Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why do I STILL bother?

Awhile back I posted about why I “bother” being environmentally conscious.  It’s not because “everyone is doing it”, because it’s pretty obvious to me that everyone isn’t.  The DH and I got into yet another discussion (ie argument) this morning about why I insist that the plastic containers and tin cans going into the recycling bin need to be rinsed out first.  And since I know he might actually read this now (hi honey!), I will refer you and him back to Alina’s post on recycling and the importance of not recycling dirty materials.  She points out the contamination and smell factors as well as I ever could.

I guess what really bugs me is that I have to explain my actions.  Shouldn’t people that insist on being wasteful and don’t bother to care about the health and future of our planet be the ones that owe the explanation?  I’m not being selfish by insisting that the plastic tub the sour cream came in (that my salary helped pay for) gets rinsed out and recycled.  How is directing my actions to benefit other people and the world at large being selfish?  Insisting on taking the convenient route – the all-disposable, single-use route – that’s being self-centered if you ask me.

Look, the point of being green is not because it’s trendy, it’s not because everyone else is doing it.  We do plenty of other things that the rest of our peers are not doing – I don’t know anyone as gung-ho about retirement savings as we are, at least not in our circle of friends.  The point is that if you do want everyone else to do something, you have to do it yourself first.  You have to be the change that you want to see in the world, to quote my favorite bumper sticker.  If only one other person starts considering their choices because I keep talking about it, that’s good enough for me.  

The good news is that being green IS becoming popular.  I hope it is not a passing fad, because it is crucial for the health and well-being of all of us, that we see the error of our wasteful consumer culture and change.  

Stepping down from my sustainable soapbox, I am happy to report that the canned food outing last night was successful.  I helped my friend unload $200 of canned fruits, veggies, sauce, and pasta into the break room of our corporate building.  It’s amazing how much food that actually was, but that kind of money goes a LONG way when you hit the 4/$1 and 3/$1 sales!  I wasn’t able to shell out the same amount as my friend, but I did throw in some cans from our home pantry, as well as some boxes dried pasta, rice, and mac ‘n cheese.  All these items are going to the Bellevue Food Pantry this Friday.