A mostly green Christmas…and an eco-confession for 2011

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

Ahhhh…the holidays…and Christmas Eve with the family. The packages were stacked (wrapped in newspaper and paper bags, of course), the candles lighted (no electricity used), and the bag was ready to receive the recyclable materials. Funny, never noticed how green my entire family is…until a new member joined us.

As the gifts were opened, I watched as my family set aside the plastic things and put all the paper into a larger bag for recycling. One sister saves boxes, so there was a stack started. Realizing there was something different going on, the visitor asked what to do with a specific item, and I said, “Oh, that goes into the recycling bag.” She still looked a bit puzzled, but handed it to someone who put it in the correct bag. (Surprisingly, there was very little that was not recyclable.)

We were automatically having a very green Christmas, until one of the sisters used the bathroom. Leaning over the other sister as she sat down, she asked, “What is the deal with the two-ply toilet paper?” To which the other sister replied, “Yes, I noticed that, too.” Yikes, busted. (Note: We grew up in a one-ply household.) I explain my husband has taken over the duties of purchasing paper goods. Unfortunately, on this score, he believes the manufacturers when they say “septic tank safe” and refuses to adapt to the “greenness” of single-ply.

So, another eco-confession—I have been unable to get the husband totally on the green page. I have lost on the toilet paper. However, on Christmas Eve, he asked for cloth bags to put in his vehicle. I take that as a win.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.

From the Jan. 5-11, 2011 issue

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