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.

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