I also wonder how, if environmental education is the latest trend in elemetary cirriculums, I will explain to my sweet little cherub (snerk) exactly why Mommy and Daddy are limited in their ability to jump on board this bandwagon.
In terms of Green Points, I present the following:
- We only have one car. It's a 2003 Impala, but it's one car. For the family. Now, with M back to work, we all commute together. He drives to his workplace (about 10 minutes from mine), and then I take the helm and drive to A's play-skool and my office. We reverse the trend going home. We don't drive when we can take the T though.
- We recycle. Two bins a week.
- I use one green cleaning product for light cleaning only. The others I've tried were ridiculously expensive and performed worse than soap and hot water, so there's still plenty of chemicals in the house - which means I don't think I can claim a full point here.
- I use a re-usable water bottle for tap water and coffee mug instead of buying them individually.
- When we buy seasonal fruits and vegetables from our commissary, we automatically get the local deal. Same with milk and eggs. They're not, however, certified organic or free-range. That might equal out to zero points.
I recently did a cost analysis on the value of getting rid of the Impala in favor
of a Prius (not that I would drive a Prius, but I wanted to see nevertheless). Here's how it broke down:
The Prius would get 288 miles per tank during the cooler months and, after it warms up, according to owners, then possibly 571 using manufacture specs. And yes, I realize that supposedly the fuel bladder in the 2010 model has been re-designed to reduce shrinkage in cold weather. Nevertheless, I currently get 350 miles per tank no matter what the weather.
At 2.79 a gallon where we fill up, figuring the bladder fix would give me the EPA rated (individual results will vary), 11.9 gallons per tank, it would cost 33.20 per fill - and I'd have to fill, based on a 48 mpg rating, about every week and 3 days. At 33.20 for 8 days vs. 30.00 for 5, that's 6 dollars a day in fuel vs. 4. Hm. Not a wicked sizable sum.
The Impala is also almost paid off and only costs 90 a month to insure. The Prius would be an almost 300.00 monthly payment at the starting price I saw of 31K. And over a hundred dollars to insure.
Not getting a hybrid. Sorry.
Next, I looked at artisan meats, free-range meat and eggs, and real, honest-to-God fresh, homemade bread from a bakery. Oh. And organically grown fruits and vegetables. All of these combined would quadruple my grocery bill. I wish I could afford free-range because it IS better for you, and tastes better too. But right now, even though conceptually, the cost of production should be lower and that should be passed along, it's still a niche market and those occupying the niche have either way more disposable income than I do or don't care and will go without, say, a car, to purchase.
Organic vegetables? Forget it. At 3 times the price with zero additional nutritional value to their mass farmed counterparts, I will settle for a good washing of the item in question.
Finally, sustainable or environmentally friendly home products. I have three bamboo cutting boards. They were a splurge and as I was going home with them, I thought, waitaminnit. Bamboo is a pest plant. It's like Kudzu. It'll just grow out of control if you don't manage it very, very carefully. It's also a "green" product, unlike hardwood, for that very reason. So why the HELL is it so much more expensive than wood or plastic? Same for hemp fibers, natural ticking, yarns, dyes and all the rest.
No, the state is free to educate my child on the benefits of environmental sustainment and being green, but when it comes time for her to ask me why our home isn't "more green", I'm going to assign her a research project to answer that question. It will be, "Find Out Why are Green and Environmentally Conscious Materials and Products So Much More Expensive and Cost Prohibitive to the Average Family".
We don't own our home, we don't have a yard as such. Many of the homemade options are not available to us for those reasons and, even if they were, converting our 90 year old place into something a little more green would be low on the list for Reasons to Take Out a Second Mortgage.
How about you? How are you green and in what areas are you not and why?