Going Green at the Mercy of Your Kids

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Preserving yourself by learning to say no

My kids enthusiastically argue that everybody should go green; but as their mother, let me just say “Blah-bitty-blah-blah-blah.”

It’s not that my kids don’t have good intentions; it’s that there is room for improvement, shall we say? Still, I think they do a pretty good job of being green even if they occasionally blow it. 

I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m picking on my kids, but they’re the ones in charge of getting the garbage out every week and the recycling every other week. And what compass guides our heroes to the crucial knowledge of whether it’s a recycling week or not? Our across-the-street neighbor, LouAnn, that’s who. Heaven forbid they should mark it on a calendar or set a reminder on their phones. No, my kids watch LouAnn’s driveway for guidance and then act accordingly. Last winter, in the middle of a snowstorm, I talked myself blue in the face trying to convince my daughter that the recycling bin needed to go out.

“But LouAnn doesn’t have hers out,” she argued.

“If LouAnn didn’t jump off a cliff, would you not jump off a cliff, too?” I asked. Then I texted LouAnn who promptly replied that recycling gets picked up later on her side of the street and that she didn’t want to put it out before the snowplows had gone through. LouAnn is also awake early enough in the morning to monitor a situation like that, whereas my kids have no intention of monitoring anything earlier than whether LouAnn put her recycling out after dinner.  

Then again, it took me a month to fix the leaky faucet that my son patched with putty and duct tape until I could get to it. And in the pantry, one step down and around a corner from the rest of the kitchen, is a recycling container that even I forget about because it’s out of reach of everything from elephant trunks to cherry pickers. That’s because if we put it anywhere else, the dog trots its contents all over the house. That usually means one bag of forgotten recycling that must be jammed in on top of the recycling we miraculously didn’t overlook that week. 

Want to run a cleaner, greener household? Don’t let my kids and me help.


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Teece Aronin

Teece Aronin is a blogger and columnist. Teece writes a humor/health and wellness column for the Oakland Press and is the Featured Writer for October at TrueHumor.com. Her artwork is available at the Redbubble.com store, phylliswalter, and Teece seriously considers any request for workshops, coaching, and speaking engagements. Read her blog at ChippedDemitasse.BlogSpot.com, contact her at paronin1@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @taronin

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