Saturday, March 20, 2010

Green Costs How Much?

Waiting at the vets office today I overheard the receptionist having a conversation with a friend, I'm not normally one to eavesdrop, they were being really loud, so I didn't have much of a choice, but when I heard "being a tree hugger is expensive" they wandered into my territory. I resisted butting in, but perhaps I shouldn't have, I know with this blog I'm preaching to the choir, but I was kind of shocked at what I heard.

They were complaining about the cost of "Eco-Friendly" cat litter. (really!) And practicably in the same breath, the woman was saying how she "Needed" Trees, Parking, and Big Box Stores. Seriously. Those three things. TOGETHER. In ONE sentence. Justification? I am NOT making this up, she said "I buy water in big flats, I buy toilet paper in big flats" Well, why if she is so worried about money, that she "needs" to buy bulk, is she buying water at all?!! Do I butt in at this point? I keep my mouth shut. Her friend continues that they couldn't afford the "Biodegradable plastic bags" for the cat litter (to be fair, we live in San Francisco where these actually work) So she flushes it down the toilet. A VET RECEPTIONIST!!! How does THIS woman not know that doing that spreads diseases to sea otters? ARRRGGG! There's this new biodegradable product they've come out with, its new, its only been around about two thousand years, its called paper, and they make bags out of it now! Some places even give them away for FREE! I hear they might have some of these things in San Francisco, but that's probably just a rumor. Already stressed out about my sick dog, I have to listen to these two numb sculls complain about the perceived cost of being green. I don't know if I should butt in or not. Ms. "I need trees and parking" says she doesn't know how the people who shop on the bus do it, she COULDN'T do it!" OK, OK, then she's talking about how she stayed at her friends house in the city and had to buy: I know it's gross, maxi pads! And how toilet paper and maxi pads cost SOOO much when you live in the city and can't buy them from a big box store!!!!

One thing I gotta say, and I know this grosses some people out, but I think its the coolest thing ever and maybe I should be more vocal about it, I LOVE MY KEEPER! When I thought I lost my Keeper, I ran out and got a Diva Cup. I was overdue for another one anyway. I swear to my higher power of choice that even if I were an SUV driving, Evian guzzling, Suburban big box shopping soccer mom, and I didn't lay awake nights worrying about shoving a product loaded with dioxin up into my reproductive area, I wouldn't give up my cup for anything!! They can pry it from my cold, dead...So I buy something that costs about 30 bucks, and it lasts me (the suggested life span is 3 years, I'm pretty sure mine is twice that age, oops!) I don't even remember what the other things cost, but I remember being annoyed at the cost of them. I'm sure I spent more than $10 a year on them. Sorry I wasn't hard core enough for the reusable pads, I even bought some but then I discovered the wonder that is the Keeper! Imagine never having to go out and buy feminine products again! (Or at least for three years!) Never having your sensitive areas dried out by all the nastiness that they put in those things! I've had my keeper leak on me twice, in half a decade of using the thing! The disposable versions failed on me constantly. HOW DO WOMEN NOT KNOW ABOUT THESE THINGS!?

The reason I bring this all up in my blog, is that recently, I've noticed something, something that seems to have eluded these women:

Living a lower impact life costs less money.

The golden rule "Reduce" means you spend less money. Rags cost less than paper towels, the farmer's market is cheaper than the supermarket. Taking shorter showers, turning off the lights, turning down the heat, all these things save money. Supermarkets give you a discount for bringing your own bags, Starbucks (and other coffee shops) give you a discount for bringing your own mug. And, hey, I CAN afford fancy coffee in my snazzy re-usable mug because I don't waste money on crap like bottled water.

The other thing I noticed about Ms. "I Need Parking" is that she was significantly overweight, now I'm not exactly a stick, and I will be the first to admit that I LOVE junk food and eat a lot of things I shouldn't, and could myself stand to lose a few pounds, I'm bringing this up because:

I've been losing weight, without trying.

Since the plastic washed up on the beach, and forced me to take a good, long hard look at my own consuming habits, actually thinking about what I eat and how it gets to me has forced me to eat healthier and as a result, I've lost a noticeable amount of weight. My cute carpooling buddy (hot blond surfer, WOO CARPOOL! Save the planet, commute with a hottie!) was the first to say anything. And then I bought a scale for weighing my trash, and I'll be damned, I've been consistently losing about half a pound a week. Its not exactly the next Atkins, but stuff like giving up soda and trying to buy less processed food, food that is produced locally, and food with less packaging adds up to a healthier diet. I can't help but wonder if the woman who was complaining about the cost of fancy cat litter also spends money on Weight Watchers or Slim Fast bars or anything like that. If she's anything like most of America, I bet she does.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'vebeen thanked!

Three different people actually thanked me for picking up trash on the beach today! The more I get connected to other people who care about the oceans the less silly I feel heading out every day to pick up trash.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oh Hello, thing I don't want to be reminded of...

Its had been a looooong time since I cleaned out my car, funny that, that I love picking up trash on the beach but when it comes to my car or my room it's kind of a pigsty. Or perhaps a Pug-Sty considering that its Dave The Pug and me. I finally got around to cleaning out the car last weekend and brought in all the stuff that had been in it. The problem with that stuff, is that stuff is all stuff I brought over from my old apartment, that I had initially forgotten but got packed up for me by my ex and his mom. I got through the first wave, but there were a few things left. Among those things were my old dog, Duke's ashes. I have no idea what to do with this. Its strange to hold this box containing the remains of a part of your life. The shell of a departed soul. All that time he shared with me, from the time I was 13 until I was 26. And there's his little body, reduced to ashes held by a little baggie inside a hardwood box. It was almost ten years ago that we put him to sleep, an in spite of having the truly awesome Dave The Pug all this time, somehow I still miss Duke.

I had planned on making this a personal post, but it does tie into my trash blog. One of the things I found on the beach, early on, was a nice little box. It was such a nice little box, I almost kept it, until I picked it up and saw that it was one of these boxes, I don't remember the name of the pet, or even if it still had the name of the pet on it, if it did, it was a common pet name, like "Duke" or "Percy" or "Spot" I do remember that I saw the tag with the name of the pet cemetery that told me what the little box had once held. One side and the ashes were gone, but still, I didn't know what to do with it, and it was only wood, not plastic, so I left it on the beach.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Butterfly Tattoo

This entry isn't necessarily about surfing, but it made such an impression on me that I had to write it down. Last night I dreamed that I was in a tattoo parlor downtown, (there are no tattoo parlors in the neighborhood I was dreaming about, which I thought was strange) With, I think, my Step-Mom and Stepsisters and possibly Scott's sister and her friends, and we were all getting "Souvenir" Tattoos. I picked out a very small traditional butterfly that I wanted on my right foot. I asked how much it cost and the artist told me $10 which was a great deal and I was very excited, and figured even if he really screwed it up it was small and on my foot, and my feet aren't exactly perfect anyway so I could easily live with it till my artist could cover it up. (cover ups are one of her specialties)

The strange thing was, and this won't really make sense to non-tattooed people, what I chose. I chose a piece of traditional style flash, which is kind of strange for someone who's only tat is an extremely unusual and very non traditional custom sleeve. My sleeve follows NO traditional tattoo "rules" which is one of many reasons it looks nothing like any other tattoos most people have seen. Even a lot of my artist's other work incorporates some more traditional elements.
In Tattoo parlance, my sleeve is more akin to a painting on my arm than a tattoo. Because of this, people, whether they know tattoos or not, tend to react to it as such.

So it was odd that I would choose such a radically different style, and odd that I would choose something small, as my only tattoo is very large, and very, very odd that I would choose flash. While most people think that tattoos are a form of individual expression, as most of them are, flash is a little different. Its entirely possible that if you choose a piece of flash, you will run into someone else with the EXACT same tattoo, done by a different artist in a different country. You may even run into multiple people with the same thing! Its sort of like having a sticker put on yourself for the rest of your life! But I was very happy to do it, I was so excited in fact, that when I woke up I was so disappointed that I wasn't really getting the tattoo, that I kept my foot in position in a dreamy haze wishing I were really about to be tattooed and imagining the needle with its humm and the odd pleasure-pain as it injects the ink into my skin.

And it was a butterfly! I have done my best to avoid getting a butterfly tattoo, because its the most cliche thing on earth, I might as well get an anchor, or a heart that says "mom" Or, god, forgive me for even thinking it: a tribal arm band. I mean, I'm walking around with an endangered flower on my arm for a reason! I've only ever seen one person with the same kind of flower, and even then it was a different species. That was by design. And my nickname, come on, it would be so lame and obvious for me to have a butterfly tattoo, I might as well get one that says "Sarah". There are also not one, but two songs, that I HATE about butterfly tattoos!

Yet, I woke up today feeling unusually comfortable in my own skin, and very much wanting a butterfly tattoo on my right foot.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seems I'm not alone!

Just when I was staring to feel frustrated with my little trash collection project, I came across hope and new motivation to keep doing what I'm doing. There's another girl, also named Sara (she's cool so we'll forgive the misspelling ;P) Doing the same thing! I think she uses less profanity than I do, but you know, I gotta be me!