Not exactly as advertised

When I first came across this article, the name immediately made me want to write about it. The name came up on my RSS feed as "Five Ways to go Green Without Really Trying". Now maybe I'm hormonal, but that made my blood boil like I accidentally sat down on a lit element. The most basic, fundamental roadblock we have to get around in our fight to save this planet is very simple: human apathy and laziness. People want change; of course they do. And if it's something they don't have to think very hard about, something that won't detract from their standard of living or (heaven forbid) interrupt their American Idol marathon, then they're all over it.

It took a long time for people to get used to the idea of recycling, but eventually they got over the fact that they couldn't just throw all their trash in one bag anymore: some of it had to go in a separate box, for the good of us all. Good for you! But then, along came the Green Bins (for those of you who don't know, it's a wonderful idea much like compost, in which you separate certain food waste into a -- you guessed it -- green bin so it can be taken to a different landfill site where everything is biodegradable), and once again Ma and Pa Canada decided this was too much hassle -- I mean, really, the idea of actually having to separate your half-eaten, wasted meal into a totally different bag? Unthinkable! Recycling is okay, but garbage is just garbage! Why can't we just schlep it all together and forget about it?

Sysiphus keeps pushing that rock up the hill, and lazy, ignorant lardasses keep knocking it all the way back down again.

So when I read the title "Without Really Trying" my immediate reaction was irritation, because somebody (it seemed to me) was monopolizing on just that sort of laziness to actually market products to people. "Want to assuage your environmental guilt, but not enough to actually do something proactive? Here, buy this product and you can get back to feeling good about yourself and wasting food and watching bad TV." All of this went through my head in rapid succession, so as I was preparing myself for the rage that was doubtless about to overcome me, I opened the link.

Imagine my surprise when I was met by a well-written, clever, useful article about several solutions (not even product placement -- solutions) I either hadn't considered, or didn't know about.

The manual lawn mower? Great idea. Exercise (which the aforementioned apathetic lardasses could use), absolutely no emissions whatsoever (other than your own sweat), and it self-mulches your lawn. Also, you're saving money on gas. Right on!

The hatchback was the only one I took issue with, mostly because of my last post and its implications to the automobile industry. But the "marketing to men" angle was cute, so I let it pass.

The beer growler is a great idea too, though not revolutionary in Canada (we've had returnable bottles forever). Reuse is better than recycling because it takes less energy and produces less harmful emissions, and also -- beer is good. (I'm Scottish, what do you want from me?)

Milk paint -- remember how I said I never knew some of this existed? That one wins. I would never, ever have thought of using milk to paint anything. What a neat idea.

And finally, Soap For Everything -- now, I'm not normally into plugging companies, but I have actually tried this stuff and it is amazing. They aren't kidding when they say it works on anything: my aunt once used it to get red wine out of a carpet, and twenty minutes later I was washing my hair with the stuff! The peppermint scent is nothing short of divine. And it's genuinely green. Awesome.

So it turns out my initial reaction was totally misplaced, and the article is great (seriously, check out the link at the top). I guess it goes to show that I shouldn't fly off the handle if something looks offensive or stupid at first glance. Don't worry; that doesn't mean I won't.

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