Monday, January 6, 2014

Environmentally speaking...

Remember the 80s? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Okay, I'll take the communal hit for the team here and say I remember the 80s.

In the 80s—or perhaps just in our household, as it occurs to me that my mother was a bit of an environmentalist freak—there was a lot of hubbub going on relating to renewable, reusable, recyclable resources, and the buzz words environmentally friendly.

Yes, that plus the eye-searingly-bright fluorescent colours, country hair bands, cassette tapes, dusty rose decor, My Little Pony (the original), scrunchie hair ties, and nasty jorts and you now have my childhood, erm, the 80s.

Mom spearheaded the Green Team at her school (she was a teacher), and let's put it simply and say she didn't leave work at work... even when it came to the extra curriculars.


It's a mentality that was bred into me and I can't avoid. It would seem (to me, at least) that in the post-environmental-tipping-point* society, people have given up trying to be more environmentally economical. I used to shudder at single use items being hailed in commercials. It'd be a lie if I said cutting the stress of sitting through commercials for throwaway items wasn't a factor in cancelling our cable.

We don't buy paper towels here. Or Lysol wipes. Or any other sort of sanitary-insta-use-and-toss-'em items. We use rags. Lots of 'em.

We also don't buy napkins. We, I (because let's face it, Mr Lannis isn't prowling Dollarama) use white facecloths. When they get irreversibly dirty (read: the bleach and borax do shit-all to reclaim them from The Nasty) they join the rag bag.

I can't handle purchasing napkins to toss—even those sourced from recycled paper, and even though with the green bin composting/waste diversion program in our county it means these crumpled paper bits never meet a landfill.

We've acquired extra napkins from fast food joints here and there—they're usually kept in glove boxes in our vehicles for emergency use. So yes, they are around. But our little stock is rarely depleted or requires replenishing.

The balance of the last package of napkins we bought for camping two years ago are still in the cupboard. And napkins can go in the green bin, so it's not the landfill I'm protecting but the resources required to make those napkins.

I wash cloth. We reuse cloth. It's what we do.

And the argument that I am wasting resources to wash these bad boys doesn't hold with me. Regardless of whether we have two cloths or twenty in the load of whites, I'd still be washing a load of whites on hot with my front loading energy efficient dryer. And twenty cloths barely have an impact on the size of the load—these guys just don't take up any room... uh, unless you're talking about the laundry line (they have been known to stretch a good half of one of our triple-lines... so about 15 feet of line, heh).

I even have designated cloths for removing nail polish, which get more colourful with each use (heh), and once laundered returns to the cupboard with the nail polish. Bonus: the nap of the cloth is a great texture to help scrub off old polish.

Anyhow. Lack-of-napkins. It's a quirk, I can't help it.

So. Any non-environmentally sound practices kicking around lately that put a bug in your bonnet? Or is it just me?

* If you believe in that mythical beast. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I am saying that some people use any convenient excuse to keep from being accountable. Meh.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, we do kleenex tissues, but only because they're cleared for green bin (compost) waste. Mr Lannis is on an anti-food waste campaign (which I highly approve), but it's the plastic in the garbage that's triggering the OCD lately.

    Aside from the occasional Styrofoam meat tray (and I've switched about 90% of our meat to the butcher who has green bin/compostable butcher wrap paper--I occasionally get suckered by grocery store sales), our garbage is ALL plastic... fluffy light crinkly stuff that sucks the soul out of me when I squish it all down and tie the bag... and we're down to one garbage bag every other week. I'm getting really twitchy when buying now--it NEEDS to be recyclable packaging and no Styrofoam inserts! Brain can't handle it!

    (Also: how did I miss this comment?! Odd...)