Skip to main content

For every action, there is an equal, but opposite, reaction

Or something like that.

Over the past few years, I have gotten a lot more environmentally friendly. But I am afraid the more I try to do to help better the environment, the more I end up hurting it, or wasting, at least in some other way.

Example 1: I use reusable bags every time I shop. (I make an exception for my Kohl's visits, as I use those bags to line my bedroom garbage can.) The problem is, the bags get dirty and germy, so I sometimes spray them with a disinfectant spray. But isn't that just harming the environment too?

Example 2: Years ago, before I lived in a place that recycled, I threw things in the garbage as soon as I finished them. End of story (for me, anyway). But now I rinse jars, jugs, and cans because I don't think you are "supposed" to leave food particles, remnants of PB, etc., on them. And that, of course, means using water unnecessarily. Maybe I don't need to do this, though?

That said, I have made some recent changes that seem to help the world without hurting it in some other way (at least as far as I can tell):
  • When I shave my legs, I turn off the water. This works in the summer because I don't get cold standing in the shower with no water on me (it probably helps that I take cool showers). And I use the water from my shower to rinse my legs (I put the drain stop in during my shower to collect water). I don't do this in the winter because I get too cold, but I also tend to shave only once a week then, so not as big of a deal. :-)
  • I run the washer, dryer, and dishwasher only when they are full, and I try to do these things in the evening whenever possible. I also do most of my laundry in cold water. And I stopped rinsing most of my dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • I try to combine trips whenever possible. In fact, many times when I volunteered for lunch duty at J's school last year, rather than go home for an hour and a half before pick up, I went for a walk, took a run, or helped out in some other way at the school. And unlike at least half of the parents at pick up, I don't run my car while waiting. I don't care if it is 30 degrees or 90 degrees. I deal with it.
  • I try to buy refillable stuff whenever possible. I wish more of the products I liked offered this (Bath and Body Works, are you listening?!). And sometimes it ends up costing more to go this route, so I don't always take it. But I do what I can.
  • I recently started bringing home my mother's empty plastic bottles and cardboard to be recycled. Pretty much everything imaginable can be recycled where I live, but in my mom's neighborhood, only glass, cans, and newspapers are recyclable. And unfortunately, that woman goes through a lot of plastic.
  • And one good thing about my no longer working at my last job? I don't sit in traffic contributing to all those emissions!
If you want to see how you are doing and how you can improve, check out this calculator from the EPA. You don't have to be a tree-hugger or a climate change proponent to realize some things we do impact the world around us, even if just a little.

In the meantime, if you want to brag about what you do, I would love to hear it. I am certain many people do a far better job than I do, but every little bit helps. The planet we may save is our own.


Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…