I thought driving a hybrid would give me some wiggle room, but no. My offspring have hit the socially responsible college years and they are relentless. In spite of lazy parenting, it seems I have turned out two very ecologically focused brats who give me no quarter. They find no greater joy than to put the screws to mom should she do something unfriendly to the planet.
To add to my discomfort, it turns out their father is socially responsible, too. I’m sure he’s always been, but somehow it shows more now that he has allies. I don’t oppose them, you understand. Heaven forefend. I know the state our sad, little planet is in, and I cannot plead ignorance like my parent’s generation.
Heck, I took part in the very first Earth Day. I remember well the then-unknown but screaming faux pas of releasing hordes of black balloons to mark the day. Oops.
I try. I separate recyclables. I even go through multiple bags of sticky, nasty trash after a party and pull out the cans and bottles. I have been known to buy biodegradable paper goods when the budget’s not too tight and I’m feeling really guilty now about having had two babies in disposable diapers. At the time, I did my best to find biodegradable ones. It turns out they really aren’t, but my intentions were stellar. My grandchildren will wear cloth, I promise.
My pride in buying a dozen recyclable grocery bags was short-lived, when I discovered I regularly forget and leave them in my car. If you find a loaded cart just sitting by the grocery check-out line, it’s mine. I’ll be running back through the doors shortly, with an armful of cloth bags.
The next battle I lost was to bottled water. The irony is I hate water. Finally, about four years ago, while buying bottled water for the hordes of sweaty, active young bodies that flowed through my kitchen, I discovered a bottled water that I really liked. I got to enjoy it for about a year before my son pointed out the evils of plastic bottles, recycled or otherwise. Oh bother. My next solution, popping for an expensive refrigerator with “filtered” water in the door failed me, as well. I don’t know exactly what gets filtered out, but I know exactly what’s left in. It tastes like a swimming pool.
Meanwhile, I find myself equally joyful and depressed when I check out the latest lists of 10 Easy Tips to be Green. We use those goofy light bulbs. We keep our sweatshirts handy. We use cloth towels instead of paper in the kitchen. We don’t use Styrofoam. Our floors are wood veneer. My husband avoids insecticides in the garden. I might score a six out of 10 one week, but the next I find four new things I should do. And some I will never embrace with a glad heart. I hate to have to run around to get wet under low-flow shower heads and life without dryer sheets is very wrinkly.
Wait. Stop. Don’t bother writing me that angry letter. I’ll just have my son call me instead.
Filed Under: Small Talk