Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wastrels and the wastey wasters they rode in on...

Maybe I'm getting old.

Maybe I'm getting such an utter head change from being on a downward consumption shift over the past few years that I've gone a bit stodgy.

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood.

But SERIOUSLY. There are some college kids I work with who have no sense whatsoever of conservation (prime teaching opportunity, right? If I can be delicate and encouraging rather than ranting like I am right now...)

They turn the thermostat down to 66 degrees. They leave the (single stall) bathroom light on constantly. If we run out of coffee they make a whole new pot, even if it's 4:30 and we close at 5. They leave all the lights on in all the rooms even if they're not in there and won't be (this is the one that makes me feel old and revives the spectre of my dad c. 1982).

And god knows it's not just them. Our neighbors always have gobs and gobs of trash to put out twice a week since they recycle nothing. Most of it doesn't get hauled away since we're only allowed two bins each per pick-up. We barely have enough trash for a once a week haul...I'm just sayin.

A co-worker will have an entire conversation with the door of the refrigerator open while I'm itching to shut it, even though it's being held open...

People drive down our street and gun the motors on their giant-ass pick-ups and SUVs. They do seem to be fading in popularity, but still! Why waste gas that way??

When I worked in the Borders Cafe several years ago I used to have nightmares about all the plastic and paper cups being thrown away. A lot of times people would ask for a double cup instead of using the heat sleeve. I would try ever so casually to encourage people to use the ceramic dishes we could wash and re-use but it rarely got me anywhere. I would imagine stacks of cups stretching to the damn moon...

I know I have things I need to work on - so I'm trying to remember to refrain from judgment and recognize that we're all at different steps on the journey (even if it feels like some people haven't yet packed their bags). So I'll take a deep breath and calm down.

In that spirit here's a confession of what I need to work on to reduce waste:
* stop with the Diet Coke already! Cans and cans, even if they're recycled! Lame!
* get the solar oven thing going, either by homemade option or by buying one. A hot house is lame!
* line dry every time, even if it's 8000 degrees outside. No excuses. Lame!

What do you need to work on? I promise I won't make fun of you.


Hausfrau said...

Oh NO! I'm raising my hand! OK. I need to install my clothesline. And then I need to use it. I know, I'm a wuss. It's just.. the one year old baby! And the massage therapy business!! Also, eventually, I need to get a little baby seat for my bike, and use that as well. Because I don't do jack without my baby.

Tara said...

I have a little ziploc bag problem...and foil. I'm getting better, but not better enough.

Melissa said...

I'm working on riding my bike & taking public tranportation more consistently. Also, remembering to keep my bag stocked with cloth napkins so I don't have to use paper when I am out of the house - I'm great about it when I'm home, but I often forget when going out.

Verde said...

We don't have public transit, but I can self power to work. I'm a wuss about it being 90+ everyday and being hot and sweaty when I get there. I need to cowboy up on the temperature extremes.

Today I forgot to take the cloth bags into the store and since I had a hurting kid with me, I didn't go back.

I've still got a lawn - it's a little brown but I do water it because I havn't yet replaced it with something else.

I still use TP, and we do eat some meat - though that is reducing all the time. And I've been running the swamp cooler because I'm cooking inside and don't have a solar cooker - - yet. I still drink alcohol that isn't organic.

There is much more, I'm sure. If one the really crunchy bloggers came to our house they could find other things.

LisaZ said...

We still use t.p. and I really want to switch to cloth for at least #1.

Today was the first day over 90 deg. with over 60% humidity and I caved and turned the air on. Two reasons: we were having company for a while and I knew I'd be coming home from work in the refrigerator of a co-op I work at (not that I work in the refridge, but the store keeps the temp that low!) and I'd be dying of the heat. So, I'd like to not use a/c at all but I failed today.

I've been drinking too many Cokes lately--even bought an 8 pk. of those little 8 ouncers this week. I almost never dothis, but it was hot summer day and PMS talking! I must stop...

Um, let's see what else?

Too much time on the computer.

Letting the kids play video games too much.

Ack! We have so many things...Why do I feel "dirty" now after confessing all this???

Lisa in MN

anajz said...

Lewru, I am with you in this "bad mood". On more than one recent occasion, while in an attempt to discuss the need for downward consumption and educated purchases, I felt as though I was speaking a foreign language. My favorite response of these was something like...well there is always something to worry about and sometimes you can just worry too much about nothing." Interesting.
My four items in need of a makeover?
~I am with you on the solar cooking issue.
~Food Storage Management
~Using my cloth grocery bags.
~Making do with what I have.
I loved your entry so much that I linked back to in my blog. Hope you do not mind.

Lewru said...

So we all eff up from time to time, right? I think it's important to take a look at what we can be doing as well as to look back - a long, long ways back - and think about how far we've come, too! I'll still want to work on my foibles, but I'm glad for how different my life has become.