Saturday, March 17, 2007

Going Green

Seems appropriate that I talk about green today. After all, it's St. Patrick's Day. But, I'm not talking about the green associated with the luck o' the Irish. I'm talking about sustainability, environmentally-friendly living. You can hardly turn on the t.v. or radio or walk into a store these days without noticing the trend. I believe we're reaching a tipping point. What was once the province of tree huggers and the granola set is set to become commonplace. And I, for one, am glad. I welcome it!

Steve and I finally watched An Inconvenient Truth last week. And, we found ourselves moved. For one thing, I didn't know Al Gore was truly so passionate about the subject. (I know...where have you been, Nila? Under a rock?) But, I have to admit I had been a little influenced the right-leaning Indiana majority that what we're experiencing on Earth is the natural ebb and flow of the environment in the vast history of our globe. I somewhat heard that while we are maybe sort of messing things up, the Earth will take care of itself. Really, they said, it's just a phase. I'm embarrassed by my ignorance. But, I'm exhilarated to be at least somewhat more enlightened.

Even though I had been grazed by the denialist bullet, all along I had a gut feeling that we're headed in the wrong direction. That secret pseudo-tree-hugger part of me wanted to be doing better things for our environment. Thus, I've practiced a light version of reduce-reuse-recycle. I've been "freecycling" odds and ends for months now (www.freecycle.org). For a year or more, I've been asking in earnest for my office to recycle. We do the same at home. All of our paper, glass, aluminum, steel and plastics (#1 and #2) make their way to various bins on my weekly or bi-weekly Saturday errand trek. The paper goes in the Abitibi Paper Retriever bin at my kids' school (www.paperretriever.com) where the school receives money for the paper poundage and the paper is recycled to become the Sunday news. My metals and plastics go to the Recycle Indianapolis drop-off bins (www.indygov.org/eGov/City/DPW/Residential/Recycling/curb.htm). I just found a convenient drop-off for our cardboard. I take used batteries to the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library (www.imcpl.com) branch closest to my home when I go to pick up and drop off books. I sell my used books to Half Price Books (www.halfpricebooks.com). Again, I try to do all of this in a coordinated effort that has me making one round trip along with my grocery and household shopping and other errands like picking up alterations. This saves time as well as gas and wear and tear on my vehicle - one of the biggest carbon producers in my life.

Today, on my round trip, I picked up a book called "It's Easy Being Green" by Crissy Trask (www.greenmatters.com). $6.48 plus tax at Half Price Books. And, I spent some time with my son explaining what "global warming" means. This past week, Steve and I met with someone to talk about the house we want to have - a green house built by LEED standards. with a modern aesthetic. I'm proud to be part of a movement even if I just really got it and have started going green.

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