Thursday, January 17, 2008

When Green Tips Collide

This is a departure from my usual post. I thought I'd rant a while. I just heard a "green tip" on the radio. Not for the first time, it struck me that the solution to one kind of damaging waste of energy or resources encroaches on another. How do you choose? Imagine a child or child-like person trying to follow all of them that he or she could.

One tip instructed us to mow more often and leave the grass trimmings to return to the soil, eliminating the need for fertilizer. What about the fossil fuel or electricity we use for the mower?

Another said to throw stuff into the compost bin or into the garbage rather than running the garbage disposal. The garbage? This is better? Who measured?

The alternate suggestion was to run the disposal without water. Are you willing to burn out your motor? Not me. And does it work as well that way? Wouldn't it make it work harder, thus using more energy? So we save water, but use more power.

Don't get me wrong. I recycle like crazy. I'm the nut that called the garbage and recycling company to ask if I could recycle the toilet paper rolls. I even recycle the paper tags off my clothes, carefully separating the plastic tabs out. I don't run a half-full dishwasher and never use the dry cycle. I use cold water in the washer. I turn down the thermostat, turn off unneeded lights.

I used to do a lot of my errands by walking. Since then, our son got a dog that he doesn't walk. So I walk the dog (that I can't bring in to the bank, store, post office, etc) and then I have no time or energy to walk again for the errands. Maybe I can get one of my neighbors to buddy up on errands with me once or twice a week. We can each hold the leashes while the other goes in to do the errand. Might work.... Of course the obvious solution is to get the son to walk his own dog. Yeah! Like that's going to happen. He's old enough to vote, sign a contract and go to college. And too big to send to his room.

Bring on the green tips. Just keep the nonsensical ones to yourself.

Don't be sheep. Research the dubious tips, and make the greener choice.

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