Sunday, August 15, 2010

3 Things I do that are really bad for Mother Earth

I really do try to be green, but it's not always easy (didn't Kermit used to say something like that?). This post is a confession of three things I do that are really naughty. I already know I need to change, but man, making change is sometimes so hard!

1. Using disposable diapers
I didn't really even know there were other options until I attended some crunchy mother-earth-and-rainbows-type fair with MamaD and saw a display for reusable diapers. My, they've come a long way! My vision of white kitchen towels held in place with oversized safety pins was debunked. Instead there were tons of cute diapers with velcro, waterproof fabric and cute patterns. 

I didn't linger very long because I hate dealing with high-pressure salespeople, which I assume everyone at sales booths are, and also because the pricetags were a little high. But in retrospect, it's probably quite cost-effective to spend several hundred dollars on reusable diapers; I've easily spent that much for my six-month-old and I'm sure we have a long way to go before she's potty trained. Plus, the more kids you have, the better the investment, as you can use them over and over and over again. 

I know it's not too late to make the change, but I'm intimidated because I don't understand exactly how they work (I'm supposed to hook a hose up to my toilet?). A problem easily solved by an hour on the Internet, but I just haven't made the time. 

2. Cleaning wipes
You know, the kind they sell in three-packs at Costco? It's so convenient to just whip one of those babies out, wipe down the counters, then toss it in the trash. They get into those cracks and grooves better than a cloth rag and are nice and moist. But oh, how wasteful! I do feel a pang of guilt every time I use disposable cleaning wipes.

A silly reason I do is because I hate to wash my rags with regular clothes, yet I hate to waste a load of laundry on just a few rags. I could use the quick cycle, but then I feel like the rags don't really get clean. So instead of wasting water, I guess I choose to waste wipes. 

3. Not composting
Growing up, my mom composted every last scrap of food for her massive garden. She had this nasty plastic bag that always sat in a corner of the sink and when it was full, she would transfer it--dripping juices and all--to a pile on the deck. Once the pile got big enough, the bags were transported and emptied into a big compost pile in the backyard. And once the compost sat long enough, she made us kids scoop it by the wheelbarrow-full into the garden. Man, I hated that.

But now I have my own (albeit very small and humble) garden and I'd love to make my own compost. Problem is I live in a townhome and my garden is part of a community garden in the backyard of the next complex over. In other words, it's far away. And I don't want to have to get the compost from point A to B. But even if I did, where would I put it? There's no room for a compost pile. I think nowadays you can get composting buckets or something, but the only place I could keep it is in my garage and is it going to make everything smell?

Again, another problem that I could probably solve with an hour online, or even talking to my compost-knowledgeable mom or sister, but it just hasn't made it to the top of my priorities list. So I continue to chuck those banana peels and uneaten veggies in the trash...


ginger said...

Wash the rags with your cloth diapers!

MamaQ said...

ginger's got a good point...
but don't be so hard on yourself! you're practicing EC with olive and if you aren't using fewer diapers already, you'll certianly be saving diapers when she's fully potty-trained by 12 months! as for rags - i bet that is any easy change you could make. cut up some old clothes into little rag sizes and keep them in bags under all your sinks (in the bathrooms and kitchen).

MamaQ said...

oh, and i'm pushing for a worm bin for your kitchen scraps. you can keep it in your garage pretty easily and if you care for it correctly, you can avoid stinkiness and fruit flies. you can do it!