Friday, March 23, 2007

Think twice before shaking

I used to live in Boulder, Colorado. Recycling was a way of life. The idea of throwing out a can was akin to running over a small child. You just didn’t do it. Then I moved to California. I tried for a little while, but my building doesn’t have recycling. Recycling meant that I had to find room for bins in my small apartment, and then find time on Saturday between 8 and 12 to take my items to the recycling center. I never did it. Not once. I took some magazines to a recycling bin close by, but that’s it.

I quickly figured out that entrepreneurial (also usually homeless) people collected bottles to cash in for the deposit. That became my out. I was helping people who helped me save the planet. I felt a little better and ignored the rest.

That worked well until Al Gore released his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth, which I still haven’t seen. It opened people’s eyes and got the discussion going again. It is now cool to love the earth and eat organic. No longer do I feel okay throwing out my magazines and cardboard boxes that bring me inventory for the website. I am again looking at how I live my life, and rethinking that drive to the recycling center on Saturday.

Being “green” is the new cool. The web is teeming with great sites on how to live a more ecologically sound life. I’ve been combing sites looking at ideas to make our wedding more eco-savvy. My eBay dress is a fabulous step in that direction since I am recycling a huge piece of chemically treated fabric. We are using local flowers, and I asked our caterer to use as many local foods as she can. We’re using rented plates and dishes because they can be reused (and look so much better than plastic). We are doing pretty well in the big picture and I felt good about it all until I started reading more. There is always more to do to lessen the impact on the earth. Like not using toilet paper.

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