Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Saving the Environment or Saving My Sanity?

I understand that we all need to do our share for the environment. But how much is too much? Ask my husband and he would say, “Nothing is too much!”
You know, I never really thought about all the things that Justin did to decrease our “carbon footprint”. I give him a smile and just “deal” (with the exception of a few things that I will mention later.) My mom recently asked, however, how I handled all the changes that he made in the name of the environment. So, I decided to walk around the house and take pictures of all of our new “environmentally” things. I will let you decide.

Example One: The Ceiling Fan
This is a perfectly normal way to decrease energy usage and I love it! We have stuck ceiling fans around the house and have been able to turn off our air conditioning. Plus, I find it easier to sleep at night (or in the day) with constant air blowing on me. We have saved over $20 on the electricity bill. Nothing wrong with saving money!

Example Two: The Lights
Light Bulb
So the lights were a little harder to get used to. You don’t get instant brightness because it takes a little bit for them to warm up. Also, if you don’t get the “right lighting,” you might feel like you are sitting next to a mosquito lamp outside instead of the reading lamp in the living room. But – they are environmentally friendly and you save money as well! Trust me, after a few months I realized having the lights in the bathroom take a tiny bit to warm up meant I wasn’t blinded when I woke up.

Example Three: Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
Green Products
So I have had some issues with the cleaning products. We actually have two sides to the cabinet underneath of the sink – one side for him, one side for me. The problem is, I work at a hospital, I want my cleaning equipment to even kill the good bacteria. I want every microbe gone from everywhere that I feel deems to be cleaned! Call me crazy… but I have seen bugs make people sicker then ever and I just don’t want to take my chances.
Also – we don’t use environmentally friendly clothes detergent. We went down that path, and then came back. I told Justin that I preferred his clothes not to smell like sweat after they have been washed twice. TWICE! Goodness! He thankfully agreed and we met in the middle getting detergent without phosphate. Guess I will have to look up what phosphate does to the environment.

Example Four – The FlusherFlusher
I just laughed when he opened the package in front of me. Were we really going to be those people that had a dual flush? Why yes we were and now we have them on every toilet.
It really isn’t too inconvenient, all you have to do is press button number one or button number two. I did have to explain to Justin that we had different ideas about the “light” flush. He told me that the light flush was for when you go “number one”. I asked if the light flush would also take care of toilet paper. He looked at me confused. Yes, even when ladies go “number one” they have to use toilet paper. Subsequently he had to change the settings slightly to accommodate this new fact. Sorry, now we are using more water for the light flush.

Example Five: The Super Duper Recycling Machine
Recycling Machine
The Super Duper Recycling Machine – I gasped when I woke up one afternoon and saw this thing sitting in our kitchen. Justin was at work and I could only assume this was the “All in one” recycling center. Since it is new and I still don’t know too much about it, I have included a little information about it. Please chuckle while reading, I did.
“The Mode™ All-in-One Recycling Center, with high gloss black finish, allows you to sort and store up to a week's worth of recyclables in one beautiful place. Innovative foot pedal operated Compaction System means you can hold up to 3x more than with conventional bins. Crush aluminum cans and 8-oz. to 2-liter plastic bottles and jugs in one easy step, compacted items drop directly into the 8-gallon main bin. Glass can also be deposited into the main bin through a by-pass door. 5-gallon paper bin holds up to two weeks of newspapers, and has a handy Mail slot for bulk mail. 5 and 8 gallon bins are removable and nest for easy one-trip transporting. Intelligent Recycle Day Reminder™ illuminates to remind you to ensure you never miss a pick-up! Carbon filter for odor control.
Whelp, we don’t have recycling pick up. Still have to bring it to the drop off place. So there is still a lot of extra work – but it does have a high gloss black finish.

I am sure there are millions of other examples around our house – but I chose my favorite.
In conclusion, does this bother me? No, not too much. I will stand up for things I don’t agree with but if it makes my husband happy and I am saving the environment, why not?

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