Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Duh Moments on My Green Journey

image credit: kerryvaugh

Do you ever have a realization that it so simple you can't believe it took you so long to discover it in the first place?

Case in point, despite the fact that we go through 35 cans of cat food a week, and despite the fact that I try to recycle as much as possible, I just starting recycling cat food cans yesterday. Yesterday! And I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person. At times. Although this is obviously not a good example of that.

What gives? Honestly I didn't even think about recycling cat food cans at first. Then, once I did I thought, they're so stinky, smelly and gross that recycling them would be way more of a pain than it was worth. You know how much of a pain it actually turned out to be? No pain whatsoever. When a can is empty I simply fill it with water and put it in the sink. After 15 minutes or whenever I'm in the kitchen next I dump the water out, do a 2 second rinse, and voila, a clean can. Why the heck have I been waiting so long to try that?

Although I have the best intentions of being more green, I think the biggest thing that trips me up is just accepting what I've always done in the past, or seen family do, as sacred. Throwing compost in a used coffee can under the sink felt cumbersome at first, but now it feels weird not to do it. Or when I finally tried drying clothes without dryer sheets, and discovered I didn't miss them. Oh, and when I never remembered to bring reusable bags to the store until I finally started keeping them in the trunk of my car instead of in the house. Or how about when I finally tried online banking and instantly loved how much faster it was to pay bills.

Yeah, so obviously I'm not so good with change (shut up, boyfriend!), but please tell me I'm not the only one who frequently has these duh moments? What other easy green tips might I be missing?


  1. I threw away 4 empty cans today. Viva la revolucion!

  2. You've totally made my day! Not because of the recycling thing, but because there's actually somebody out there who goes through more cans of cat food per day than we do!

    I used to fight with recycling them too, but now I just run them under the water and give them a quick swish with the dish brush, then into the recycling they go!

    And don't get grossed out by this, but my duh moment came after reading "No Impact Man" and they referred to the fact that they didn't use toilet paper, but refused to offer details as to how this was accomplished. I decided to make an experiment of it... and found that for number 2, there's really no adequate substitute for TP, but for number one, a quick rinse with some water and dry with a towel is easy and clean, plus it saves a TON of money on TP. And hey, every man I've ever been intimate with simply uses the "3 shakes" method, so it couldn't possibly be less hygienic than that!

  3. Wow, that's a lot of cans! Brie goes through 1.5 cans per week (she gets a combo of dry and wet food, plus she's a tiny cat on a weight-loss initiative). I used to have a block about recycling the lids to her cat food cans, for some reason. After I thought about it, it made no sense whatsoever. I'm so happy to hear about your new recycling habits!

  4. Yup, we go through a lot of cans. Our cats only eat canned food since one of them has diabetes (among his many diseases) and it's better for him. So three cats eating only canned food = a heck of a lot of cans.

    ECL - I still have a mental block about going TP free, no matter the number.

    Jennifer - Um, now I feel even stupider. I toss all my can lids without a single thought. Doh!

    I suck at recycling.

  5. Is fresh meat ok for your cat with diabetes? My cat adores minced kangaroo (probably not an option for you in the US) and rabbit - although he's not diabetic - and if you gave them some fresh meat maybe you could cut down on the number of cans.

  6. FLM - Fresh meat would probably be the best diet for diabetics cats of all, but I'm sure my nose or wallet could handle a full time transition to that. The Boy often cooks the cats a separate piece of chicken as a treat when he's cooking for us. He's good about spoiling them like that!

  7. hey don't feel bad at all! It never occured to me to recycle until I got home from a week long trip and I saw all the cans in the recycle bin from my cat sitter! I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of that earlier--jessiejack

  8. Fact: You don't have to wash the stuff that go to recycling. We had a memo from our council about that.
    I think somewhere along the line they realized that people trashed think because there were too lazy to clean/rinse them.
    Apart from the paper all of the recycling end up being melted somehow, so.....


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