As an Eco-Office Gals reader you are by default, some shade of green. Maybe you are a neon green person that can be spotted coming a mile away in your hybrid car, wearing an organic cotton sweater, and drinking naturally pure water from your stainless steel container. Or maybe you are a pale green person, one who finally switched to natural laundry detergent and realized your clothes still get clean. Or maybe you are like me, moss green – a nice shade of green, but not quite a pure green.
The web is overflowing with advice on how to green your business, food, car, vacation, pet, job, kids, ad nauseam; so much so that I feel guilty for all that I don’t do to help the environment. My shade of green has improved vastly over the last few years, but I still have work to do. So today, I am going to relinquish some of my guilt and share my not-so-green confessions with you:
- Gift Cards – Okay, the holiday season is over. In my wallet I have seven plastic “gift cards” of varying value. Now, some of these “gift cards” are not really gifts, rather, they are the remains of a return – for example, my son’s duplicate birthday present exchanged at a toy retailer netted us $2.74 on a “gift card”. And what happens to these gift cards when and if they are finally used – they get tossed in the trash at the check-out counter! Think of all of those little plastic cards gingerly being electronically filled and depleted then tossed away. What is wrong with paper gift certificates? Somehow I manage to keep paper money in my wallet without losing it; I think I can be responsible for a paper gift certificate. Given the number of times my credit/debit cards have been voluntarily replaced by my bank(s) because of a breach of security, I can’t image these little plastic menaces filling our landfills are much safer than old-fashioned paper gift certificates anyhow.
- Incandescent Lighting – I hate fluorescent lighting – there, I said it. Begrudgingly I have slowly let my husband change one light bulb after another in our house. We are down to the last two – the ones over the bathroom vanity. I can’t let go of those glorious last incandescent bulbs. Frankly, looking in the bathroom mirror at the crack of dawn each morning is scary enough – I certainly don’t need to witness it under fluorescent lighting.
- Reusable Bags – I have yet to catch on to the reusable bag revolution. Each time I go to the grocery store, I see more and more eco-conscious shoppers pulling out their collections of eco-friendly, recyclable, made from recycled products, free of chemicals, fair trade bags. Then I look at my cart full of white plastic bags filled by my barely-of-working-age bagger. I have true guilt here. Skewer me if you must, but frankly, money is tight these days and if I am going to pay anywhere between $1 and $8 a bag for a reusable bag, I want to know it works. Can I wash it when the tomatoes get squished in it after my bagger tosses the bag of cans on top of the bag of vegetables? How many uses can I get out of it before I need to replace it? Are they compact enough I can easily bring them all in to the grocery store? Besides, if I switch to reusable bags, what will I put the dirty disposable diapers in?
Of course, I have more green shortcomings (see diaper comment above), but what shade of green are you? Ease your conscious and share your not-so-green confessions!Lori is a work-in-progress green being who blogs at Green Gigs a site dedicated to listing home-based green jobs.