Thursday, October 1, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set...

I thought we’d play a game today, to celebrate the kick-off of the Adolf family’s “green” project. Winner gets a prize.

Can you guess how many cans of Diet Coke I’ve consumed over the past two weeks?

Enter your guess in the “Comments” area, and I’ll announce the winner as soon as I count the cans awaiting recycling in the garage.

So, today is the day that I am ending my obsession with Diet Coke.

At least with cans.

The problem with a cold-turkey approach to ending my love affair with that delicious burst of bubbles and caffeine is that I’m fearful I can’t make it through the day. I’m not a coffee drinker, I stay up far too late reading and get up far too early, but still need to wear my game-face for the kids. I need that caffeine.

Is there a 12-step program for this?

Anyway, residing in my fridge is a two-liter bottle. I’m sipping a bit in a glass as I type. The cans are gone, but I’m not perfect...I have to wean myself, and I’m hoping it won’t take long. Once the truth is out about how much DC I used to’ll understand and take pity on me. I hope.

Although I still negatively impacted the environment by purchasing that plastic Diet Coke bottle, I’m slowly trying to redeem myself. Over the course of my life, I’ve had a LOT of Diet Coke. In cans. Yes, I recycle those cans. But the energy needed to manufacture the can and then recycle it disturbs me. Factor in the energy consumed in driving to the store just for Diet Coke--which I have been known to do on many occasions. (How could I possibly function without my crack--I mean, caffeine?) Now, let’s add in the packaging that keeps those cans from rolling around the car. Yes, I also recycle the cardboard boxes, but takes energy to produce them, as well as energy to recycle them.

So I’m feeling pretty self-righteous about my two-liter plastic bottle.

Actually, I’m not. I really feel like crap about it.

This morning, as I was getting Kristen and Mikey ready for school and doing all of those crazy morning things we moms do...I was trying to make a very conscious effort to be aware of what I was throwing in the trash versus what I recycled. We recycle. We do.

But sometimes it’s just easier to throw the trash away. Off you go, trash, clog up the landfill, because the clutter is driving me nuts! Just get out of my house!

As I was getting the kids’ clothes from their rooms, I ripped off some prices tags. It’s gotten chilly here this week, time to whip out the new clothes. I threw the tags in the trash.


Paper is definitely recyclable. I took it out.

Mikey finished his yogurt. I let the dog lick the cup, then threw it in the trash.

Then thought about it.

Yep, there’s that triangle on the bottom.

What about the little plastic cup from the Crystal Light lemonade mix? It’s plastic, no triangle...recycle or not?

And suddenly Kristen is late for school.

Right now, there is a pile of plastic and paper items sitting on the kitchen counter. Clutter on the kitchen counter in the a.m. when I’m trying to get everyone out of the house absolutely drives me ape-shit. But I can’t throw it away.

We’re trying to be green-er.

I did manage to get the scraps out to the compost bucket, though. Yea me.

I’m truly humbled. And kind of embarrassed.

Honestly, I thought we were good environmentalists. Not crazy ones, but I really thought we did everything we could to minimize trash by recycling. One hour into our project, I realized how little I personally recycle.

If it’s convenient, I recycle.

If I have time, I recycle.

If it’s obvious, I recycle.


So, as the matriarch of the family, I’ve got to step it up. I must lead my family by example. The Diet Coke, in all forms (except fountain drinks at restaurants in glasses), must go.


Here’s my question, without any judgments (who am I to judge anyone?):

Do you recycle? And, if you recycle, how much percentage-wise do you think you recycle compared to your normal garbage output? No scientific calculations necessary...guesstimates work. I’m going to try to calculate our family’s recycling percentage for a week. Should be--enlightening (or frightening).

Until then, if anyone has a good cure to counteract the lack-of-caffeine headache I will have tomorrow...please let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Julie-the cure is to begin drinking coffee! It is one of life's better moments to sip that warm cup of joe in the morning (or evening), smelling the aroma, holding the warm mug (not disposable of course!), chatting over coffee is so much better than chatting over a can of DC (that's an opinion of course). And the waste emitted is almost none considering you compost. Could I be biased?