Green didn't start to be cool until just recently. Talking to my Grandma about it, I had to laugh because she had no idea what being Green was. "What's all this Green stuff they're always talking about?" She's in her eighties. Wise and kind and cool in only a Grandma that taught me how to fish and camp and how to attract men (long story short: I was spending time with Grandma and Grandpa. We got a flat tire on the camper. Grandpa unhitched the camper and went in search of a spare tire. We thought we saw Grandpa coming around the corner in his truck, so Grandma pulled up her jeans leg to flash him and gave a neighboring farmer an eye full. Very shocking in the 70s, I'm sure.)
When I explained to Grandma what being Green meant, she just said, "Well that just makes sense. That's what we've always done." Use it up, reuse it, use it up again if you can. Compost in the garden? They did that, just because that's what you do if you want rutabagas the size of your head. Save your bread bags and reuse them? Grandma used her bags until the print from the Wonderbread was all rubbed off. Paper napkins? Why use them when you could use a kitchen towel or cloth ones? Paper towels? Forget about 'em. Grandma always used rags.
When we put the back splash up in the kitchen, we took down the paper towel holder. That was last Spring and I haven't used a paper towel since. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. Paper towels are expensive, they're environmentally horrific (picture razed rain forest, huge carbon footprints tracked to your door, and Armageddon--OK, not that bad, but you get the point.) Before Al Gore named his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, he called it Paper Towels are the Root of All Evil. Honest to God, he did.
Ditching paper towels was not hard. I still have the half roll that was hanging on the kitchen wall. It hasn't been touched. I bought a cute basket and keep it filled with kitchen rags. I use cut up bath towels and washcloths. I bleach them after use. And I use them as I would paper towels.
It takes some getting used to, but I'll tell you what. I don't miss those mongo packs of paper towels that take up way too much real estate in my shopping cart and in my house and in my budget. I feel like these little things are so simple, yet often overlooked.
I don't know about you, but with one good behavior comes others. It's like with weight loss. One good behavior (eating right) leads to others (working out). To me, so many of these things go hand in hand. Living a better life doesn't just mean taking care of your physical self.
And please, listen to Kermit, below. You'll hum along to that tune all day long.
Peace, love, granola, and all that crunch stuff.