Tuesday, October 9, 2007

one step forward

three steps back.

I did 7 loads of laundry yesterday. 7. Impressive. well, my washer and dryer are especially small, so that might be the equivalent to like 3-4 in a nice, big machine, but I am not complaining. At all. In fact, I have found small loads nice to fold. It takes me no time at all to fold up and put away the little clean, fluffy piles that I pull from my dryer. Compare this to spending over an hour folding the mountain of clean clothes that Dave would pile on our bed after a morning at the laundromat. My back never hurts from folding these small loads.

But here is the flip-side. Here is the 3 steps back. Is this really responsible? Dave and I have made several good changes in last few years that have made us more responsible with resources, saved us a bit of money and given us that "we are single handedly saving the earth" feel-good feeling.

1. We use cloth diapers on Andrew. I love them. Weird, I know. But, I really do. I love not throwing away and having to buy new diapers all of the time. I find cloth-diapering to fit into the same category as bread-baking. It suits me.
2. We have stopped buying paper napkins and paper towels and have switched to cloth napkins and old dish towels. When friends come to dine, they think we are very fancy with our cloth napkins. I like giving that impression.
3. When we bought a new car last spring we specifically sought one out with great gas mileage from a responsible company. And we only use it about twice a week, though that has more to do with living in the city than being well behaved.
4. We don't use disposable bacteria breading sponges, but cloth dish rags. This one is not that big of a deal, but we try to be good about water, good soaps and stopping germs from settling in our family.
5. I avoid plastic bags like the plague. And I wash and reuse ziplock bags until they tear.

And I used to be able to say that we hang our clothes to dry rather than using a clothes dryer. But now I can say that I did 7 loads of laundry in one day. Now I don't get grumpy and stressed doing the laundry because I have more to wash than will dry on the drying racks. Now I smile and sigh contentedly when I hear the machines running in my bathroom.

So, I am not giving this up any time soon. One day I'll have a yard and a clothes line and maybe go half-sy, but for now I am so glad and relieved and comforted by my easy laundry set-up that I've really only considered the guilt angle as good mental exercise rather than anything emotional.

And there are other areas of Earth Saving that I can focus on in the meantime. Like really recycling all the paper I throw away, even when the recycling bin is all the way in the kitchen, instead of just finding the closest trash can. It's those little steps I can tackle.

That might add up. Who knows?

I'm just trying to design this life thing so it makes sense.
At least to me.


thedanceofthegates said...

I'm so glad there is someone else who finds it difficult to walk all the way to the kitchen to recycle. It's as tempting as those brownies.

Loralee said...

Sometimes your peace of mind or being able to eliminate some kind of stress is worth the cost.

Your dough at the top... what is that? And those brownies really do look scrumptious.

Robyn said...

Thanks Loralee,

Wheat bread! Wheat bread, I have discovered, is great smothered in blackberry jam. Who knew?