A ‘Living Green’ Lament


If our lovely planet’s future really were in my hands, we would all be doomed.

It’s not that I don’t want to live greener. I do. Every day I wake up intending to do just that. My children—and their children—deserve as nice a planet as the one I inherited. I’m the kind of person who prefers to be part of solutions, not problems. And could I ever use the boost in “coolness” that now accompanies green living. As my kids freely and frequently pronounce, I am the antithesis of “cool”—a fashion and design faux pas, a complete and total loser.

The problem is that it’s not easy living green in my bustling household. At least it hasn’t been easy until now. I’ve either been too busy or too lazy to choose the harder path in my daily life.

Case in point: recycling. I should wash out the dog food can, carefully collapse its lid into the interior to prevent cuts, sort it into one of our four different recycling piles, and eventually carry that pile into the appropriate green bin in our cold and crowded garage. But it’s just so much easier to throw it into the trash compactor (and hope that my husband doesn’t notice, and give me another “How to Recycle” lecture).

My sports activity vehicle, a demi-SUV, was once the perfect North Shore vehicle. Now, it fails to be hybrid, electric or mileage-efficient. Yet my embarrassment at being seen in this monster carbon footprint-maker still hasn’t pushed me to find an alternative. It’s just easier to keep driving on.

Composting sounds like a winning idea. In theory. If I could scrape the food off our plates and into a chute that directly delivers the rubbish into a composter located far enough from our home to conceal the smell, I would. But I haven’t taken the time to learn where and how to compost in a manner befitting our North Shore neighborhood, and the thought of walking that mess to a distant location in our yard doesn’t help me move any faster.

Please know that I am not a complete Living Green Loser, though. I did let my husband change all the light bulbs in our house to the curly energy-savers, even though I don’t like the shape.

And, our yard is no longer carcinogenic. We don’t let the landscaper put chemicals on it. I’m even considering using our doggie doo-doo as natural fertilizer, just as my grandfather used cow manure on the fields of his beautiful farm. But given that it might require hundreds of Pomeranian droppings to equal one cow pie, we probably couldn’t fertilize more than two bushes in a year. Is that really worth the effort?

I do a little living green on the social front too. I love to attend our neighborhood “green teas,” where my more enlightened friends present interesting and effective tips to Stop Global Warming Now. And at least my community, Wilmette, has a good recycling program. Kenilworth doesn’t even have one!

I make sure that we often include the environment in our editorial calendar at  MakeitBetter.net to help me and other overworked, overscheduled residents of the North Shore live green … and to convince my children that I am not as big a loser as they think I am.

Our goal is to make it much easier to live green on the North Shore. Please join the conversation by sending us your ideas and comments, or by blogging with us.

I would particularly like to hear about your struggles to live greener too, but we want to know about your successes as well! So would the rest of our community.

Misery does love company!