Friday, May 2, 2008

It's Not That Easy Being Green

Yesterday I filled Stanley the Minivan with a full tank of gas. I usually play the guessing game with the boys to bet how much our grand total will be, figuring it is a lovely math excursion. $3.50 or so X 23 gallon tank = WHAT? $72.06 so I can maneuver 349 miles of Dallas traffic. Something must be done.

It wasn’t hard to get the kids on board with any green experiment their crazy mother may try. They have been brainwashed at school to the point of thinking the earth or Erf as my youngest calls it, is going to implode; probably next Thursday. They have “Let’s Recycle” T-shirts that they wear once a month. The shirts were handed out the same day the Sally Foster gift wrap, a school fundraiser, orders were delivered. My kid ordered a pencil top that rattled around in the three foot long cardboard carrying case. I mourn the trees killed in the name of cash for the school.

So today I walked my youngest to school while my middle kid pedaled his bike to the upper school. We live close enough to school so we have walked to school plenty over the years. Now that I have quit the day job (another story for another time) I have the time to trek with them. The only precarious part is crossing two incredibly busy streets. We really have to watch all the fools whipping into Starbucks. On the way home I today I almost became a hood ornament on a Land Rover. I gave the guy the classic palms up, what-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are-doing, why don’t you walk out of your gas sucking status mobile and walk to work you moron. I could have taken him down, easy.

On the walk home I went to Albertsons and bought a clothesline, a mere $3.79, to ease my constantly running dryer. I do however draw the line at beating our clothes clean with a stick and I am so not hanging underwear for all the neighbors to gander. Dear son helped me stretch the line the length of the backyard and we tied the ends off on the crepe myrtles. First up were the washed comforters, sheets and mattress topper from our bed. A few assorted shirts and jeans tossed in for good measure. When the first batch was dry I reveled in the sunny, fresh smell of clean clothes dried in a throw back style. Up went another load, this one with the king sized duvet cover.

Most days I work out at the YMCA. But isn’t driving to work out kind of silly when you think about it? So I decide to power walk there. I took the trail along the lake, got to the Y then turned around without setting foot inside. I figured after the hour and a half round trip hike, 4 miles on the cross trainer would be a bit much. But I did rack up 11,077 steps on the walk so says my trusty pedometer.

After school I took the youngest kiddo to T ball practice, too far to walk and yes I did carpool. By the time I got home Hubby had arrived in his Volkswagen Jetta that has a turbo diesel engine. It gets 40 mpg which kind of eases the $4 per gallon price tag. Don’t we feel environmentally smug? I walked in and Hubby says, “You have been playing, haven’t you?” “Yes,” I haughtily replied, “We are going green!” “Nice. But ya know, all of our bedding has been hanging outside and is now covered in pollen and the rest of the things outside that I am allergic to.” Nice.

After that revelation I just high tailed it to a girl’s night out and forgot all about my clothesline disaster. Really forgot about it. Until the next morning when I looked outside and saw all the clothes still hanging, washed again by the storms that night. I am now turning the clothesline into a zip line for the boys.

Looking back on this environmental friendly day I think Al Gore would be impressed with my attempts. I’ll continue to walk when I can, recycle, and maybe use the dryer again. And I will try to make every day Earth Day.

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