Go Green or Go Home

What’s the deal with everybody rolling their eyes when you talk about being “green?” Or when you say the word “organic.” Maybe a large portion of people right now are going green because it’s fashionable, but who cares! If they’re sheep – at least they’re environmentally-conscious sheep. Sadly, my husband is one of those eye-rolling offenders. He thinks my determination to shop at Whole Foods – because I respect their focus on environmental interdependence, their goal to buy and sell local goods and their wide array of natural products – is just a phase and one that he hopes will end quickly given the spike in our grocery bills. Yes it’s more expensive, but I’d like to point out that choices shouldn’t always be driven by price. There’s something to be said about the difference between price and cost. The cost of shopping at Wal-Mart (and yes I’m sure I’ll offend about 60% of my friends by saying this) is so much greater to our communities. I shouldn’t even go on my rampage against that corporate predator because blogs get boring when they drone on forever. But let me just say this. I believe that everybody should be selective about where to do business. I don’t respect Wal-Mart, therefore I don’t do business with them, regardless of how much cheaper their produce, bread, milk, etc. probably is. When a company refuses to promote single women because “men with families need it more,” or slashes benefits so that the majority of their workers are on part time and can’t get health care so that I have to pay that difference in my taxes, or because that company doesn’t bother buying its products from manufactures or plants that practice fair-trade, etc. I think we should all stand against it. And yes I’m that person at the grocery store that is now shopping with recycleable totes.

There are so many companies out there trying to focus on complying with environmentally-friendly practices and I applaud them. CNN just came out with a list of the Top 10 companies who have gone above and beyond what the law requires of them to be environmentally responsible.

The impetus for all of this is that I went to this conference on paper and how to print responsibly and it totally freaked me out. This speaker, Derek Smith from England was incredible and laid out all the damage our world is going through because of how much energy we use; which now that we’ve been surpassed by China who doesn’t seem to give a crap that they’re now the leading energy offender in the world, we’re particularly screwed. Needless to say, I’m in the process of replacing all our light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, never turn on the lights unless I absolutely need to and make it so cold in our house that I wear a sweater all day long. Not that I’m perfect, I drive a beefy Explorer and haven’t thrown out all my cleaning supplies to replace them with biodegradeable or natural cleaning products. I’m taking one thing at a time. Yesterday I ordered “green” plastic garbage bags that will disintegrate and compost in a year. Wes is just having a field day over this blog entry I just know he’s going to try to peg me as a hippy and apologize to all our friends about me. But I’m proud of my endeavors, as simple as they are. He’ll come around – I’ll have him converted in no time.


10 thoughts on “Go Green or Go Home

  1. Bravo Amber! I totally respect you. I feel guilty about not recycling. I may even try my hand at composting this year. I need to get myself some more totes. I only have one giant bag which doesn’t help much. Anyway – I just read this article that I thought you would appreciate: http://www.newsweek.com/id/111716Even Wes would agree that a little extra money is worth this yogurt. It is up to European standards of good.

  2. Go Green or Go Home–Go, Girl!Its great to hear that you are looking into sustainable living as a serious choice. I believe that our role in the Gospel as stewards of the earth makes sustainable living practices a serious responsibility. And if our choices are only driven by price, we’re worshipping at a false idol.If you’re interested in some resources on sustainable living, both local and otherwise, let me know.BTW, I’m impressed with your reading list. Despite my encouragement, I’ve never known another soul interested in plowing through Foucalt’s Pendulum. A very fascinating book.

  3. Amber, I think that rocks. I cart home all of our office’s recyclables (co-workers’ eyes rolling). It is scary how once you start paying attention to waste, you know how much there really is. The more paper I drag home the more I know we can all really make a difference. PS I am part of the 60 percent that saves money at Walmart..but you are right, we should support company’s we admire with our wallets and not just words.

  4. Ummm…can we still be friends even though I’m not as green as you? Well, I’m not as cool as you either, so maybe we can work something out…I think you bring up some good points–it’s a lot easier to sit back and pretend everything’s going to be ok or that somebody else will fix things, but there’s a lot we can do to make our world a greener place!Even though I shop at Wal-mart, I do recycle! Maybe on my next visit I’ll at least pick up some energy efficient lightbulbs. 🙂

  5. My Wal-Mart shopping experiences would disappoint you. I completely understand if you never want to speak to me again.If you forgive me, for not being so green, we need to go to dinner again sometime soon. I’m sure that Holdens been asking about me.

  6. Amen sista! Yeah for recyclable totes! I love them. I am disappointed lately because Wal-Mart is ALL we have here!!!!!! AAAHHHH!!! I do try to go to the commasary on the base but they can be limited and expensive! I have been searching online for Whole Foods and other stores in Delaware so when we get there I can shop organic. Way to go, I’m w/ ya! I think you realize how much you waste when you are throwing diapers away too…YUK!

  7. Love the post. I need to do better with recycling. Dave is much better than I am. I am definitely going to get some grocery totes, and while I still shop at Wal-Mart now, Dave and I have decided that when we get into a better financial position, we will definitely change. (Yes, I know how lame that sounds) :o)

  8. Okay, I know I said that I said I would provide more sustainable living resources if asked. But Tim, Crista, and Addy’s mention of diapers reminded me that there are a lot of more sustainable baby products out there. I have a SaHM friend (knew her in college in my student ward, got reacquainted in the Utah political blogosphere) who has started a home-based business promoting those sorts of products. So any parents who are interested in “greening” their diapers and other baby products, check out greenpeasbaby.com.And I promise, I will not bring up any of this next time we come HTing.:)

  9. so right on amber dear – as usual! without a whole foods in the middle of no-where wyoming, i am left with safeway. it’s really not half bad and we can’t and won’t contribute to the big machine that is our one-stop-shop world. beyond all of the environmental and moral un-contributions that wally-world boasts, what about the complete homogenization of our world? yuck! and who can stand to shop under those lights…preaching to the choir…Sj

  10. I agree, it’s all about doing one thing at a time and adding one more green thing to our list at a time, that way the increase in the grocery bill is hardly noticeable. 🙂 #1 on my green, organic, environmentally friendly list is Organic, Pasture Fed Milk. But that’s a whole other story. I think you’re doing great! -Lizzie

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