Green? More like chartreuse.

For someone who went to school in Santa Cruz and stopped eating meat three years ago, I’m a pretty half-hearted treehugger. Open my medicine cabinet, and you’ll find a few guilty tubes of Revlon lipgloss that are neither animal nor earth friendly. Check out my car, and you’ll discover that, while uncontroversially green in color, it’s a lot more car than I need and uses more gas than I can really justify. Bamboo towels, organic produce, biodegradable corn bags? Not exactly.

This blog, like a diet blog for my life instead of my body, will document my eco sins, witness my attempts to improve, and decry my inevitable slip-ups. Like that elaborately packaged 8 pack of Bonne Bell Lipsmackers. (But seriously, how could I resist kiwi berry flavored chapstick?)

In the interests of full disclosure, here’s an incomplete list of things I already do to be a greener citizen of this world:

  • I don’t eat meat. If all the food we grew from the earth went to feed other people instead of livestock animals, world hunger probably wouldn’t be an issue. The other reason is that I’m squeamish and don’t want to come within a fork’s length of something that used to have eyeballs.
  • I’m not vegan, but I buy free range eggs because I feel bad that chickens have to be miserable so I can have an eggy-in-a-basket or egg fried rice.
  • When running water for my shower, I save the water in a bucket and use it for plants.
  • I almost always remember my reusable shopping bags. I take particular delight in flaunting my white Trader Joe’s bag in Whole Foods, where the checkers give me evil looks.
  • I hate driving,  so I drive as little as I can get away with and walk as many of my errands as possible.

And some major sins I want to work on:

  • Not buying local and/or organic. Some of this is financial. Organic produce can seem pretty pricey, and anyone who’s on a budget is likely to think twice before shelling out twice as much for organic strawberries — even though straws are on the list of dirty dozen fruits and veg that have high levels of pesticides.
  • Using plastic bags. I could conceivably switch to corn-based biodegradable bags for the kitchen and/or litter box, but I’ve been reluctant about the cost because I don’t have a compost bin and they’d end up in a landfill anyway.
  • Buying green products only when they’re on sale. This isn’t necessarily a problem; I just need to buy more of them when they’re on sale, so I won’t be tempted by a 99 cent bottle of Palmolive washing up liquid because I already have five 7th Generation bottles in the cupboard.
  • Letting myself be seduced by the fall of warm water in the shower, even though the thinking part of my brain knows California is in a pretty severe drought. A timer might help. Setting my water setting on ‘vacation’ mode (two degrees below tepid) would also be an instant motivator. I haven’t brought myself to do either yet.
  • Driving a car that isn’t highly gas efficient. Not much to be done about this one right now, except drive it less.

That’s probably enough to start with. One at a time…

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