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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > How "Green" Are You Willing to Be?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments How "green" are you willing to be?

I do the environmentally-friendly light bulbs. I recycle. I keep the heat down in winter (but part of that is because I'm cheap, I must admit...sometimes being green and cheap meet in a wonderful place). I try to buy fresh produce from farmers.

Still, I have my limits.

1) I am flushing the toilet. Every time. Sometimes twice. My hippy brother tries to tell me not to flush it when you pee. I don't think so.

2) I must admit I take baths sometimes and take showers a couple times a day, but that's because I work out. Oh, hell, even if I didn't work out I'd still probably take two a day. I like showers. I feel better afterwards.

3) I probably should insulate my windows better and all that.

What about you? How green are you, and what are your limits? Do you ever feel guilty about your lack of greenness, if you will? I don't like environmental finger-pointers...but that may be just because I'm not doing something I probably should be doing.

(If Ed Begley comes to my house and tries to insulate my house better, I'm going to punch him.)

Books Ring Mah Bell 1 and 2.. you are a dirty earthraper, sir.

message 3: by Sheila (new)

Sheila He's a CLEAN earthraper. Very clean. :)

I recycle plastic bottles and cans. In the state of Michigan it's easy - you pay a deposit when you buy pop in plastic or cans that you are refunded when you take them back.

I also collect magazines and the flyers with the glossy paper and give them to my mom, who has recycling pickup at her home.

But those enviro-friendly light bulbs - I've tried them before. Twice now.

They were more expensive than the regular ones and both times they ended up burning out within a month. ????

I admit I was a little put off by that.

message 4: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) I have to flush the toilet, my cats drink out of it. :)

message 5: by Lori (new)

Lori If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down. :)

message 6: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Besides, I don't see the big deal with flushing the toilet, it all goes to the treatment plant two miles away where they turn it back into drinking water and feed it back to us again...

When I look at it that way, I may as well let the cats drink the pee and cut out the middle man!

message 7: by Gåry! (new)

Gåry! (garyneill) You could reduce the amount of water used per flush. This can be accomplish by adjusting the plunger OR in some cases, adjusting the cover that lifts up to let the water through.

message 8: by Lori (new)

Lori How do I adjust the plunger, Gary? I still have a very VERY old plumbing system for my toilet, not one of the newer low water volume ones.

message 9: by Valerie (last edited Oct 24, 2008 01:11PM) (new)

Valerie | 21 comments I use green bags, recycle, try to buy local produce when I can... I try to do all the small stuff.

BUT I have to admit I drive an SUV (don't hate me!!!) and we fly quite a bit. I try to do what I can to try to counteract those big things. I do have two kids and a dog and am often traveling with luggage, and I live in a snowy area where the 4WD comes in handy... but I know those are all excuses. What I'd like to do is have a tiny car that we'd use 90% of the time, and use the SUV only when necessary (airport trips, snowy driving) but that comes down to $$$.

Also, I can't buy recycled toilet paper :(

I need the soft stuff.

Oh, and I flush. Every time.

message 10: by Gåry! (new)

Gåry! (garyneill) hard to say Lori, but most of the older ones that have the big plastic ball on the end are adjustable by either screwing the ball (heh) further onto the rod or the chain that's attached can be adjusted for length... the goal with those old ones, is mainly to use less water by allowing less water through by shortening how long the valve s open...

And Val, certainly having an SUV out of necessity is forgivable in this day and age... there are soooo many other ways to to make up for that behemoth ;)

shellyindallas My hummer is an absolute necessity! Not only can I drive over medians to avoid traffic, but it's yellow so it gets me noticed. The hundred bucks it takes to fill up the tank is TOTALLY worth it!

message 12: by RandomAnthony (last edited Oct 24, 2008 02:03PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Val, I can understand the SUV thing if you have to drive in the snow around Madison a lot...the roads outside the cities can be a bitch.

I never understood the hummer people in Chicago. Why the hell would you need a hummer to drive around a major city's streets? If anything I think driving would be harder with a hummer in Chicago.

(insert "driving with a hummer" joke here)

message 13: by Gåry! (new)

Gåry! (garyneill) ...harder with a hummer...

shellyindallas lifes a bummer...

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Fuck da earf.

message 16: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
I'm super green.

Yellow, mellow. Fo sho.

I ride my bike to school at least 3 days/wk.

My car is a Prius.

I shower every other day - and then for about 5 minutes.

We shop locally, and don't support the fast food industry at all.

We buy local, especially for goods and products. Groceries, restaurants, businesses. The greener the better.

But I'm not green in that:

I don't recycle paper at school.

I like to clean out my closet and throw all sorts of crap into the trash can, and ultimately the land fills.

I use full strength, commercial brand cleansers to clean the bathroom and kitchen.

All of my lights are on when I'm home. And the 'puter. And every kitchen appliance is plugged in right now.

message 17: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Sally, how does the Prius handle the mountain roads?

message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori I'm as green as I can be. Seattle is nuts with recycling, there are 3 separate bins: 1. Paper, 2. the majority of plastics, and 3. leaves/garden mixed with dirty or food-stained paper, even tissues, plus foods except meats, in other words anything you would use for compost.

I've finally gotten into the habit of turning lights off. Now I'm working on Jake.

I use green handwashing dish soap. But I don't for laundry or dishwasher. Anyone found ones that work for that?

Sheila - I really don't like those enviro-friendly bulbs. They're fluorescent and have a bluish light. I like the fuller spectrum ones. Also, I've read the supposed eco-friendly ones aren't that eco-friendly, altho I can't remember what's in them. Mercury? Hmmm. Can't be mercury...

As for cars we have Toyota and Suburu.

We do what we can. But we gotta fix up our toilet.

message 19: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) Lori, there is mercury in the compact florescent bulbs. They have to go to hazardous waste rather than regular trash.

message 20: by Lori (new)

Lori Sandi - and are those the supposed eco-friendly ones?

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I recycle all paper, milk cartons, cans, bottles, and even food waste, because Olympia is maybe even more liberal and green than Seattle. I try to use reusable grocery sacks, when I remember to bring them into the store. I take our old plastic grocery bags back to the store for recycling.

I use old envelopes for scratch paper, and use recyclable aluminum foil and tupperware instead of plastic wrap. I use Bon Ami and a little Clorox Clean-up for cleaning. Or just dish soap.

I have a new toilet, that uses less water already, so I always flush, no mellowing here. Yuck.

Chris and I share a car, a Scion that gets great mileage. We would have bought a Prius, but Chris's legs didn't fit. :)

I use mainly fluorescent bulbs, which seem to be lasting a good long time, but I have one 50-100-150 three way incandescent bulb in the lamp I use for reading and computing.

Chris has a rain barrel to capture rainwater to use in the garden. We get some organic produce, especially when it comes to squash, which absorbs pesticides more than other vegetables.

My limit is when it comes to heat. I am usually cold anyway, despite layering and wearing sweaters most days. So when I'm at home, where I control the thermostat, the part of the house that I inhabit is kept at 72 degrees during the day.

message 22: by Lori (last edited Oct 24, 2008 08:50PM) (new)

Lori Come 2009, Seattle will start charging for bags - so unless you want to pay, everyone needs those reusable bags.

message 23: by Chloe (last edited Oct 24, 2008 09:01PM) (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 347 comments Come 2009, Seattle will start charging for bags - so unless you want to pay, everyone needs those reusable bags.

That is so great. That actually makes me more happy than I conceivably should be. Plastic bags, urban tumbleweeds, are my arch nemeses. My canvas bags are my best friends (which doesn't bode well for my social life).

A simple explanation for my plastic bag ire.

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Today I bought a dress and said I didn't need a bag. The girl said, "Okayyyy? Heh-heh." Then she went to wrap it in tissue. I said, "I don't need any tissue." She said, "Okay, heh-heh." Then she handed me my dress with some sample laundry detergent, an ad for an upcoming sale and a catalog. Oy! I left the catalog and ad on the counter. When I left, she probably said, "Okayyyy?!!! Heh-heh. Heh-heh."

message 25: by Lori (new)

Lori That's a horrible image!

I forgot - another thing Seattle recycles is plastic bags! But our oh-so-PC food coops, (called PCC!) recently stopped offering paper bags, they found it's not really eco-nomical.

message 26: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
RA, the Prius actually does fine in the mountains. It charges smoothly enough up the sheer rock faces. And coming down it's super lightweight so it never slides at all. Not as bad as a 4Runner.

And I have a compact florurescent in my office for daylight work b/c they are supposedly more like natural daylight on the eye (offers full spectrum, relaxes eye muscles) and also lasts about 3 years instead of 3 months.

Or something like that. ;)

message 27: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) I use compact florescents selectively. They're best for areas where lights are going to be left on. So, my bathrooms have incandescents, but my family room has florescents. I just saw compact florescent floods, so I will be using those as the incandescent floods burn out. Those things last years though.

Compact florescents have three advantages; they last longer, burn cooler, and they use less electricity. There are times when the burning cooler thing comes in really handy. I'm finding a lot of lamps now say not to use more than a 60 watt bulb. 60 watts is dim in an incandescent. With a florescent, I can use a 100 watt equivalent if it fits in the fixture and I think it's only something like 11 watts.

I really can't wait to get the kitchen switched out. Those incandescents cost a fortune to run in there.

message 28: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I have been avoiding this post b/c I don't do a whole lot, I'm afraid. But I DO recycle paper here at home and at work. I don't do my case notes on computer, so I usually end up just having random notes I've written on various scraps of paper. To make my clients' files readable, I just tape all those scraps to the backs of used sheets of paper!

I also have the canvas shopping bags, but I never remember to bring them in. *sigh* I'm a bad environmentalist!

message 29: by RandomAnthony (last edited Oct 25, 2008 09:27AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I also have the canvas shopping bags, but I never remember to bring them in. *sigh* I'm a bad environmentalist!

I do the exact same goddamn thing, Mindy, every week at the farmers market...

message 30: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments At least you go to the Farmers' Market, RA. I shop at (*gasp*) Wal-Mart!

message 31: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
Sweeter is good about keeping bags in the trunk of his car for grocery trips. If I'm just running to Soopers for a green pepper or something I'll usually go without a bag whatsoever (okayyyy-heh-heh-heh) but I'm terrible about remembering the bags if I go for a big trip alone.

message 32: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) I'll be green as hell as long as it doesn't impact my regular life in any noticeable way. The way I see it, I have a car that gets 35 miles per gallon and I'm conscious of the water I consume. Other than that, it's pretty much out of my hands.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to burn leaves in my yard and find a place to bury this old car battery.

message 33: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Oh, good, I AM doing something for the environment!:


message 34: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) It's a shame this never took off:

message 35: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments And why didn't it? (I didn't have time to do much more than skim the 1st page.)

message 36: by Dan (last edited Oct 26, 2008 04:28PM) (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) Most places they approached wanted to be paid for their waste products rather than simply let them be hauled away since it's still legal to feed chicken parts to other chickens, unlike the laws used to prevent mad cow disease. They're hoping for better luck in Europe. Personally, I hope it takes off. It's like Soylent Green but fuel instead of food and garbage instead of people.

message 37: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Ugh, I'm suddenly very glad I went back to semi-vegetarian!

I hope it and all the other alt-energy possibilities out there take off. Think of how different things would be right now if we could just stop using fossil fuel all together. I mean, jeez, just the political ramifications...


message 38: by JHHK (new)

JHHK JHHK | 1 comments I would be willing to buy that new 65" Laser TV, because it uses 1/5 the energy of my 60" plasma.

shellyindallas Did you guys see the Frontline episode on the environment called "Heat"? It's pretty fucking good. It's not all "You should turn off the water when you brush your teeth!" etc. It's more about government and corporate polluters/assholes.

You can watch it all online. Here's the link:


message 40: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) Well, I do have those reusable bags, but I have a question about them. Is it bad etiquette to take a bag that says one stores name on it into another store? Because, I have one from Powells, one from B&N, one from New Seasons and 3-4 from Fred Meyer. I keep them all in the back of my car and most often still forget to take them in! The other day I made the lady at JoAnn's Fabrics put my stuff in one of them and she looked at me like I obviously had a head injury or something.

I walk around the house all evening long, often in the daytime as well, turning out lights. My sister and brother-in-law (Hence forward to be called Drew, because I'm sick of typing that.) are the most ridiculous energy wasters! They'll have every fucking light in the house on pretty much every night. For some reason that reflex of turning out a light when you leave a room is somehow defective in them. They seem to be incapable of doing it. Drew will actually leave for work and I will come home to find the tv still on! It makes NOISE, how can you not remember to turn it off? Darkness is my friend.

Lori, it's the energy saver, curly looking, lights that have the bad stuff inside that you are supposed to hazardous waste disposal. It makes kids dumb or something...like lead paint and mercury. I can't remember what is actually in them though.

Curly, you throw everything in the trash, but you only shower every other day? WTF? I guess it's okay then that I take a shower every day and let the water run while I brush my teeth, because I'm forever digging stuff out the kids have tossed away and putting it in the recycling. We're lucky here, we just have one big wheelie bin that everything goes in, except glass. Glass has to go in the little crate. If I had my own place, like I did in England, I would compost and have a rain barrel again. But, I don't go in the yard here, that's Drew's job, and there are spiders.

message 41: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Spiders! Gack!

message 42: by Gåry! (new)

Gåry! (garyneill) Thanks Shelly, I kept seeing promos for it over the summer, but must've missed it! I'll catch it online.

I remember when I was a kid I always wondered WTF watched Frontline, but now that I'm all growed up, I know. (But then I barely tolerated the CBS News break-ins during Saturday Morning Cartoons too when I was a kid).

message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

There are spiders in my house! Big, brown, juicy ones come in every year once it gets cold. We've tried to bomb the house before, but they just keep coming in all winter. It's a losing battle. They bite! Right now I have a big bite that is infected and feels like a hot golf ball.

I hate it because I love spiders, but why do they gotta turn on me?!

message 44: by Dave (new)

Dave Russell Another one?

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

They just come every year, Dave. Without fail. This bite is the worst, though! I feel sore in an eight inch radius around it. I think I have to go get on antibiotics. I can feel the heat from the bite through my dress right now! F*@ing spiders!!!!

message 46: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments OMG, Montambo! Are they brown recluses? (I would post a picture, but I can't bear to look at a picture of one.) You DEFINITELY need to get that shit checked out. They can KILL you!!!!!!

message 47: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
Crikes, Montambo. I can't believe you still are able to proclaim "I love spiders" whilst your arm is full of venom. I'd be on the phone with the Orkin man by now.

Amelia -

Would you be horrified if I told you I only wash my hair every other time I shower? I wet it down, and occasionally brush it out - its not dreadlocked. But it's really fine and poufy-curly, so the less I mess with it (which includes shampooing oils off it then replacing them with artificial oils called "conditioner") the better it looks.

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

I just made an appointment at 4:30. I hope I don't die before then! I just looked up the brown recluse and I don't think that's it. The bite doesn't look the same, either. That scared the crap out of me, though! I don't know what kind it is. They're juicier looking.

message 49: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17338 comments Mod
Juicier = ewwwwww.

message 50: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 27, 2008 11:47AM) (new)

Oh my god, i was just googling "oregon spiders" and saw THIS:

It's on a page about the brown recluse! Holy fucking bastard shit! I hope that's not it.

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