Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green!!!!

Hey all,


I've always loved Kermit the Frog.  He's one of my faves.  And this song is a great intro to today's blog.  It's not easy being green.

Now I'm not talking about the color.  Though I have seen some people who were green and shouldn't have been.  That drunk coming out of the bar who looks a little green around the gills.  Or that girl who was pretending to be the green Orion girl of Star Trek, but she was at a grocery store, NOT a Star Trek convention.

No, what I'm talking about is being green environmentally and today's post came from a commercial I saw over here in Asia.  They were talking about Electric Cars and how wonderful they are and how everyone should think on getting them.

Now, it's not that I don't agree.  I am all for saving the environment.  I recycle, I don't let my water run and I take buses whenever I can.  But to have everyone join in you have to make it easy to do, and with what I saw of the electric car, it isnt' easy. 

First off, did you see the price tag on those suckers? When they first came out, they were quoting over a hundred grand.  That price has dropped somewhat, but it's still higher than most average cars.  There are a few exceptions, like the new Nissan Leaf for 25,000, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

And it won't be easy to "fill 'em up".  One of the commentators was saying, it's all very well and good if you are driving just to work and back, but what if you go on a vacation?  The Holiday Inn doesn't have plug ins.

My point is that being green isn't easy.  The cost of taking care of the planet vs not taking care of the planet is a difficult one to balance.  I'd love to eat organic foods, but I remember when my kids were growing up and we were on a VERY tight budget.  Buying organic, even at a special price was still too high for many of us to contemplate.  And all of you know that if you go to a grocery store you have to pay more for healthy cereal than those sugar packed kids cereals.  What's up with that?

When I worked at Disney, they had recycle bins everywhere.  They looked VERY environmentally conscious.  But I took out the trash and I can tell you all the deep dark truth.  It all went in the same trash compactor.  Trash, cans and bottles.  There was no recycling.  I think more than Pinocchio have been telling some fibs!

When I asked why I was told it was just too expensive to do.  And that is the problem I see overall.  Why is being green so damned costly?  Why does it cost more to recycle, when it is so absolutely necessary, than it does to toss it all in a landfill and forget it?

Over here there was a show that talked about a country in the middle east.  I think it was Pakastan, but I couldn't find the program details when I looked later.  Anyway, the people put specifically chosen trash on their roofs and when asked why, they said they were waiting for the day when they would need it again.  And it kept the house cooler or warmer depending on the season.  So we have the pack rat mentality actually doing good.

Now I'm a certified dumpster diver.  After living in Florida and furnishing our first house with "curb sales"(perfectly good furniture that is no longer wanted and so left on the curb), I have no problem with recycling of any kind.  The things people throw away are beyond me.  At his work, Jonathon says when they finish building a temporary anything, instead of keeping the perfectly good pieces of plywood for next time, they toss them out into the trash.  They buy new when they need it.

Crazy!

And there are NO curb sales here, so those wonderful pieces of wood go to the dump and are never used again.  So, why if Asians and the rest of the world are so concerned with being green, don't our employers, governments and anyone else in the know make it easier for us all to do?

Global warming, the greenhouse effect and all the other catch phrases will never mean anything if the average person can't afford to do the very basic things.  Seriously, people.  They tout the fact you can make underwear out of plastic bottles, but Disney can't figure out how to make recycling cost effective?  Something's Goofy over there! That's for sure!

Anyway, I'm done with my rant.  I'll bet you all have something to say as well, right? So be gentle and polite, but tell me in the comments if you think it's easy being green!

Hugs to all,


CJ England










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12 comments:

Miranda Baker said...

Oy! Yes, I feel the guilt of not being green enough. Can't afford organic. Own a gas-guzzling mini-van to haul the kids around. Cringe every time I clean up the minute-ly messes with paper towels. I try to to remember my re-usable bags and recycle everything I can. Some help and guidance would be nice to move beyond the guilt and actually make some changes. Some energy. Some money. Something?

Phylis said...

We have a recycle tote that takes aluminum cans, numbers 1 & 2 plastic bottles and newspaper. Tryng to get my family to remember to do that is very hard. I've actually caught my son tossing a bottle in and made him get it back out. I feel bad when I have to turn the water on and let it run to warm up when washing my face at night. I wonder what the solution is so that it is cost effective. We had problems with trying to buy groceries with low carbs and higher fiber. Always costs more.

Ray said...

I love your blog. My family prefers meat analogs. They should be cheap, but soy beans are used to feed cattle so the cost for humans is very high.

Coal fired electrical plants, at least in the US are more polluting than all the cars and trucks on the road. Electric cars will increase the carbon footprint rather than lower it. The batteries used in all electric cars use extremely large amounts of power to make.

I have read that it take more power to clean and re-manufacture aluminum than to make the original product.

As for Disney, I have the same attitude that Maynard G Krebs had on Dobie Gillis. When Disney sought permission to dock their cruise ships in Port Canaveral they told the locals they would contribute to the Cape Canaveral area economy. Vendors at the piers would make money hand over fist from passengers. Didn't happen. Passengers are delivered from Disney or the Orlando airport directly to the ship just before sailing and returned as soon as the ship docks. The only people who shop locally (the mall, not pier side vendors) are Disney crew members as part of their perks. Since I was living aboard ship (government owned) at Port Canaveral I have stayed away from Disney like the plague. I won't even buy DVD's for the kids. My wife and granddaughter have to buy them.

Ray

CJ England said...

Miranda,

I feel your pain. Sometimes even when we want to, we can't. I'm sorry, Kermit, but if it comes down to feeding my family or being green, my family wins!

That's why they should make it easier for families to be green.

CJ England said...

Phylis,

Exactly. Over here in Macau the hot water heater is all the way on the other side of the apartment and outside so it can take up to three full minutes to get hot water to the shower.

Sorry. Not going to stand in ice just to be green! Not going to happen. So why did the designers do this stupidity? Why not make it closer to where you need it?

CJ England said...

Ray,

Wow! Thanks for the compliment. I always enjoy your comments. I was just saying to my hubby how you often have the most interesting tales to tell.

Today is no exception. I'm not surprised about the cruise ships. If they can't tell the truth about something as simple as recycling, I wouldn't doubt they'd lie to get a berth wherever they wanted to.

*sigh*

So much for having a magical day!

Connie Northrop said...

I've pretty much ranted on the same things, not Disney, but the same ideas.

Take the electric cars...I have mobility issues that make it safer and easier to drive/ride in a higher sitting vehicle like a small SUV or Truck. The cost of one of those is more than I make in 3 years... Not an option. It sucks!

Maithe said...

Hi Cj,

Oh, this is a big thing for me! It drives me up the wall that where I live they will only recycle certain plastics and not others, as well as only certain glass and paper. So only about 1/8 of the garbage is recycled! And let me not even start on all the waste that happens at hospitals on a daily basis!

Can you tell this is a hot topic for me? *L*

SharonJM said...

No, it's not that easy to be green. It does take effort and thought. In my town, if you put recyclables in the trash, they won't take it.
Your comments on being green and eating organic are dead on. What a world.

CJ England said...

Connie,

And did you see how small it is? We have a few of them over here and I don't know how you fit in them.

My FIL is a BIG man. His foot couldn't fit in the thing. LOL

CJ England said...

Maithe,

I know. I don't understand why some plastics or some cardboards "aren't" recyclable. It makes no sense.

Even when they label them I get confused. And trying to get the family to do it is almost an effort in futility!

I don't think I want to know what goes on in a hospital. I have a tender stomach. LOL

CJ England said...

SharonJM,

I wish more towns were like that. I think that is what it's going to take to make people start the habit.

That and make it easier and less expensive to do.