Thursday, January 15, 2009

Little green lies

Want the truth about going green? It's not easy. In fact, it's a lot of work.

You have to think consciously and cognizantly and be a responsible grown-up about your actions. You have to think beyond yourself to the generations ahead of you. You think about the generations today, and the wildlife around (and not so around) you. It's a hefty responsibility. And maybe all you wanted was a clean toilet!

Whew. It's little wonder we start slipping into little green lies. With the mounting pressures of the world around us, being environmentally responsible can start to take a back seat.

So like everything we do with good intentions, we start to slip a little.

Maybe it's too cold outside or you're too rushed to run back to the car to grab your bags for your grocery shopping. One time won't hurt, you reason. (Yet the average person uses enough plastic bags each year to use up a half-gallon of gas each, the plastic manufacturing industry admits.)

Maybe it's the Styrofoam cup you grab at the cafeteria because you were there, you were thirsty and you didn't keep a cup at your desk that day. Just this once, you figure. (Yet there's no Styrafoam recycling for at least 100 miles around the Indianapolis area, according to earth911.)

Maybe it's the 100-calorie pre-porportioned treats you bought at the grocery store, paying far too much for because you didn't want to make the time or the hassle of buying a normal or bulk-size package and counting out the baked chips or cookies yourself. It's more convenient this way, you rationalize. I don't have to think about it. (Yet people tend to overindulge on the "just this once" 100-calorie packs, adding to weight gain and the amount of trash consumed.)

Maybe you decide to run through the drive-through just this once. After all, I had a long day at work, the kids are cranky, and so am I! (Yet Central Massachusetts University found at that the average McDonald's drive-through window, vehicles spent more than 37 hours combined idling each day. One hour of idling burns about a gallon of gas. Do the math.)

Maybe it's just another little green lie we tell ourselves.

Visit the APLS Blog Carnival, hosted by Cathy at VWXYNot? on Jan. 22 for more contributions on the games we play to talk ourselves in and out of green decisions.


Cathy said...

great post--it's like drive thrus should just be banned b/c it's the only way we won't be tempted to use them. I'm definitely guilty of it.

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Great post! I am definitely guilty of these little lies.

p.s. it's Cath, not Cathy ;)

Steph @ Greening Families said...

I've been working on being more deliberate in my planning and am seeing a difference. Just a few minutes to think ahead before I leave the house saves at least that much time while we are out and about.

I started doing my thinking out loud and now the kids are doing it, too. This morning I heard them asking each other, "Do you have your mittens?" and "Where's your lunchbox?" It made my morning!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post, and I appreciate the statistics & links re: plastic and idling.

Sam said...

It is very challenging especially if one's type-a personality manifests itself in the form of large guilt trips or visions of less well off individuals.

The most recent green lie I've been telling myself (and justifying it as well) is that I have a boat load of carbon credits to cash in and so I am a drip at a time. Yet it doesn't seem fair to the world. Still struggling with that one.

Robbie said...

Type-a personality? Me? :)

I never thought about people self-justifying over carbon credits. Guess it makes sense...after all, how many people grab a large, buttery popcorn at the theatre, only to wash it down with a diet coke?

Sam said...

I was referring to myself really. I only found your blog recently, so I couldn't possibly know you at all. :)

Bird of Paradise said...

Iant afford those COMPACT FLORECENTS and their hazerdous as well and all this green bull crap about THE EARTH HOURS is just plain stupid and all at those jerks going naked to prove how rediculous and stupid they are

Robbie said...

Well, I'm hoping you're being a little sarcastic, but if you're not, you are open to your opinions on things! I find it hard to believe that taking care of our environment - our responsibility as caretakers of this world - is a "bunch of crap."

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