What can you Just.Not.Do?

straw flowersHappy Valentine’s Day, featuring my non- eco- friendly (but cheap, crafty and personalized) child’s Valentine’s!

Yes, that’s right, it’s a whole stack of pretend flowers made from straws and cellophane tape. Landfill, here we come.

Little Cheap learned how to make these at a Chinese New Year event this weekend, and she loves them. It’s a detailed, but doesn’t matter if you’re kinda sloppy, semi-obsessive activity – perfect for her. So yes, I rushed out and spent 50 cents on a box of straws for her to indulge herself in making 22 of these for her class at school.

I thought about arguing that it wasn’t eco-friendly and we should do something else. I have done so, in the past. And then I thought, for heaven’s sake, let her have one thing.

Here, I mostly post about my successes, but I do have my eco-failures (and wastes of money, too).

  • I won’t give up fairly warm showers. I’ve turned them down from hot, they are pretty short, I usually shower only every other day (don’t tell!), so I don’t feel too guilty on this one. And I did get rid of the hot tub … but I can’t promise I’ll never again take one of the hot, hot baths I love (and which are sooo good for my crunchy muscles).
  • I won’t give up driving. I try to consolidate errands; we live where we can walk to the grocery store. But I can’t sign off visiting my mother and sister, and I won’t commit to the bus, either. (We live in a city with supposedly one of the nation’s best public transport systems. Yet I can drive from Denver to Boulder in 30 minutes. When I took the bus to Boulder to a meeting — trying to be very eco-friendly — it took 2 hours each way. I just don’t have that kind of time.)
  • I won’t turn the heat down any further. I keep the thermostat set at 67 or 68 most days. The actual temperature in our rooms is about 64. I might be able to bundle up more, put a hot water bottle on my lap, or drug the dog so he’ll lie on my frozen feet, but as it is, my hands sometimes get stiff from cold, so short of moving into a house with a wood stove where I can huddle all winter, it ain’t gonna happen. I do turn it down to 58 at night.

So back on the theme of Valentine’s Day … what do you LOVE too much to give up, no matter what? And just how guilty do you feel?


6 thoughts on “What can you Just.Not.Do?

  1. frankschulteladbeck says:

    Firstly, let’s think positive. They are not going into the landfill, because everyone is going to keep them.

    My eco-failure is not finishing some projects for the house due to funds and time. I really want to update this older home to be more efficient, but now I am getting into some more expensive tasks, that I am putting off longer than I like.

  2. Jenna says:

    Don’t pile on too much guilt for your eco-failures… I think some of the “I suffered for the planet” options often turn out to be either pointless or even sometimes harmful.

    Go too cold? Risk getting sick. Lukewarm showers ( my mother explained this one to me lol)? Causes worse soap scum which leads to harsher chemicals and the risk of severe injury when you slip and fall.

    For me, I’m just not giving up hot baths. Sorry planet. No dice. (Heck, I blogged about my refusal a while ago and actually found I got others to go back to baths. I should REALLY be sorry about leading others astray.) On one hand, I know the argument for short cool showers…

    but long hot baths – humidify the upstairs of my home, heat the bathroom AND the hallway (I let the water sit after), has been used as grey water in the summer, I use natural soaps so I even have watered the garden, and in the long run mean I can turn the heat down lower when I go to bed because I’m slipping in warm.

    Yes. I can justify most of my wants. (lol)

    Cute flowers by the by.

  3. Melissa says:

    You did the right mom thing. She’s right there with you on so many of your other green plans that you’re clearly raising her right.

    I can’t stop making cards. I feel guilty about the use of frivolous paper, but also recycle or reuse my scraps and I’m pretty sure I’d be completely wacko without the artistic release (and these days, I NEED the release).

    We’re on the verge of buying our wood stove insert for the fireplace (finally). Maybe you could come work in our family room. 🙂

  4. cheaplikeme says:

    At least paper is a renewable resource. Don’t start making them out of straws, OK?

    Well, in case you guys turn out to be too cheap to do the wood stove insert, I’ll work on knitting my fingerless gloves …

  5. Whirled says:

    I can’t give up driving my children to school. I know it is a waste of gas…but the bus comes by our house at 7:00 in the morning and they don’t have to be at school until 8:15. School gets out at 3:20 and the bus comes down our street at 4:10. They are only in elementary school and that just seems way to long on the bus. Plus our gravel roads seem to bring out the speed demons in the bus drivers. So I drive to town and back twice a day.
    I just hope all our other efforts even things out a little! 🙂

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