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My Challenges with Going More Green

Kermit the Frog said it well. It’s not easy being green.

Not in how he meant it, of course. But trying to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can be very challenging. And the challenges can be different for every person.

For me, one of the challenges is my father-in-law. He’s a wonderful grandfather to my kids but politically… well, I just can’t talk to him about that stuff. Not when he’s a party line Republican prone to calling Democrats traitors and other names, and sees nothing wrong with how we’re treating this planet. Environmentalists are “idiots” and worse to him.

It’s the people you just can’t argue with that make life more challenging. For my children’s sake, I don’t want to be constantly arguing with him, so I don’t get into my beliefs with him. Not that I’m a Democrat, but I’d sooner be that than a party line Republican… quite possibly any sort of Republican. I’m not really aligned with any of the political parties out there these days.

This also means my husband isn’t used to thinking of things in environmental terms. Gardening means using chemicals to him, not trying to make a compost heap. Recycling to him is a matter of indifference. But I’m working on those flaws gently.

Kids, of course, will believe just about anything you tell them, but won’t necessarily care, especially when they’re 4 and 1. But helping them build good habits is fun.

One of my upcoming challenges will be when the time comes to replace my car, which will likely be within the next year. My car is from 1992 or 1993, I forget which, and very much so hitting the point where it’s not worth it for a non-mechanic like me to keep. It’s been running well but when it needs a repair it’s always a big one.

I’ve worked hard on my husband on this topic. He had wanted an SUV, and I talked him down to a minivan. Personally, I wouldn’t mind sticking with a car, no matter how comfortable a minivan may be. The gas milage matters a great deal.

Fortunately, he does agree on the gas milage part, so whatever we really buy will at least be good for its class. When you have to make joint decisions sometimes you don’t quite get the compromise you’d like. And since I work at home and don’t drive much, the vehicle will still be used less than most.

Some challenges are easier to meet than others. Walking my daughter to and from preschool is a pleasure as well as a better way to go. Combining errands just makes sense when you’re herding kids along. Growing a garden, even when not 100% organic, is a great science lesson for the kids and they love it.

I have a lot of fun trying, even when I don’t succeed. Hopefully you others can enjoy these lessons too and share what you learn.

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