Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Go Green or Go Home

My childhood was vastly more sustainable than my big-city pre-post-adolescence. The evidence:

1. We lived in a house with solar heating capabilities (see left: me, mom and Claire during construction). Though I never truly understood why, this led us to stockpile mountains of empty plastic jugs in the basement. It was very futuristic.
2. That same house was supplied with water from our own pond, which made for the most earthy, aromatic showers.
3. We took our empty glass Coke bottles back to Kroger and turned them in on the self-serve rolling conveyer belt.
4. We had a milkman who delivered milk once a week from somewhere presumably not too far away. Our dogs enjoyed barking at him.
5. We consumed large quantities of vegetables from my grandparents’ garden, and many fish caught in nearby bodies of water.

Today, in honor of Earth Day, I’m wearing a tie-dye T-shirt from a designer who plants a tree with every purchase (supposedly), and organic jeans made from cotton grown without pesticides. But I’m definitely bogus. I don’t even know the rules of recycling, and I regularly throw away scandalous amounts of bubble wrap and packing peanuts. While reading an Earth Day article titled “Why Bother?” in today’s New York Times, my guilt was ratcheted up yet another notch—I don’t grow the slightest bit of my own food, which the writer suggests is the first step toward changing the cheap-energy mind. Not only that, but recently, I callously used Earth Hour as an excuse for a candlelit cocktail party. I’m so ashamed.

P.S. Shopping at my local Treasure Island grocery store is a refreshingly optimistic experience. At checkout, after one swipes one’s credit card, the machine flashes a big cheery “Congratulations!” instead of the usual grudgingly stated “Approved.” Also, as I noticed tonight in the greeting card aisle, they carry numerous birthday cards geared towards 100-year-olds.

P.P.S. I need tickets to the Kentucky Derby. Naturally, I want clubhouse seats for pennies on the dollar. That’s why I'm so tempted to believe the British gentleman with the broken English on Craigslist who claims he’s unloading six Derby tickets for a reasonable price because he’s stuck in London on business and he’ll FedEx them across the pond right after we conduct a private eBay auction. Surely this is legit. Right? RIGHT?

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