from the fact that I am lazy and cheap--I'm not kidding. It started 15 years ago when Giant offered 3 cents for each bag I brought to the grocery store. Well, 3 cents is 3 cents.

I started using vinegar and baking soda to clean my house when my daughter stopped taking her naps. I didn't want her around the chemicals and I didn't want to wait until bed-time to clean. Mom's off-duty after 8 pm. Vinegar and baking soda are easy to find in the grocery store and much cheaper than the eco-friendly products. I use the vinegar straight because, yup, too lazy to mix it with anything. And no, I don't bother mixing up special solutions to polish my furniture with because most of it is from the salvation army (although that is beginning to change a bit). Brian used to call our style "early 1970's garage sale."

And we don't have a lot of stuff because clutter = cleaning; knick-knacks = dusting. I tend to purge items as soon as I feel we are done using them, which is often before other people feel we are done using them. But we're learning to make do with less.

And as far as clothes are concerned, thrift stores are the way to go. When I go into a store like Target or Old Navy all I see is row after row of the same shirt in different colors. At least at a thrift store I can pretend I am buying something unique. And, if I spill red wine on a shirt from a thrift store, it doesn't matter as much.

Yeah, I've almost broken my arm congratulating myself on my green (by accident) living.

Until this past weekend when Brian put up a clothesline. It's a great idea in theory--save money by using nature to dry clothes. But it requires more time and planning than just throwing clothes in the dryer. The line only holds one load of clothes at a time and it's tedious and boring to hang up the laundry and then take it back down and fold it. It doesn't jive with the lazy side of my personality. I am trying to embrace it but I tell ya Mr. Fish, I know what you mean.

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