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April 09, 2010

Exhausted by the Green Barrage


Okay, I know this sounds politically incorrect, but I was pleased to see that the Canadians agree with me. The results of this Cascades Index Survey is titled The survey found that Canadians are very environmentally aware and quietly take all kinds of eco-friendly actions. But, 58% of the respondents said they felt environmentalism was like a new religion and 54% were tired of the lecturing. I am, too.

I live in one of the most environmentally aware cities in the United States. Our community started a recycling center, Eco-Cycle, 33 years ago and it continues to be a forward thinking, innovative model to the world. Because of Eco-Cycle I’ve been recycling for almost 30 years. In the early days that involved sorting everything into bins in my garage and driving them to the recycling center. I have a mulching mower. I compost all vegetable waste in my backyard.

But more and more I see green advocacy groups and individuals sounding strident. And the costs to comply keep rising. About a year ago our city added composting cans to our trash service. We pay for it whether we use it or not. After we got the cans the city announced it was best to line the cans with bio-bags that cost about $1.00 per bag (and can only be purchased at certain stores.)

A trash collection service in town offered a free electronics recycling day the past couple years. It’s expensive to recycle electronics. People lined up to drop off old computers. Then Eco-Cycle (who charges for electronics recycling) cried foul and now the trash collection service doesn’t offer the service. To add insult to injury, if you take your computer to Eco-Cycle and pay for it to be recycled, you also have to pay a fee for driving your car into their facility. (You do have the option to park outside the gates and carry your computer in.)
The other day I read a blog post exhorting me to make green blog choices by considering the energy my web host used. A young mom blogger bragged about how she completely eliminated paper towels from her life by using rags and cloth towels. Honey, after 21 years of doing laundry for a family of five, let me know how that's going. Plus, I have to question if that’s an environmental neutral solution (no paper, but water and energy for washing and drying.)

For me, making environmental choices has to be balanced with my limited time, energy and financial resources. I am doing my best. Stop lecturing me.

This is an original 50-Something-Moms blog post.
When not blogging at Just the Right Things, Nancy is out stirring up her compost pile.


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