Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My biggest green mistake: Not following through

Going Green  Mama fesses up....

"I thought you were cancelling the produce delivery," my husband sternly met me at the door. I mumbled about keeping it when he was out of town that week because I didn't want to shop with the kids. The truth is, I don't want to give up the idea of us eating local and organically.

My husband has a point: How many times have I bought from the produce delivery, only to let the lovely seasonal vegetables die a most horrible death in my produce drawer or in the back of my fridge? The last few months have been chaotic at best, juggling work, a start-up company, a family, a scout troop, an occasional blog, the holidays, and, well, me. Too often my great goals of eating brightly colored broccoli from a local farmer fell with the temptation to swing by Papa Murphy's, because, well, it's easier when the kids are ready to chew on the car after school.

So my laziness has created more waste. The waste of buying twice for one meal. The waste of extra gas for the delivery driver. The waste of our budget. The extra trash.

Food waste is an issue for all of us, and while it's easy to point fingers at the restaurant industry, it truly starts at home. It's the small things, from cooking too much and letting the rest go to waste, to forgetting about those now-expired goods in our pantry. And it all adds up.

Right now, I've called a truce with my husband, putting the service on hold with the option of temporarily restarting it when I want to. The fridge is getting a makeover, and my compost bin a few extra items that are past their prime and not the best options for turning into soups. And that little line in my planner that says "meals?" It's getting filled out this weekend. We're making a plan to succeed.


Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

I feel your pain! I have a CSA that lets me pick exactly what goes in my box -- much of it fruit (ready to eat with no prep!). I tried some other ones first and a lot of the produce went to waste b/c I didn't have time to figure out what to do with it. Truth is, if it's not a one-pot meal with veggies, I rarely prepare veggies b/c I'm lucky to just get a meal on the table most nights. We have lots of salads and carrot sticks but very few cooked veggie sides except on Thanksgiving.

I'm struggling to get back in the swing of meal planning too since my move. I'm trying to follow a pattern to see if that helps (Friday pizza, Tuesdays soup, that kind of thing).

Annabel Lee said...

Wow, I don't get the waste AND the excuses. Sorry but "green" means being green, not just when you feel like it. I get so tired of reading things like this. Prep your veggies when you get them, find joy in it, not ugh just another thing to take me away from "something else". If your children are old enough for all those activities then they should be old enough to help you in the kitchen. If they don't want to be hungry as soon as you pick them up they can pack a snack for you to feed them.

And it's not just here it's everywhere with the food waste. I was reading a nouveau canning blog and they went on an on with excuses for all the food they wasted. Pounds of lovely farmer market product that they had plans for but obviously no priority. I can tell you my grandmother and mother would not have let there garden harvest go bad.

I never answered the last blog of how long we have been green, basically I feel I am much older than most of you, and I don;t always write because sometimes feel can't relate well to the posts. But I began "green" back in 60's-newspaper collections, we never even had a car. I grew up walking and biking everywhere or taking the bus. In the 70's we had Nader , recycling was starting. trips to the natural food co-op, weekend outings with Sierra club to clean up this or that. After graduation I chose my 1st apartment to be on the bus route and with in a decent bike rides distance.

Still shopping at the co-op. Met future husband ...he had copy of Recipes for a Small Planet and I had
a copy of Diet for a Small Planet. We decided was meant to be. 30 years, 3 children, one vegetarian family later we are green lifetime members of the Sierra club , I can say. Not 100%. but still trying to improve everyday.

Maybe its different background too. We grew up with parents who were product of the Depression, WWII, and knew how to save, how not to waste, how to figure out what to do with the vegetables in the fridge and not hit a drive thru for pizza. Even if you can't use it at least chop it or steam it or puree and put in bags in the freezer. Don't watch it rot.

Again, sorry, knock me off if you want, but aargh, take responsibility and don't just turn it into fodder for a blog post....and compost.

robbie @ going green mama said...

Annabel, thank you for the much needed kick in the butt!

I do take responsibility for things, and yes, I needed to get out of my complacency, which was my whole point. Saying you're doing it and actually following through are two separate issues.

I admit - I am fully not perfect, though I continue to keep trying!

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

Annabel Lee, It is awesome you were raised by such a green family and are so far along in your green journey. I think all of us here are interested in doing better, and sometimes that just means getting back on the wagon and reaffirming priorities. I like your suggestions and tips for reducing food waste and sympathize with your strong reaction to wasting food, but I think we could all do without the judgment.

Eco Yogini said...

@Annabel Lee: I agree with Betsy... there are ways to voice your opinion without judgement and ridicule (and subtly insulting parents and childhood experience).

The more we pretend that we are all perfect, the less we can be there to support each other in problem solving and brainstorming new ideas.

I never assume that my life is representative of others, or that just because my experience is a certain way that every other family would have the time/space/energy to do the same.

Perhaps my responding is "feeding the troll", since your comment is just so enormously combative and judgemental, however this is a respectful space where we support, learn and share together.

I don't know about you- but my parents (born in the 50's) taught me how to respectfully disagree.


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