Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Going green is hard

Even though I feel like I've done a ton of changes to lower my carbon footprint and other things that are more environmentally friendly, I can acknowledge that I and even experts in the field still have a hard time making personal changes. Even those individuals that educate others as part of their jobs.

I'm not going to name names, but suffice it to say that we are all guilty of doing the things we preach against. It's the whole case of "do as I say but not as I do". I suppose the same thing can be said for doctors and other specialists but it's amazing how, even in the face of evidence, people still choose to do the things that harm themselves, others or the planet.

It's easy to let a few things knowingly slip, but it's also easy to check your work at the door and not even realize you are doing something that goes against your understanding or beliefs. Along those lines, what things are the most difficult for you to change whether it be giving up diet soda, using less toxic products or driving less than you know you should?

For me, I've slipped back into consuming more and ignoring my plastic consumption. With other changes I've been trying to implement I have to pick my battles, but that's my biggest weakness at this point in time. What's yours?

26 comments:

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

My biggest no no is coffee. Once in a blue moon I will go get a coffee and totally not even think of bringing my own mug. Uggg.

Almost plastic free when it comes to my kitchen ware. All that is left is medium sized plastic containers I use for the freezer. Need to toss those out.

I do feel a bit guilty for still drinking milk from plastic gallon jugs. I tried the glass (w/deposit) fresh milk but it was just way too expensive. I think once the kids go on their own it will be easier. Just sucks.

I will not live without my butter (but I do buy locally made), sour cream(comes in plastic yikes!) or cheese (plastic!).

But these things weigh on me....

Sonja said...

I'm planning my holiday for September, and we're going to fly...
I know it's totally wrong and horrible and everything I'm against, but this is my weakness

Hazel said...

I think having a husband who still says 'yes' to plastic bags and drives anywhere at the drop of a hat is probably my weakness. ;o)

I'm sure I do lots of things that are against my principles but I do try to take the view that occasional anything is not the end of the world.

My current struggle is with imported and greenhouse grown fruit and veg. No problem in summer, but putting stuff in children's lunchboxes in winter is trickier. I know I should do more soups and meals with cooked fruit and veg, and they do get quite a few, but sometimes it would just be easier to make a cheese and tomato sandwich.
I am also aware that their lunchboxes are already pretty different (they are the 'only' children in the school not to take crisps or individual yoghurts apparently) and I don't want to make them freaks!
I haven't bought cucumber or fresh tomatoes for months and we're doing well with seasonal carrots (sticks and grated in sandwiches),celery and homemade coleslaw, but I have bought quite a lot of oranges and occasional bananas. And some pomegranate. And lemons. Does having the coldest house for miles make up for imported fruit?! And the fact that the oranges and lemons invariably come in nets?

Robj98168 said...

Same as you, I try to remember to pick my battles. But shit, it is so easier to just drop an Atomic Bomb.

As for me, I still battle the reusable bag thing... I use them 99% of the time. And I need to try to remember no one is perfect.

Lil said...

I have many weaknesses, but my addiction to diet soda may be one of the worst and most difficult to fight for me. I managed to go from 3cans/day to 1can/day, but never hold to 0 for long...

jewishfarmer said...

The biggest challenge for me is balancing the needs of a commercial venture (the farm) and our desire to reduce energy. We need a larger vehicle than I want to own to take our food to market. We have to own a freezer to sell poultry off the farm. I'm tempted by a lot of other compromises - and I'm not sure how to balance the return to the community (in food value) with the impact on our family's resource use.

Sharon

Jennifer said...

My biggest challenge is water consumption - especially in the shower. For awhile I was really good at taking military showers, but those dwindled away. Now when I'm showering I am conscious of how long I'm in there, but I don't do much about it. :(

Bullwinkle said...

Husband. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that sums it up.

Right now, I'm in a very bad place, but I feel like I clean out, do without, open up and he fills all available space by reverting. It's driving me nuts.

But it is also good (excellent!) practice on the level of reinforcement and reminders and education and practice and being gentle with oneself while making a change.

louisa @ RecycleThis said...

For me, my worst thing at the moment is delivery food (who knows what's in it and the packaging, oh my the packaging) and shop-bought treats - again the packaging issue.

We've recently started doing meal plans and that's helping on the delivery food thing. I try to bake regularly so we don't have to buy biscuits wrapped in non-recyclable plastic film but it's hard to keep it up with it. I think it's two habits - to break the treat buying/eating habit and to get into the baking one.

Greenpa said...

Excessive guilt is not really useful; as has been discussed here before.

A little perspective can help. How, for example, does your life compare to these folks'?

http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/travel/13allure.html

I recommend reading the whole thing; though you may look bug-eyed for a while afterwards.

Greenpa said...

hm; shouldawent tiny with that, perhaps-

http://tinyurl.com/4c48b7a

Brad K. said...

I haven't moved to a smaller, better built house within walking distance to work. I know my commute is unsustainable, as it creates a need for a vehicle to shop and work.

I suppose with more awareness of the issue, that old-time local delivery services might take up some of the slack for trips to shop.

And I discovered that my furnace runs continuously, if I turn it below 56 degrees F.

I use plastic-package, 4 oz snack pack vegetables and fruit rather than try to preserve leftovers. I am not sure how the energy balance works out. I am not using a wood stove, so the electricity/fossil fuels I consume to sterilize and process jars, etc. for canning - is that actually less carbon consuming than buying the plastic packaged green beans and corn? And I don't think the rubber for the jar lids actually comes from here in Oklahoma. . . Unless it is a petroleum product. And besides - I am still planning on my first foray into canning. Lowes was clearing out their made-in-China jars last week, and I grabbed a couple dozen.

Sarah C said...

Composting. We're moving in May, and I don't want to fill up my compost any more. It kills me to throw it all in the trash!

Dmarie said...

still opening my eyes to this issue, there are MANY changes that I need to make. But can't seem to make the leap to using natural deodorants. Can't find anything that works as well as antiperspirant, even if I do now realize it's unhealthy. Once I run out of my stockpile though, I do vow to at least buy a brand packaged in recyclable plastic. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

I fly. An insane number of miles every year. I could probably drive a Hummer to work every day and do less damage to the environment than I do by racking up 70k miles a year in the air.

But ... I like my job, I love my paychecks, and flying overseas is a requirement to keep both.

I sometimes feel like turning down the thermostat, choosing organic foods, and driving a relatively fuel efficient car are like dribbling water on a brush fire - not that effective compared to the flying.

ruchi said...

Where to even begin? I'm not freezing my buns ... I use too much plastic ... I fly a good deal ... Started using paper towels in the work bathroom because they compost them.

We do what we can and strive to do better.

Hazel said...

Greenpa- Good Lord! That's putting it in perspective! Where do you find these things?

Kate said...

Let's see...I'm guilty in several ways. I've not been washing my ziploc bags much lately. I haven't thrown them away though, just built up a pile of them I'll wash and re-use, someday. I let some of our winter food stores spoil before using them up - a combination of inexperience and laziness. We still keep the house warmer than I'd like (66F), though I think I can in all honesty say that this is not my choice, but a compromise with my husband. We're spending quite a bit of money right now on repairing and replacing things that have worn out. Some of them we really have no choice about (like the roof), but others we could certainly place into the luxury category (dvd projector).

Satchel and Tea said...

For me it's definitely food packaging. We still buy a lot of snacks and things for the kids, and my kitchen is so tiny that it's nearly impossible to cook for the five of us at once. We end up buying a lot of prepared stuff that I wish didn't come with so much plastic. At least here in Seattle the to-go containers are compostable now.

panamamama said...

Um, coffee...
Travel...
driving my kids everywhere (in our minivan...)
I'm much better on packaging, but that is still a constant thing because you have to think about it all the time.

eatclosetohome said...

Travel for work. Basically undoes every single change I have made on my personal energy consumption.

Melinda said...

I think I'm kind of in an equilibrium now, where I make one more positive change and a less than positive one resurfaces. I think my main limitation is time, followed by the need to work pretty long hours that take their toll (so I give myself breaks in other ways).

Greenpa is definitely right, though - we shouldn't feel terribly guilty about it because that doesn't help much. We keep on keeping on - we work a bit harder every day and we show others how and why to make their own changes.

Grassideas said...

Flying. It really dwarfs all the other changes I have made in my life.

Green Bean said...

I could have written this post. Definitely been consuming more and letting more plastic find its way into the kids lunch boxes. They beg for those stupid yogurt tubes and cereal bars and sometimes it is just easier to go with it but I do need to get back on the bandwagon.

Matriarchy said...

I have many small sources of guilt, but my biggest fail is disposable hygiene products. I care for an elderly, incontinent parent with dementia. I just can't manage reusable incontinence supplies for her. Disposable is expensive, and exactly like using disposable baby diapers - I sucked at resisting that, too. Part of the issue is that I already do so much laundry for 5 people, with no dryer and limited indoor hanging space, that I can't imagine trying to keep up with laundering bulky adult diapers. I suspect it would also be a fight with her, to change what she is accustomed to seeing. We may come to a different place in the future, for financial reasons, but for now, the sanity (and smell) of our house depends on Depends.

Grace said...

That's funny. I just wrote a post about being racked with guilt over my plastic use and the mountains of recycling I send to the curb each week. I'm determined to try harder. Going green is hard, but it feels so good when you do make some progress.

LinkWithin