Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pet peeves from a greeny...

Hi everyone! Fancy here!



I know, it's been a while. Deal with it. I am tired and grumpy. More about that in a few days, maybe...

Today I was thinking about some pet peeves that really bug me, from an environmentalist point of view. I thought I'd share since these are all things that I have seen and have bugged me recently. Beware, some of these things have been touched on before:

1) Plastic water bottles. Today (and last week) they were on sale at the supermarket. People were stocking up on cases like water was going out of style, instead of practically free from a tap at home. We are so lucky to live somewhere that water is safe to drink, and it drives me crazy that everyone prefers their water in plastic. It takes a lot of energy, and fuel, to make plastic. It takes a lot of energy to recycle plastic. Most people don't even bother to recycle water bottles anyways. Just last week a saw a young woman at the gas station throw a bunch (like, at least 10) of them out in the gas station garbage can...like it woulda killed her to wait until she got home to her blue box (we all have them here)?! A great article about bottled water can be found here.

2) Idling cars. Now, I am not saying a car should never idle. I live in Toronto, and reality is there are days that if I don't idle my car for 5-10 minutes with the defrost on high, I am not getting off the driveway. Since I need my car for my job, that is not an option. So idling on a cold winter's day in order to get the ice off one's car I can accept (though using transit or the garage is better of course; a personal pet peeve of mine is the car that has not moved in 3 years that DH will not get out of our single car garage!). It is useless idling I hate. People idling outside the bank door while waiting for someone at the ATM, or idling outside the supermarket while waiting for their spouses, or idling outside the daycare while they run in to pick up or drop off thier kids, or idling their car to make it warm or cool before they go out on a day that is not even very hot or cold in the first place. Idling causes pollution, and wastes precious (and expensive) fuel. If you are already at daycare or the bank or the supermarket, you car is warm or cool enough that turning it off for the few minutes you are waiting for someone or running your kid in our out is not going to make your car unbearable hot or cold. If you really need to be out of or waiting in your car long enough that it will get freezing or boiling if you don't leave it idling, perhaps you need to re-think your scheduling!

3) Littering. I really have nothing to add to this. Littering says it all.

4) SUVS and Minivans. Not for everyone. For people that really need the trunk space, seating or off-road capacity, I don't mind them at all and I get it-ya need what ya need! I, however, know plenty of single people that never travel father than the airport that feel the need to drive trendy SUVs. I also know a lot of families that buy Minivans or SUVs the second they have 1 (not even 2 or 3) child. As if a car seat cannot fit in a sedan and a stroller cannot fit in a sedan's trunk! I have had 1 child for 5 years now, and we have done just fine with a sedan, and with a 2 door sporty car the first 2 years! We have gone to the airport for vacations, and gone on driving trips with the sedan and even the 2 door. If we were big campers, I imagine it would not do as I am not sure it would carry camping gear...but for regular day to day city life and travelling, it is more than enough space. Since our second child will add little more than a second car seat to our car, and we can easily fit 2 car seats in our sedan's back seat, we have no plans to buy a SUV or mini-van (though we would like DH's car to be a gas-friendly sedan as well, right now it is the old 2 door that does not do well with rear-facing car seats). Even if we were a camping family, it would probably be like once or twice a summer...and I'd rather rent a mini-van or SUV for two weekends than spend the money on gas and use more than our fair share of fuel for the whole year round. Of course...some people, even though with small families, put their SUVs and minivans to good use, for example car pooling with other families when they go places often. But for the typical 1-2 child family, there is no reason for it except that it is now the trendy choice. It is a pet peeve of mine because of the gas it wastes, the fact that it brings up gas prices for us all, and also that it is difficult for us small car drivers to share the road with all the SUVs and Minivans. More about my feelings on this here (not that you likely need to hear more!).

5) Plastic bags. Even more than plastic bags, this scenario: My local mall has a Lululemon, which is a trendy yoga shop where they use reusable bags for all one's purchases. All the Yummy mummys and college kids shop there. It never ceases to amaze me how often I see people with Lululemon bags that I can tell only have one or two items at the of the bag...and a handful of plastic shopping bags with all their other purchases. Does the thought "Hmm, Lululemon gave me a big reusable bag that is empty except for my $150 worth of yoga pants and head-band foled up at the botton...perhaps I should put this t-shirt from Roots in the bag to and use it for it's proper purpose instead of taking a plastic bag"? Guess not. Grrr...

Got any pet environmental pet peeves you wanna get off your chest? Vent here. Are you one of my pet peeves? Deal with it! I bet I am one of yours too in some way...



5 comments:

Lara said...

You just covered most of mine - I so hear you on all of them. I regularly go on rants for most of them.
I always am shocked when a cashier seems to surprised when I tell them I don't want bag for something because I can just tuck it in my purse! I just wish I was better at remembering to bring the reusable bags with me everywhere I go...

Fancy said...

Lara there are some cool reusables you can find that fold up into a little pouch friendly purse. Zeller's and the Bay have them for 1.99!!!

Zoe said...

hi laura! i hear ya girl! the suv's totally piss me off and most of the people i know that own them think they are so very hip! always have excuses for why they have them, i just shake my head, how dumb can these people be?..opps i was about to go on a rant the first time i visited you...hi im zoe how are you? love your blog!

Fancy said...

LOL Zoe...I am not Laura, the commenter before you was. I am Fancy...but my daughter's name is Zoƫ!!! Thanx for visiting. Hope you come back. Things have been a little quiet here lately, but I am pregnant and will soon have a whole new crop of green issues to tackle on that front!

Brianna said...

I'm with you on the plastic bags! I use reusable ones at the grocery store now that I have my kids trained to remember them when we go. When we go shopping, we're not the let's-buy-something-at-every-store folks, so I can usually just tuck my purchase into my mom purse or under my arm. Do we really need all these bags? I think NOT!