23 March 2011

The tell-tale signs that you might be a greenie

You might be a greenie if...

...you've managed to reduce the volume of waste that your household produces to such an impressive degree that your garbage man occasionally knocks on your front door just to make sure that you're still breathing.

...you haven't bought a new piece of clothing in years because everything you own finally came back in style again.

...you reuse the same tea bag so many times that the water in your cup is a lovely shade of 'clear'.

...you get a little giddy every time you go out into your backyard to turn your compost pile.

...you've accumulated so many reusable shopping bags that their sheer weight in the back seat of your car has compromised your gas mileage.

...you try to repurpose confounding items such as used Band-Aids, the small plastic safety caps from your diabetic cat's insulin needles and the silica packets from all of your herbal supplements.

...you've frozen so many leftovers that you ran out of conventional storage solutions, forcing you to pre-portion food into dried corn husk parcels bound with rubber bands that you saved from bunches of store-bought broccoli.

...you run through so much white vinegar in your household that you've got Heinz on speed dial.

...you don't need no stinking (supposedly BPA-free) reusable water bottles when your ceramic mug wrapped with a hole-covered sock cozy has served you quite well, thank you very much.

...you've used the same razor cartridge for two years ever since you learned that if you pat it dry between each use, it stays practically as sharp as day one.

...you are intent on creating a bountiful assortment of diverse household plant specimens with very little out-of-pocket expense by sprouting pineapple tops, peach/avocado/mango pits, apple seeds and select clippings from your local botanical gardens (that you secretly pinched off with your fingernails).

...your idea of the latest, greatest blockbuster experience is watching "Gasland" while snacking on your own organically grown, dehydrated heirloom veggie chips...but Pirate's Booty will do in a pinch, too.

...you document the color depth and decomposition rate of your soon-to-be black gold via regular updates to all of your social networks.

...you habitually rescue improperly discarded recyclable materials from public garbage receptacles and no longer notice or care that everyone seems to think that you are a homeless person.

...just for fun, you run after people while waving their improperly discarded recyclable materials in the air and yell, "Excuse me, you forgot this!!!"

...accidentally shattered pieces of your fine China make you secretly smile (rather than gasp) since you finally have an excuse to mosaic your newspaper collection bin.

...you scrub all your grocery-purchased produce (organic or conventionally-grown) so vigorously that it screams out, "I swear there's no more Salmonella or E coli on me!!"

...you get excited about squirreling away banana peels, coffee grounds, eggshells and teabags into your cute little counter top composting container.

...you rack your brains trying to figure out how every single one of your houseplants got mysteriously infested with microscopic black flies before finally realizing that your cute little counter top composting container is a breeding factory.

...you laugh maniacally as you place small ramekins of vinegar around your plants in an effort to snuff out said microscopic black flies -- drink this, beeyotches!!

...as soon as the holiday season is over, you begin admiring seed catalogs (the way would-be-brides drool over wedding magazines) and plot the strategy that will ensure that your organic garden blows the roof off the hiz-zouse.

...after struggling to start 68 different varieties of seeds in saved eggshells and painstakingly hand-rolled newspaper pots, you come to terms with the fact that your 3% success rate will at least yield enough food for your hamster...which is a good thing, otherwise you might have popped an artery.

...washed, air dried and hand ironed aluminum foil is as common a sight in your kitchen as the reused zip top bags that you bought back in the 90s.

...you lust for a full photovoltaic system but due to current budgetary restraints, you settle for making a few homemade solar panels out of a collection of saved pizza boxes wrapped with many, many hand ironed sheets of your washed, recycled aluminum foil.

...you have a poster of Ed Begley, Jr. in your garage and still consider Daryl Hannah to be one of the original nature girls despite the look of her cosmetically questionable, possibly Botox-ed complexion.

...paper towels are a distant memory ever since you discovered that holy socks work way better...plus, you always seem to have an endless supply of them on hand.

...you triumphantly pour pasta water, canned veggie liquid and household "grey" water into the landscaping materials around your house -- you also never miss an opportunity to give your household plants a good long drink every time enough water collects at the bottom of your dish draining rack.

...sometimes, just sometimes, you wonder why people claim to crave Twinkies or Pop Tarts when the organic raw spirulina bars that you found in the bulk bin of your local natural food co-op taste like perfectly sublime brownies on acid...shhhh, it's your little secret.

...you sit down in front of your computer to read the morning's green news and somehow, you rarely ever finish until nightfall.

...your idea of a great date is walking to the farmer's market with your main squeeze (even if it's a 7.4 mile round trip that takes half the day to complete) just so you can ensure that the locally grown goodies you purchase have the lowest carbon footprint possible.

...it's never enough to follow just 8745 green/eco Twitterers -- you're constantly on the lookout for new green resources so that you've really and truly got all of your bases covered.

...you choose to make (rather than buy) all of your own toiletries using supplies from your cupboard...pulverized avocado and baking soda anyone?

...you think that sorting through all of your recyclable household items is actually kind of fun, plus you find great satisfaction in adding removed paper labels from cans and glass jars to your newspaper bin.

...shopping at the store takes 3 times as long as the mere mortal because you scrutinize every label and keep a running tally of "brands to boycott".

...you have no need to purchase wrapping paper or bows since everything necessary to dress up your homemade or re-gifted treasures can be found in your recycling station.

...you've actually grown fond of that line-dried crunchy towel sensation and purposely leave the vinegar and/or baking soda out of the wash rinse cycle.

...you are fully capable of engaging in a 2 hour long debate on why high fructose corn syrup is the bane of our existence.

...you purposely avoid consuming even organic corn on the cob ever since you learned that it commonly cross pollinates with neighboring GM corn crops and find that if you close your eyes while chewing on soaked organic barley, it is a fair substitution.

...you actually like the texture and flavor of Tofurkey and believe with all of your heart that it is far more delicious than anything derived from a real animal.

...you chart your daily household carbon reduction efforts via a spreadsheet, constantly challenging yourself to beat your all-time record of .00241115 tons (which was accomplished when everyone left the house to visit relatives for two days).

...you tuck lunchtime apple cores discarded at your workplace into an empty 32 ounce yogurt container with a resealable top, delighting in the knowledge that they too will become one with your garden compost.

Elizah Leigh | @elizahleigh
Elizah Leigh's master's degree in education combined with her passion for the written word and deep-seated interest in environmental issues has proven to be the ideal trifecta for her present status as a green journalist. Currently commissioned to write a reference book on vegetarianism, Elizah hopes to inspire people through her words. Follow Elizah on Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass