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I'm Not Always Green ... So Stop Judging Me!

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Guest blogger Jayne: Being "green" is supposed to be good. It's supposed to be something that helps the environment, helps us leave smaller carbon footprints, and helps our children learn to appreciate, value, and take care of the world they live in. So when then did being "green" become a competitive sport?

Why does it seem that these days instead of being judged by how rich you are or even how attractive you are (like the good ol' days) we're judged by how "green" we are. That means people are looking at the car you drive, how well you recycle, if you compost, and whether or not you have an "organic" garden in your backyard. When did "Green Snobbery" become the norm?

I have no idea when the earthworm turned, but these days when I pull up in my snazzy 1996 Honda Civic, I feel like people are judging me because I'm not doing my part to save the earth by driving an (expensive) "hybrid" vehicle. In my opinion, as far as cars go, the absolute greenest thing you can do is drive whatever car you have until it's literally falling to pieces. In my mind, building a new car, even a hybrid, is far worse than driving an (admittedly) old, beat-up, uncool, un-chic, car that's 12 years old. Sadly though, I don't feel like the self-appointed "green police" feel the same way and instead they judge me for guzzling gas. In short, I feel that these days, in the eyes of the environmental warriors, if you're not driving something with the word "hybrid" proudly displayed on it -- you are an environment hater and nothing less.

But that's not the worst of it. Why is it that when I invite people into my home and they see me scraping food into the garbage, they feel that they have the right to incredulously ask me, "Don't you compost?" Well, as a matter of fact, "NO, I don't compost ... in my freaking A-P-A-R-T-M-E-N-T!" What the hell are people thinking? To be a good green soldier I now need to have a pile of rotting food in my kitchen? I'm not lucky enough OR rich enough to have a 2 acre spread with a compost heap tucked neatly in a corner -- and , "NO" I don't hate the world we live in because I don't compost. God God, what's next?

Well, I'll tell you what's next ... because it happened to me this morning when I stopped on the way to work to pick up lunch. After doing my shopping, I got to the counter and realized that I had, once again, forgotten one of my 15 recyclable cotton bags in the car, or at home, or wherever the hell those things end up. Rather that buy another one, which I often do out of sheer shame, I decided to face the checker's contempt when he asked me, "Do you have bags?" I swear to God you'd have thought that I'd handed him a turd in a box when I sheepishly answered "No." All I can say is "WTF?" I forgot a bag at home -- the earth isn't going to pivot off its axis because of it, the green movement isn't lost forever -- loosen up and stop judging!

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 21, 2008, 9:07 AM

I hear you! I tried to go “green” and make my own laundry detergent earlier this year. I got a rash from it! I also tried the recycling thing but since we have to load it all in our car and treck to the recycling dumpsters it filled our entire sunroom up before we did anything about it. I want to go green — really I do, but I need it to (a) NOT give me a rash, and (b) be a bit more convenient!

thordora November 21, 2008, 1:11 PM

We just don’t own a car. :) Solves that problem.

I live somewhere that gets you glares when you DO pull the bags out. Even when I’m annoyed, i figure it’s worth it.

Dana Neal November 21, 2008, 2:29 PM

You are so right. You can only do the best you can. They should get over it.

AK Mom November 21, 2008, 3:33 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more! Going green is important but we shouldn’t be looked down on because we forgot our bags or in my case… don’t use ‘green bulbs’ (we have an older home and those very expensive GREEN BULBS burn out fast in my home due to older wiring and they’re just too damn expensive to justify) and I drive an SUV. Going green requires a lifestyle adjustment that can break your family’s budget. My goal is to do what I can and what’s reasonable for my life. To make it easier to remember my bags I found some bags that fold up in to a tiny pocket and I keep a few in my purse. They were sold at Carrs/Safeway stores. As far as that SUV goes, it suits my needs so I’m not trading it in as it’s almost paid off but once it paid off I’m considering getting it converted to be more eco-friendly.

Anna November 22, 2008, 12:15 AM

I think that you do what you can and if you forget your bags at home or cant compost its none of anyone elses buisness that you do.

pam January 9, 2009, 2:38 PM

bagnesia affects us all (a person’s forgetfulness to grab their reusable bags). luckily, a new company called bagnesia, has come out with a reminder kit to make it easier to be green! You’re not alone in your forgetfulness so try it. Their bags are really stylish, too and fold up nice and small to fit in your purse so you can always have them with you.

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