Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Going Green Without Paxil

Fantastic artwork titled I wish they would recycle by explodingdog.

Ever since the Earth Day Challenge, I've made an effort to be more green at work. It is so easy to fall into using disposable paper plates and plastic ware without regard to recycling or reusing. Where I work in New Hampshire, they have only recently started a recycling initiative at work. And these New Hampshire-ites are not exactly used to it (Massachusetts'ers are much more conscious about recycling). So I took it upon myself to print out these recycling signs to put over the trash barrels to remind people. They get splattered with ketchup once in a while, so I reprint, recolor, and repost them. And then I do inspections. See that aluminum can and plastic bottle in the trash? After I shot the picture, I fished them out and put them in the proper recycling bins (and washed my hands incessantly afterwards). The signs do help deter the non-recyclers as there are some days that I don't find recyclables in the trash. But really, why do I need to be the recycling police? I ought to chill out!

recycling police

Another way I've changed at work was to bring in my own plates and silverware from home. It was a bit awkward and strange at first. The first time I went to wash my plate and fork, I went to the kitchen, washed them, and then took a paper towel to dry my hands and tableware. Then I walked back slowly to my desk thinking, wait, I just wasted all this water and here's this paper towel which I'm going to throw away. I ran into a few colleagues in the hallway who were wondering why I had this puzzled look on my face. I explained the predicament of not using a paper plate, but using water and a paper towel instead. Should I save it to dry and use again? One smart ass said, "You know what would help you? Paxil." Ah yes, apparently I've gone over the edge trying to be green. But I've finally struck a balance. Now I only go to wash my tableware when I go to the bathroom. I wash my tableware at the same time I wash my hands and use one paper towel for double duty. Yes, over-analysis, but it works. Thinking The only downside is that I can't use my tip of using a plastic knife to fish out my english muffin out of the toaster and nearly burn my fingers every morning.

Market Basket bags

I've also finally hopped on the reusable bags wagon for grocery shopping. Since I like to be frugal as well as green, I wasn't about to shell out a fortune buying beautiful reusable bags (but feel free to buy me some of these). I went to my closet and fished out unused canvas totes from WGBH (green and a public television/radio supporter, can you say flaming liberal?), the Emerson Hospital Birthing Center (had the earn those for sure), and one from a trade show. They still weren't enough to cover all the groceries, so I sprang for these $1.29 mesh grocery bags from Market Basket. And these are wonderful!! They fold up neatly and snap shut, and open to hold huge amounts of food. And these bags are catching on even in New Hampshire. Applause

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