It’s Goode to Be Green(e)

As our time in Massachusetts comes to a close, I’m in the process of making my mental transition from this home to my next one. I find myself taking mental inventory of the things I’m really going to miss about living here and then try to counter each one of those with something I’ve missed about living in the South. Even though I’ve only lived here a year, I think New England may have changed me in some ways. For example….

Have any of you seen The Goode Family on ABC?

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It isn’t the best TV show I’ve ever seen, but K and I can’t stop watching it because it could easily be set in Boston. Now I’m not saying that people in the South don’t care about the environment. I’m sure the South has more than a few environmentalists. It just seems that more people here take a much more concentrated interest in all things “green.” For example, curbside recycling is not available in the town where my parents live. It’s standard procedure here on garbage pick-up days. It’s extremely rare to find a trash can without a partner recycling can here. Even the potties are green. Want to see? Yes, I took a couple of pictures. Does this TRULY make me a blogger, Tiffani?  I actually have a couple of examples for you.

First of all, this is a potty from somewhere in Boston’s North End (which is also the best place to find the cannoli of your dreams which is probably not even appropriate to talk about in this paragraph). This potty has different flush options for #1 and #2. I’m not kidding! That’s what it says on the sign! Look!:

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This is my favorite green potty. It is located at the Minuteman Trail visitor’s center closest to the Old North Bridge in Concord. This potty turns waste into compost. How cool is that?!:

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I have a picture of the actual potty, but I thought maybe it was just too much. As I’m typing this sentence, I’m thinking that maybe this whole post is too much. Oh, well, I’m going with it.

So what effect has all this greenness had on the Snoodles?

Well, I get twitchy if I have to throw something recyclable away and I can’t find a recycle receptacle. I’ve been known to forage through the trash looking for things that should be recycled and not trashed. I’ve been amazed at how recycling reduces even the number of trash bags I need because I don’t have as much in my trash cans now.

Princess Diva has developed an internal alarm that goes off if she hears anyone running water for longer than a nanosecond. “Mom! We’re wasting water!!” 

Just for kicks, next time you see the little Snoodles, at a random point in conversation yell out, “Reduce!” and I’ll give you a quarter if they don’t instantly respond, “Reuse! Recycle!” I have no idea where they even learned that.

I feel guilty if I leave my reusable grocery bags at home when I go to the store:

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I’ve started using more and more natural cleaning products like vinegar. My favorite store-bought cleaner is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (geranium fragranced):

778559_f260Am I as green as the Goodes? Good grief, no. I’m not even the greenest person I know. But I’m greener than I was when I got here. I tell you this not to impress you with my newfound love of conservation. I tell you this because I’m becoming aware that all these moves my family makes change me in little ways. The people I meet in the places I live make a lasting impression on who I am. So every time I move, I take away little regional sayings (like starting every sentence with “So…”),  new favorite foods and stores (Trader Joe’s, Lizzy’s Ice Cream), new-found interests and hobbies (Go, Sox!), and friendships that will forever be part of my heart (Love you, Hope Fellowship Friends!).

 I don’t know how many of my recycling ways I’ll be able to maintain after we move, but I can tell you that I was very happy to learn that even though it isn’t offered in the community, the base where we’ll be living offers free curbside recycling. (yay!) If nothing else, I’ve realized that as Christians we do have a responsibility to be good stewards of this earth that God created. If that makes me a light shade of green, I can live with that. It’s not easy being green, but once you start making a few little changes, it’s even harder to stop!

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite tree-huggers, Meredith. I applaud you in your efforts and hope to be more like you when I grow up, Mer. R, R, and R, Meredith. R, R, and R.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “It’s Goode to Be Green(e)

  1. Since we have moved we have curbside recycling that is required also. It has become a game to me . . . to see if I can fill up my recycling bin. In fact, if you DON’T recycle, they won’t pick up your trash. Know how I know? B/C my MIL didn’t recycle just for 1 week (normally she’s very faithful), so they didn’t empty her trash. I need to use my grocery bags rather than plastic . . . I just forget them EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

    I love the potty pictures. . . that is so cool! I just hope the recycled water isn’t the drinking water – ha!ha!

  2. The potty pictures are very interesting. Public bathrooms truly are different from state to state. We have mostly auto flushers here(they scare my boys).

    I never realized….I start many sentences with “So…”….and so do most of my local friends. My brother will even just say the word “So” like it’s a full sentence. Interesting.

  3. carpoolqueen

    I keep forgetting my recyclable grocery bags at home, too. And our trash company was recently spotlighted on the news for mixing the recyclables in with the regular trash.

  4. Sadly, the only reason I’m even slightly green is because THe Mister’s been green before green was cool.

    And quite frankly, until it became cool, it just annoyed me.

    But now I see the importance of green.

    And since all my bloggy peeps are cool, I like to get in on the action!

  5. My kids got a less than sweet voiced talking to for leaving a pop can in the trash for the eleventy hundredth time, so apparently, green is rubbing off on me. Now if kindness, patience, self control, etc. would follow suit, I’d be green and nice. We’ll see. 🙂

  6. I feel compelled to tell you that my green self just forgot about the sprinkler allllll last night. Thank you God for sweet neighbors. And i’ll work on that old hypocrisy thang.

  7. Oh how I love Trader Joe’s. We had a hard time moving from CA to OK. Recycling is much harder here!

  8. I LOVE THIS POST!

    You knew I would though, didn’t you?

    And I’ve been bringing stuff home from VBS every day this week to put in my recycling bin. Does that make me weird???

  9. Oh…you’re going to miss TJ’s so much.

  10. I thought of Meredith as I read this post. I don’t think any of us are weird for all of our recycling ways. It makes us responsible! Emily is right-it’s difficult here in OK. There’s no curbside pick-up. In fact, the lady at the city office laughed at me when I asked about it when we moved here. So sad.

    I’ve never seen toilets like that. Very interesting.

  11. YES! You are TRULY a blogger! HA!

    I have my reuseable bags and only b/c of Mer do I really pay attention and now I bring bottles home from places too (like my sister’s house) to throw in our bin. There’s much more I could be doing…baby steps.

  12. Oh, Meredith. My whole way through this post, I just kept thinking, “Meredith will be so proud of the Snoodle.”

    And she is.

    And she is contemplating firing me as a friend, because I refuse to be green. But I live in the South…and am claiming that as my excuse.

  13. Amy

    I’ve heard about toilets like that, so it’s interesting to see that they really exist and to see the instructions!

    Saw a Trader Joe’s being built on our side of town this week. (Wait, wouldn’t it be greener to move into one of the vacant retail locations that is already here?) I feel excited, but don’t know why, since I’ve never been to one.

    You’ve reminded me of the Barney song my children like to sing sometimes: When I’m brushing my teeth and having so much fun, I never let the water run. No, I never let the water run. (You’re welcome!)

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