Monday, July 23, 2007


I'm typically not a jargon or buzzword guy. Matter of fact, I typically go out of my way to not use them at all. But something about this word I really like.


It perfectly describes the parameters people put on their willingness to act in a "green" manner.

Recycling has become, at least in larger cities, incredibly convenient. Here in Denver we have big purple trash cans on wheels. We put all our recyclables in that big, wheel it out to the curb with the trash every other week, and the city picks it up. No sorting whatsoever. Due to the incredibly high level of greenvenience, recycling has gone up 40% in our city since they initiated the big purple bins.

For the majority of Americans, that's the level of greenvenience they need to make it worth their while. The more involved I have to get, the more it's going to slow me down, the less likely I am to do it.

So how about you? What's your greenvenient threshhold?

Are you like Asbestos Dust, who dumps the old motor oil from his 1972 Ford 3/4-ton into the wetlands behind his house? Or are you like Venessa, who uses Aster leaves for toilet paper?

Do you use paper towels, or do you clean with sponges and rags?

Do you recycle every single thing you can, including all forms of paper, or do you sometimes throw things in the trash because it's just easier?

Do you buy milk and juice and other beverages in recyclable containers only, or do you buy them in non-recyclable wax-coated paper cartons, maybe because of price or maybe because of brand preference?

Do you carpool?

Do you drive to lunch?

Do you use compact fluorescent bulbs at home, or do you prefer regular bulbs because you don't like the color that comes from compact fluorescent?

Do you make sure bottles and cans always get put in recycling, or do you toss them in the trash if that's what's closest and easiest?

What else?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I've done every single one of the "non-green" things listed above. Well, except the oil thing.

I had a 1984 Ford Bronco.


Jane Doe said...

Guilty as charged on all of the above. Does using mass transportation count as carpooling?...

What makes my sins worse is that I spent 4 years selling environmental printing, i.e. extolling the virtues of recycled paper and vegetable based inks. OH MY GOD, I'm Vitter, Haggard, Foley and the Archdiocese of Boston all rolled into one.

Jeff said...

"Does using mass transportation count as carpooling?"


Webmiztris said...

I do recycle cans and just recently started replacing dead light bulbs with those new energy-saving ones, but that's about it. I'd make a terrible hippie. :)

venessa said...

I may be a hippie, but aster leaves? I think not, you big exaggerator. I only use leaves when I am camping, thankyouverymuch.

I do avidly recycle or preferably reuse or even more preferably, I try not to bring disposable stuff through the front door at all. I guess I don't find it challenging to be green but I know that there are certain things about my lifestyle and personality that help make it easier for me. I enjoy cooking so eating out less is not a problem. I hate driving (and tend to be antisocial)- gas consumption is not a problem. I don't like the smell of chemicals so I make my own cleaners. Doesn't take any longer than running to the store or digging through a cupboard trying to find the right bottle for the right job. Plus I love being subversive. Maybe when everyone starts going green, I'll get me a big Suburban.

Don said...

I cannot not recycle. It bugs the shit out of me if I'm somewhere they sell canned soda and I can't find a blue recycle bin to put the can in. I'll take the can or bottle home for my own recycle bin before I put it in the trash.

Most of our perishable trash goes to the chickens. So our recycle bin is always four times as full as the garbage.

I use a lot of paper towels. Is paper towel material decomposing at the county garbage heap really any worse than laundry detergent flowing down to the water treatment facility?

Greenvenience: Like the concept but not the word. I have peculiar esthetics.

Paticus said...

I drive from the front of my house to the back.
And I have a scooter for travelling inside the house that runs on baby seal oil.
I actually prowl around my neighborhood at night and "unrecycle" other's recyclables. Throw them right into the landfill I'm cultivating in the stream behind my house. It's mostly batteries right now, but I'm working on it.

Jeff said...

"Most of our perishable trash goes to the chickens."

Ever watch Deadwood? This makes me think of Wu's pigs...

Jeff said...

LOL, Paticus!

Miz UV said...

I'm pretty bad and would be better if it were more convenient. I use lots of paper towels and am very wasteful with paper in general. Sponges gross me out -- I think of them as germ beds. I drive as little as possible though simply because I hate driving. If we had good public transportation here, I'd use that for work.

Jodie K said...

I recycle paper and plastic, but so can't do those swirly bulbs. Waaaayyyyy too blue. The light rail downtown is fab, esp if you're drinking and on the move.

Teacake said...

I use too many paper towels. I'm trying to break that habit. I recycle what my neighborhood recycles, but I don't make a special trip to the recycling center for stuff I can't recycle at the curb. I get the plastic grocery bags, but I take them back to the store and put them in the bin. I use biodegradable dog-poop bags, but only if I remember to reorder them, otherwise the some of those plastic grocery bags don't get recycled. I don't use the heated dry on my dishwasher, but I don't dry clothes on a line. I remember to turn off the lights I'm not using, but I won't turn off the AC in August.

I keep getting better though. I used to drive a Pathfinder. I'm learning.

Teacake said...

Oh, and UV, run the sponge through the dishwasher every time you wash a load. Seriously!

PJ said...

You know me, on accounta we're sorta related. And because you know me, pretty well I might add, you know I'm one of the biggest tree huggers on the planet. I do recycle every single thing I can, including cereal boxes and Lean Cuisine boxes, along with newspapers, junk mail, etc. etc. etc. I don't carpool because I don't GO anywhere.

But [gulp] I couldn't live without paper towels.

And on the subject of sponges, they're ghastly and horrible harbingers of germs and bacteria.

Asbestos Dust said...

He Sez: "Are you like Asbestos Dust, who dumps the old motor oil from his 1972 Ford 3/4-ton into the wetlands behind his house?"

Totally unfair, dude. I don't have to put up with this. I'll have you know all my SUV's have been COAL-burners.

- AD -
[I use the oil for ballast when blasting through the wetlands on drunken coon-hunting trips.]

Mark said...

"they're ghastly and horrible harbingers of germs and bacteria."

Like our water bottles, PJ?


A minute in the microwave and the odd trip through the dishwasher takes care of the germs.

PJ said...

Don't joke with me, Mark. This is an issue, that being the issue of sponges, about which I am passionate and known to fly off the handle at the slightest little thing. I've gone to Washington to lobby against sponges, barely escaped a prison sentence for a [cough] particularly spirited protest in which I played a small role, but a role nevertheless, and made my decisions in the last three presidential elections based on the candidates' stance on sponges.

Bush, by the way, is a sponge man through and through. Which is why he surrounds himself with people who soak up all the crap he says.

Damn, I crack myself up.

Beware: Social Worker on the edge said...

I too am guilty of the above except the oil. However here in good old Halton, Canada they are clearly behind the times. Everything must be washed, striped of labels, sorted and put in small blue boxes which are picked up every other week. BULLSHIT, I say!
They are paying some guy at the recycling plant 22 bucks an hour to sort recycling...why would I presort to have it dumped in a truck to be sorted again...not!
Toronto...has one upped us with the weekely pick up and green bins for food waste...good program but eh purple bins sound better!

Keep up the good work Jeff.

Jeff said...

"all my SUV's have been COAL-burners."

Dude, that made me laugh so hard I nearly snarfed hot coffee out my nose. The image of you shoveling coal into the burner, coated in black soot, half a chewed stogie hanging out of your mouth, yelling, "Give her more throttle or we'll never get through this fuckin' swamp!" is just more than I can take.

Now, on another note, will you go talk some sense into Archer, who seems to think he's not going to blog anymore?

Looney said...

Guilty, yeronner, except for the oil thing. That's just gross...

I will walk to the recycling bin rather than use the trash. It's when I'm cleaning my desk off of the seven cans I left there over the last few days and need to get them into the bin and out on the curb so I can get my rear end to bed that stuff ends up in the trash instead :-)

O' Tim said...

I think AD is my old neighbor. Dude would pour kerosene on his coon dogs as a flea and tick killer/repellant. Works as a good dog killer/repellant too, I guess.

Recycling is tough here in the stix - we need to do better, but I also burn a lot of gas on the 24 mile r/t to the recycling center.

The lightbulbs - started buying them this year. Can't notice any difference except that they take one second longer to come on.

Mark said...

"Bush, by the way, is a sponge man through and through. Which is why he surrounds himself with people who soak up all the crap he says."

How does he decide which of his crap is "spongeworthy"?

PJ said...

Elaine! You quoted Elaine! I can see her face now, all scrinched up, mooning over some guy, nodding in that knowing way, saying, "Definitely sponnnnggggeworthy."


Mark said...