Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's not easy being green

Kermit was right. It's not easy being green, and the more I try, the more I meet resistance when trying to make healthier and environmentally friendly changes in my lifestyle that I find more and more important lately.

It started with the plastic bags. Although I am a super re-user of plastic bags for a million different purposes at home, I understand that if each person makes even a small effort to reduce the number of plastic bags they consume monthly, we can make a little dent in the piles of nondegradable waste in the world. So I decided to buy reusable grocery bags. And I searched, and I searched...and found some really expensive "designer" ones, which didn't even look all that sturdy, and wouldn't really even hold many groceries, and couldn't justify buying 10 of them for my weekly shopping needs. So I passed those up.

Then I heard that Supersol came up with a great big green reusable cloth bag, reasonably priced (3 shekels a bag) and I was very excited and determined - so I went to one store...all out. went to another store...all out. And not only were all the stores I tried all out, they were so NOT helpful when I asked about the bags. They didn't understand why it was so important to me to buy them, nor did they know (or care, it seems) when they might be getting more.
Okay, so I'm on hold with the bags...reusing old plastic ones in the meantime for each grocery store visit (though they don't last more than about 2 rounds).

Then, I saw on a news feature somewhere that Israeli companies were going to be required to put a little rabbit logo on all kinds of products to show that they don't do unnecessary testing on animals (shampoos, detergents, etc). So everytime I try to be a responsible consumer and go looking for that darn little bunny, he is nowhere to be found. Not on the local products, not on the imports...where is that wascaly wabbit ?

From another perspective, I've been reading more and more about the effects of various food additives on children's behavior, and decided to try and eliminate as many artificial colors, flavors, stabilizers, sweeteners, etc etc, as I can, not just for the behavior effects but really because it seems like the healthier way to go. But guess what...most products (on israeli supermarket shelves) don't even come close to giving enough details about their ingredients to enable me to make any kind of informed decision on what to buy or not. I suppose I could go to one of those health food stores where everything is overpriced and overlabeled - but in all honestly I don't have enough green in my wallet to make such green purchases on a regular basis.

There are a few things I'm working on, or have managed to do already:
1. We've stopped using plastic (disposable) cups.
2. I microwave only in glass or ceramic dishes, no more plastic
3. We bring all our big plastic bottles to the recycle bins, and all our glass bottles back for deposit
4. I started a vegetable garden - all organic, at least I know that its pesticide-free

Bit by bit, we're getting greener around the gills, and I'm trying to make sure the kids also understand the reasons behind everything. And I like using the word crunchy, although I wouldn't say I'm there yet.

So, just as I began, I will end with the immortal words of Kermit the Frog:
"It's not easy being green. But... green can be cool and friendly-like."

1 comment:

Nedra Weinreich said...

I'm not doing as much as you, so I'm very impressed.

Right after I read your post, I saw this news article:

I assume this is what you were talking about the other day. Definitely worth a try!

Happy V Day! Do you want me to buy you some cloth shopping bags and send them to you? Trader Joes has some nice ones.