Greeeeeeen. The Greenest I’ve Been.

Posted By on November 21, 2011

I’m a bit of a tree-hugger. I think this is one of the side effects of living in the state of California. And I was there almost six years.

I’m not sure when it happened. I mean, I grew up recycling, for the most part. We always separated trash and recycling, for as long as I can remember. I am thankful I had a mom who made us do it, or otherwise I probably never would have.

But my adult years have taken this to a new level. I recycle. I conserve. I take public transit. I use natural cleansers. I worry about my carbon footprint. I am green!

I came to this realization while my sister was living with me. See, for a 22 year old, she is not green. I realized this when I noticed many things in the trash that were recyclable. So I would then go through the trash and pull out anything that was recyclable. (Oh, yes. Yes I did.) (I mean, the girl uses more toilet paper than I’ve ever seen! That’s a lot of empty cardboard rolls!)

I had no shame in picking out empty rolls of toilet paper or empty plastic bottles of the trash and putting them in the recycling bin. My trash and recyclables are all in the same place anyway, so it isn’t like it’s more effort.

And then on Monday I went to the grocery store after work. And I didn’t have any of my reusable grocery bags in the car. I figured it wouldn’t be that big of a deal to use plastic this one time. It won’t kill the Earth. I re-use those bags to empty the catbox.

But as I approached the check out, I was overcome with this guilt about using plastic. It irritated me! Especially since I know that there were plenty of bags in my house!

So what did I do? I bought 2 new reusable bags at the checkout. And that was enough for my groceries, to show you just how little I bought.

I began to think of other things:

I use one of these at work and it hurts every time I have to buy a bottle of water. (I used to get hives when I went to visit Ali in Atlanta and there were so many bottles and they didn’t recycle!)

This is my lunch bag. Before I bought this, it was a reusable grocery bag.

I used to bring my lunch in Tupperware containers instead of plastic baggies.

Now I have reusable plastic baggies that I use for lunch.

I’ve tried to switch to mostly natural cleansers.

I feel like such a grown up! I know for a fact, 23 year old me did not care this much about conserving the planet. She just drank beer from the bottle and only worried about where the next beer was coming from, not how she was going to recycle said bottle. (In all honesty, I still probably think this way when I’m drinking.)

Do you notice any of these kinds of things that you do now that your younger self wouldn’t even think twice about?

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


9 Responses to “Greeeeeeen. The Greenest I’ve Been.”

  1. Daisy says:

    I carry my lunch in a bag like yours and recently switched to glass food storage containers, as even the plastic reusable ones get gross after awhile. I need to invest in some of those baggies though! I do commute (boo) but I walk everywhere in the city!
    Daisy´s last blog post ..Craftastic

  2. gorillabuns says:

    I make my kids carry reusable ziploc containers, soup bowls, brown paper bags, reusable plastic ware that should last just another washing. Obviously, I’m not afraid to make them look like freaks in a sea of waste and destruction.
    gorillabuns´s last blog post ..the swing

  3. Andrea says:

    There isn’t a recycling program where I live anymore so I’m not able to do that. 🙁 There was one for a while, and I would diligently sort everything (especially magazines and paper trash) and bring them to the collection place. Now I try to donate magazines I’m done with to the cancer center. I also use reusable grocery bags and I bring water to work in reusable bottles. I still use plastic ziplock bags, which is a habit that’s been hard to break. I’ll have to look at trying your reusable plastic baggies.
    Andrea´s last blog post ..Blog Share

  4. Angella says:

    Yep! We’re pretty green, too. And I HATE when I don’t have my reusable grocery bags with me, even though we use the plastic bags for garbage.
    Angella´s last blog post ..The Great (Holiday) Debate

  5. Erin says:

    I use reusable water bottles as often as possible and hate it when I have to buy a bottled water and there’s no where to recycle it! I’ve been known to carry empty bottles home with me so I can put them in our recycle bin. At my previous job we didn’t have a recycling program for the first few years I worked there so I would collect everyone’s bottles and cans under my desk and take home huge bags to recycle every few days.

    In college my roommate used to wash her ziploc bags and use them again. So, at least one 20-something out there was green-conscious. Although, I think she really did it because she was cheap.
    Erin´s last blog post ..Weekly Workout Wround Up

  6. alimartell says:

    my parents are way worse than I am…but, I don’t know, I just, I recycle all the time…but I rarely use our green bin—which is composting. It’s a lot of effort and I really sometimes just wonder how much it’s actually doing? I know that makes me sound like an asshole or whatever…but I just, I don’t know, having a stink box full of food products in my kitchen is so disgusting to me.

  7. Just Shireen says:

    I love my Camelbak! I have 4, one in the car, on by my nightstand and two to reuse from time to time. I felt so guilty about using plastic bags I too have bought reusable bags at the store (even though they aren’t the flip & tumbles that I love) and I even went so far as to buy the biodegradable bags for the kitty litter.

    There is still so much more that I could do, but the few things that I do do I (sort of unfairly) expect everyone else to do. If I can do it, so can you! heh
    Just Shireen´s last blog post ..Grace

  8. Carrisa says:

    I don’t recycle. I never have. The City of Tulsa is taking bids right now on trash service and I’m really hoping this one company wins the bid because they actually have their employees sort trash and recycle for you. I know this because my sister works for the owner. I do use the same lunch bag you do. I also try to use reusable containers as much as possible, but I still use ziploc bags. I do take my own reusable bags to the grocery store though. And if I forget or don’t have enough and get stuck with plastic, then I just use them to line my smaller trashcans.

  9. Catherine says:

    I try to recycle as much as possible and it kills me that you can’t recycle yogurt cups in NYC. I do try to use my sigg bottle as much as possible and always carry my reusable grocery bags with me– to the point where I didn’t have any plastic bags for cleaning up the kitty box.

    I wish I could make my cats more environmentally friendly but they just can’t get on board with the whole green movement no matter which litter we try.