It’s not easy being green.
It seems like the right thing to do, of course – to tread lightly on planet Earth, causing as little damage as possible for all creatures great and small. But all this “carbon footprint” talk leads quickly to the realization that there are more questions than answers immediately available.
In the Hanson household, we make a good run at being eco-friendly. Very little goes in the trash, as the recycling bin is filled to overflowing; vegetable scraps and shredded paper go to the worm bin to become healthy compost for the garden beds; and “reusable” is preferred over “disposable.”
The garden is a pesticide-free zone and crews no longer appear at least twice yearly to apply various chemicals aimed at killing weeds and bugs.
Indoors, the thermostat isn’t cranked especially high, as warm clothes and blankets keep us cozy.
But we’ll never be welcomed by the tree-hugging extreme who faithfully practice what they preach.
Our driveway is home to a pickup and the garage houses a sport-utility vehicle. Neither is found on the environmentalists’ list of preferred rides, both settling for gas milage registered in the teens. But neither will go away soon. The SUV is comfortable, is often packed and provides room for the dogs. The pickup is necessary for hauling a small travel trailer to various campgrounds for weekend getaways.
These gas-guzzlers recently shuttled between Enumclaw, Bonney Lake and Sumner during an endless quest for the perfect shade of living room carpet at the best possible price. Not exactly a “green” use of resources, but still a part of daily life.
Emissions will soon be spewing from a gas-powered lawnmower and, occasionally, a power washer. Again, not at all “green” but a part of keeping the home looking neat and tidy.
I don’t know how to use our regional mass-transportation systems. And probably never will.
The hope for the future lies in the fact that each generation is a little kinder to the world around us. I don’t dispose of motor oil by pouring it into the weeds and letting it soak into the ground, as my father did; in turn, the hope is that our daughter has the opportunity and desire to do things a bit smarter than we have.
But she already knows, it’s not easy being green.