Tuesday, 27 November 2007

It's Not That Easy Being Green

Are you green? Not green with envy (although I am certain that many of us are) and not the green-eyed monster of jealousy (although I am certain that many of us are that as well!). I am not speaking of green with nausea or even green like Kermit. Are you and yours living the green ideal? As recently as ten years ago, environmentally friendly was reduced to the catchphrase "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". Anyone who went to school (or had children who did) in the seventies, eighties or nineties has familiarity with this statement. Over the past decade or so, however, the terms "green" and "save the planet" have taken on an almost religious quality with no less than Former Vice President Al Gore appearing as the High Prophet of Planetary Pollution Probe. (You do realize that this is forever his name, do you not?-not just Al or Al Gore, but FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE!!!) You always can tell when an issue has hit the public mainstream and consciousness. It is not when our politicians come on board, (Stephen Who? and George Huh?) but rather when our Fortune 500 companies and celebrities hop on the bandwagon. You cannot enter a store these days without some t-shirt screaming at you to do your part to save the whales, polar bears, polar icecap, rainforest or oceans, all for the low price of $19.95! We have carpet made from recycled rubber, and clothing made from bio-friendly hemp. We are being implored to turn our thermostats down in the winter (not in my house you don't!) and up in the summer. We need to conserve water and electricity and paper and a whole host of other things that we have been neglectful about over these past one hundred thousand years or so. And so, we move ever so slowly, kicking and screaming into a new age of conservation and responsibility. I must admit, that I have been a bit late in attending to Mr. Gore's crusade, but I am here now, and believe me, I am trying my best. Ok, there are certain things at which I draw a line in the sand. Low flow toilets? Please!! You use more water because you have to flush the damn thing three times to clear it. Public transportation? I am all for it as soon as the politicos make is user friendly, extend it to all areas of the city and integrate the fares. I will not take a bus that takes me 2 hours when I can get there in less than half the time in my car. (I am conserving my time which is also valuable!) When we here in the frozen tundra have a transit system like NYC or Chicago, I am right there! But, for the most part, I am trying. We here in the north Jewish ghetto have been on a forced program of recycling that has recently kicked into high gear with the advent of the green box. This box is for all household organic waste, and while the idea sounded a bit gross at first, I have used it faithfully since it appeared on my doorstep. (Of course there is a slight paradox with the green bin in that you are supposed to put your waste material into small PLASTIC grocery bags, but oh well!) The husband was less enthusiastic about said bin. I think his exact words were "NO F@#$#$*& WAY, that's disgusting." So I handle that end and he and the teenage son have been fairly diligent with the blue boxes. All in all, we have definitely reduced our household trash and I must say we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. Until three weeks ago! I had great plans and expectations about how we would maneouver our way greenly through the reno. We would only use certain plates and cutlery and wash everything in the laundry room tub. That lasted two days! It became ridiculously cumbersome to attempt to wash stuff in a sink that also served to clean our clothes. (not to mention the occasional paint brush and tray) Paper and plastic have become the norm. (Sorry Al!) I am trying to recycle anything plastic, but the soiled paper plates are ending up in the garbage. Everybody has their breaking point, and for the duration of this project, our green lifestyle is mine. I hereby swear on a stack of Greenpeace leaflets and World Wildlife Federation posters, that the minute we are back in the kitchen we will continue the crusade.

Guess who's here? No really--guess! Yup-Hunky Outside contractor. Ok, not technically him, but one of his flunkies. As I write this, he is outside building the extension to the deck. I am so excited that I am positively sweating!!!! It is a good thing that he is finally here as the forecast is calling for less than optimum weather for the next few days. Pictures will follow. Also, check out the newest pictures in the album. We are starting to see some cleanliness through the dust and plastic. The room is now painted and the wall is finished and repainted on both sides. We are now in the process of searching for kitchen stools and chairs. Thanks to those who have offered suggestions for places to look. And to my designer friend who said that she would give me the name of a place to look if I mentioned her in the blog, consider yourself mentioned!

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