My Green Defense

November 17, 2010 at 4:33 AM | Posted in Being Green, Family Life | 10 Comments

I thought green was my bag

I stand accused of not being “green” or put another way, jumping on the green bandwagon without credentials.

I brought this on myself by innocently commenting that, as I had just read, giant plasma TVs use up a tremendous amount of electricity, even when not on. This struck my wife funny and I asked her why. She said that I, of all people, are worrying about electricity when I leave every light in the house on!

I allowed that I, by mistake, occasionally leave a light on. She laughed again. Do I ever, she accused, take a bag to the supermarket so as to save trees? No, but I asked, didn’t we need those bags to put our recycling in?

Without ever thinking it through, I would have put myself in the green camp. But now, my credentials questioned, I rise to my defense.

  • Green is my favorite color.
  • How Green Was My Valley” is my second favorite movie of all time.
  • I have a green sweater that my wife gave me as her first gift, 40 years ago. I still wear it.
  • I have a pair of jeans from college that I still wear on occasion.
  • I hold onto cars longer than 6 years – and seek to go far beyond that with my current one.
  • I listen to old records.
  • The composer Giuseppe Verdi (Joe Green) is a favorite of mine.
  • I always admired Mr. Green Jeans.
  • I take out the re-cycling (without forgetting or moaning).
  • I love the song “It’s not Easy Being Green.”

Really, what more can a man do without putting solar panels on his roof? How green am I!


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  1. What are you – some kind of socialist?

    • How can you talk, you whose cuisine is based on the deep-fryer. Think of all that gurgling oil … where is it buried?

  2. My green credentials are pretty good. I drive an old small car, I do bring canvas bags to the grocery and recycle plastic ones when I must use them. I attempt to give away rather than throw away whenever possible. I have been accused by my kids of turning lights off when they are actually in the room when I believe they are daydreaming which can be done just as well in the dark. I keep my thermostat at 65 during the day and off at night (not possible in the Midwest, I know). I recycle every conceivable thing I can including batteries and wine corks. All that being said, I don’t think it’s taken any more effort or made my life more complicated. I don’t know or care if it saves or costs me money but, for whatever reason, I like doing it. God as my witness, my next house is going to be as close to ‘off the grid’ as possible. While I still have to buy natural gas from the utility company, my goal is to have an excess of solar panels so they have to buy electricity from me to offset what I pay for the gas. That last one isn’t me being green, it’s me wanting to “stick it to the Man” as I feel he’s been sticking it to me whenever possible for my adult life. Wow. Do I sound like a Californian or what?

    • See, you are the problem. It is paragons like you that lead my wife to sneer at my green-osity. It is true that as far as being green, I am just a fair-weathered friend but isn’t that something, isn’t that a start?

  3. How can you be off the grid when you don’t know what a hammer is?

    • No, I want the grid and frankly, I want it to go faster!

    • No, in my dad’s defense, he does know where the hammer is. It’s in the furnace room, next to the basement, in an old toolbox, under a thick layer of dust, next to the Phillips head screwdriver… or flat head screwdriver, or one of the two. Maybe we should just ask Mom.

      • “flat head” screwdrive? Is that a regular one?

  4. I remember a forerunner of the green family whose efforts did not amuse most people in her circle. I was an exception. I’m fairly certain our dutiful blogger was one as well. This woman wore her green credentials in the form of extra dark John Lennon style sun glasses used to cover the black eye she garnered turning off the lights in the remote sections of our grade school, a place called Holy Family. It was a cross between the Soup Sales Show and Auschwitz. She was the principal and a nun. Her name was Petronella.

    • Ah, I remember the good sister well. I believe that she died at 108 years of age and that her last name was Lynch.

      I don’t remember being quite as rough as Sr. Cecilia Ann. Do you have more violent memories?

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