June 16, 2009

Confessions of a green-mama wannabe


I bought an ultra cool new supermarket grocery bag that fits into the supermarket cart while walking the aisles, then turns into a knapsack to help you carry groceries easily.

Now I can preach silently to the masses of shoppers who'll admire my eco-sense... while I fill my reusable bag with processed food and disposable diapers and hope nobody notices (at least it's opaque.)


Of course, I'm all for the environment. And for sustainability. And for renewable energy. And for the myriad of other buzzwords that have sprung up in our language for the past few years.


But I admit I sometimes feel like the grown-up version of that teen who feel's she's saving the world by just "thoroughly eliminating CFCs from her life" - in that case, refraining from buying hairspray & certain brands of mousse (according to what my then-source of wisdom said at the time)


Fast forward a couple of decades and different versions of of bad hairstyles later. I'm a full time marketing consultant, mother, diaper-changer, air-conditioning queen who doesn't have time to breathe. Being green is much more important today, yet much more complicated.


A few examples. What would you do?

  • Dilemma #1: finished conference call at 11:15 PM. Husband rightfully complains that I (well, we) don't have a life. Washing machine is done. Should I bring in the laundry hanging outside from previous day, then hang the new batch on the clothesline, or just spend 10% of that time to push the wash into the dryer? (never mind it's 30 degrees outside in the Israeli Summer)
  • Dilemma # 2: We need a second car so that husband can help dropping off kids in the morning (none of the preschools/schools are within walking distance), and so that I can add at least 1 more hour to my work life.
  1. Should we actually get the car and stop using the organized transport the amazing company he works for puts together as a perk (and as small contribution to carbon-emissions reduction?)
  2. Now that I've said yes to question #1, should I feel guilty I'm not even considering hybrid cars as an option (too expensive here, unknown resell value, unknown problems in the longer term, and too little storage room for strollers and "really important things" like grocery bags)
  • Dilemma 3: Which takes me back to my ultra-cool grocery bag. First, a confession: the real reason I bought that ultra-cool shopping bag was to organize my shopping cart and separate tax-deductible items from the rest of my shopping (don't ask - the only joy of being a freelancer here). But since I'm already using The Good Bag, I will also aim to reduce my consumption of the bad (aka plastic) bags. But then, what would I do when I run out of current stock of bad-bags at home? After all, where will I put all those dirty diapers? Should I just grab a few at the cash register and stuff them inside the lining of my Good Bag?

Guess that my role in saving the world will currently be accomplished by the sole virtue of displaying my use of Good Bags, regardless of the shipment they carry.



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