Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not Sustainable

Regular readers know that I usually try to keep my posts pretty up-beat, and I try to share with you some sort of tip or project that you might consider in your own life to increase your sustainability quotient.  But today, I am looking out on the aftermath of a chilly fall rain, watching my poor tomato plants give their last and thinking about the upcoming season in which we will turn on the heat and still feel cold, and I don't know that I have a lot of sustainability wisdom. 

So, it seems like a good time to confess that sustainable living is still a journey for me, too, and that there are a number of things that I do that aren't sustainable and which need to be attacked.

I haven't been biking as much as I should:  I love my new bike, which I have nicknamed the Conch Cruiser in honor of my goal of eventually using a bike for transportation full-time when/if we move to Key West.  I have been biking a lot, primarily to the second shift job, but also to the grocery and post office occasionally. However, lately, the fall weather has made me a little shy of showing up at work with my hair a mess from the drizzle and humidity, and my knee has been very vocal about recommending against bicycling.  I've been driving.  I've been driving to the gym, for crying out loud, which is the hallmark of unsustainable behavior.

I love my foaming shower cleaner:  We do all of our deep cleaning of the bathroom with a steamer, and it works very well, but it takes some time to set up, fill, and use.  I try to spray down the walls of the shower with my hand-held shower head, but the soap scum still builds up.  So occasionally, I buy a can of expensive foaming shower cleaner packaged in a spray can that is no doubt filled with propellant, cleaning chemical, and the myriad pieces that make it spray.  I throw it away after the four or five cleanings I get out of it, because you can't recycle that kind of container.  But I keep buying it because it is the easy way to spray down the shower and come back later for a quick scrub and rinse. 

I've been craving boxed mac 'n cheese:  I will eat pasta and cheese in any form, served anywhere.  Probably the fanciest I've ever had is lobster mac at Louie's Backyard in Key West, and the workhorse of the food genre is my own homemade recipe, which we have, at minimum, for holidays and every barbecue we host or hold.  But every once in a while, I want the blue box of my youth.  I want the cheap-o noodles and the packet of cheese powder.  It is terribly unhealthy, I always gain weight, and it can't by any stretch be considered food.  But I eat it occasionally anyway.  I've been craving it lately; I guess sometimes the need for comfort food wins out.

These are all little things, but together they are areas in which little changes would boost my sustainability, save me money, and make me healthier.  And yet I struggle.  So if you do, too, you are not alone.

Do you have any sustainability struggles to share?
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  1. Oh sure, everyone struggles. Everyone has a weakness. My weaknesses are diet Ginger Ale, all chock full of unpronounceable chemicals and know, the "processed pasteurized cheese food product". They're treats, not staples, so I don't worry about it too much. But I could totally sit down with a big glass of cold gingerale and a bowl of Velveeta/salsa dip and eat my way through a bag of nachos.

    Oh, and smelly candles. All full of cancer-causing stuff. But they smell so good.

    And I totally drive too much and biking isn't an option when it's a 20 mile round trip to Walmart.

    Meh. It's STILL a wonderful life.

  2. I drive too much and haven't used by bike in forever as Dolly is too heavy for her seat now.

    I drink coke (but have gotten that down to 2 cans a week).

    I like junk food :-(

    But I'm working on all of these and have made great changes to my lifestyle, in regards to ecoism. My many small steps over the last couple of years have made big changes in how I live my life and treat my planet.

    I see myself as - A work in progress.

  3. Oh yeah, hot dogs. Especially greasy ones on the grill.