Saturday, May 17, 2008

I hug trees

Alright, I promised myself and the vastness of the world wide web that I'd write this post this week, even though at the time I thought it would be my only postable material for the rest of the week and then, lo and behold, dinner happened on Thursday. But a promise is a promise. And now it is 9:20 p.m. on Saturday, so I better get to it if I want to avoid the wrath of my judgmental readership. Oh, I don't mean all of you, just maybe Julie and Jacob.

So here, finally ('cause I know you have all been holding your collective breath on this), are my Five Things I Did to Celebrate Earth Day (which was on April 22nd, almost a month ago.)

1. Nothing.

Aw, shit. This isn't gonna work, is it?! Turns out, I don't much care about Earth Day, at least not personally. Sure, I care about it as far as it gives us an excuse to talk about environmental issues, but for me it was otherwise just another Tuesday. But, so as not to send you home with an empty stomach, here are (and I totally stole this whole idea from Allie, who tagged me with this in the first place) Five Things I Do Everyday Because I Have No Reason Not To.

(Also, I may be drinking right now, so bear with me. If I get a little insistent, well, that's my real personality coming through.)

1. I do not dry my hands with paper towels. Ever. This is a relatively new thing for me, but I don't know why it took me so long to come around to it. My inspiration for this came from No Impact Man. It's the same crazy reasoning I use for not using a clothes dryer: turns out that stuff wants to be dry anyway, whether you employ artificial means or not. I don't use paper towels to dry my hands at work or in public restrooms and yet they somehow end up dry within about one minute anyway. Magic. Just wave your hands around like an idiot for a few seconds and you're good to go. Unless you're Aquaman or Ariel, living happily under the sea, in which case wet is good.

2. I don't buy things. I think this is probably the most important thing I don't do, and maybe my only redeeming quality as a human being. Crunchy Chicken had a Buy Nothing Challenge for the month of April and I forgot about it until almost May, but when I thought about it I had unwittingly risen to the challenge anyway. Aside from food, gas and occasional toiletries (which I believe were exempt from the challenge for obvious reasons), I don't buy things. What else is there anyway? I pretty much have everything I need already. If everyone were like me, our economy would revert to the stone age, which may not be a bad thing.

3. Still not using bags at the grocery store. For that matter, I'm trying to cut back on my purchases and use of anything plastic. Plastic baaaaad.

4. Driving like gasoline ain't free. Because it's not. Accelerate slowly, leave a lot of space between you and the car ahead, drift to red lights, keep your cruising speed down, take corners really, scary fast, ignore speed bumps - these all help conserve gas, and that's good for everyone. I wish this entry could instead be "Not driving at all," but that isn't realistic at this point. We do what we can with what we have. By the way: don't believe the hype - gas is still really, really cheap and this is a poor person telling you this. I can drive 500 miles in a pickup truck for $60. In what bizarro dimension is that expensive? I used to do it for 25. That's insanity.

5. I give a shit. Every decision I make is informed with the idea that waste is bad (and I'm talkin' sin on par with homosexuality to a conservative Republican; like, top-tier offense) and that there is a right and wrong way to get through our short lives on this planet. I'm not saying I do everything right, because that would be an outrageously delusional lie. What I'm saying is that at least I'm trying, and I try harder every day. I don't know why, exactly, since if pressed I would admit that nothing really matters, but I do it anyway, as much a compulsion as anything else.

Ta Daaaa!


Courtney said...

Preach it, brotha.

Nothing really matters? That's awfully nihilistic of you. And you know what happens to nihilists, according to the Gospel (i.e. The Big Lebowski.)

That's right: Nothing.

Julie said...


Um... congratulations on doing nothing?

I've started trying to drive slower, but I keep it around 60 because the first time I tried to go 55 on I75, I thought I was going to be killed.

Allie said...


You know, I think #5 is the most important. I think it's all about attitude. If you care, you look at everything differently. That's when it's easiest to make changes.

em said...

I dont use paper towel to dry my hands either.

I ended up in Gatlinburg yesterday (read: hell on earth) and found myself in bumper to bumper traffic. I sat there thinking that this town is supposed to be a service to one of the most beautiful and pristine natural attractions in the world, and it is ruining the earth. Hell. I found the first 10 dollar parking lot I could and walked.

Anonymous said...

This is good, I like this.

Noelle said...

I don't buy toiletries anymore. I just use baking soda and vinegar for EVERYTHING. And I think that explains why my eye makeup hasn't been looking its best lately.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Despite my best attempts to ignore your words of advice on speeding, I have found myself keeping it at a respectable 65 mph lately. As opposed to the more acceptable Boston speed of 80. I haven't recorded my gas mileage or anything, so I am just trusting the word of Mickey that this will help.

Also, I bought three things at the grocery store the other day and refused a bag and the woman looked at me like I was insane. HOW WOULD I CARRY ALL THREE THINGS?! My ability to carry knows no bounds.

surviving myself said...

I use paper towels man, I'm sorry, I just do.

Maybe Aquaman and I could hang out and he could teach me about how it's okay to have wet hands all the time.

But he's pretty lame, so I wouldn't listen to him anyway.

beej said...

Wow! Paper towels. Never even thought of that.

Good job, compadre.

The Modern Gal said...

So really you didn't do three things and you did do two things. Bah.

No really, your posts about driving more slowly have stuck with me a bit and I'm trying to make a conscious effort to slow down.

Jacob said...

I actually bought the biodegradable cleaners today, although I had to go with the Chlorox GreenWorks line instead of the fancy stuff you guys use because they don't sell that stuff down here. The Sierra Club approved the GreenWorks stuff so I'll go with that for now if it works.

Stefanie said...

I still can't bring myself to drive 55, but I do bring my own bags to the store (at least, when I don't forget to do so). Your box idea is genius, but I'm terribly curious about the sort of looks you get from nearby shoppers when you just wheel out a cart of stuff unbagged.

Mickey said...

courtney- Now I need to get a ferret on a leash.

julie- Nothing: it's what I'm best at.

allie- Right on.

em- Places like G'burg are a sacrifice. Every national park has one. People love them.

sadieandleo- Thank you.

noelle- That's probably where I'm headed. My eye makeup won't really take a hit, though.

npw- The depth of your talents is astounding.

surviving myself- But you can't hang out with Aquaman because he lives in the sea. Or does he? I actually know nothing about Aquaman.

beej- Thank you, senor.

modern gal- So this was a cop out? I thought so, too.

jacob- I wanted to believe that the Greenworks was just a case of corporate greenwashing, but it's getting some praise from the right places.

stefanie- I make sure I've got the receipt in my hand and visible. And I thrive on crazy looks from strangers.

Julie said...

I have been inspired by your more recent post depicting poo in the woods to offer up another way to save the environment:

Do away with the tp. You've already done away with paper towels. Think how many more trees you will save if you wipe your ass with your hand.

Mickey said...

julie- Eww.

Meaghan said...

"if pressed I would admit that nothing really matters"

That statement is very King Solomon of you (read Ecclesiastes).

Your greenery is rubbing off on us. We're thinking of getting G Diapers for the kid.

Chris said...

Re #2: I have noticed that my innate frugality and my attempts at sustainable living go together very well.

Re #4: I'm pleased to report I've been hitting 40mpg or very close to it on my last several tanks of gas. Of course, that's in a Corolla, not a pickup.

Also, here's an organization you might find interesting:

Their motto, apparently, is "Live simply, that others may simply live." I like a lot of the concepts covered on the website, although I'm a bit concerned that the whole thing is just a front for selling books and T-shirts.