Saturday, April 10, 2010

Being Green in a non-Green World

We spend Passover at hotel on Miami Beach.  It's a nice break from the real world and we don't have to change over all the pots, pans, dishes, glassware and silverware in the house.  As well as burn out the stove and sink, cover the counters, etc...

It's a great week for our family (and some extended family).  We get to spend some quality family time together and rest by the pool and at the beach.

There were a couple things that struck me as "living" in a world far opposite from my own.  Were not perfect, but we do try to do whatever we can to be green.  I recycle or reuse everything I can, and try really hard to create excess waste.  Over the past week I saw more waste and misuse.

At the end of the week they showed us the numbers on what had been used during the week.  There were three numbers that really struck me (and none of them are in reference to the abnormal amounts of food served and sent back and wasted food that was thrown out).

  • 36,000 water bottles
  • 15,000 styrofoam containers
  •  9,000 trash bags.  

Now the bottles made me upset because not one of the 36,000+ plastic bottles (I don't remember the count for 2 liter soda bottles) recycled.  There was not a single recycling bin anywhere.  And I would find it incredibly hard to believe that they might go through the trash to pull out the recyclables.  Having seen them collect the trash, there's no way.  The plastic bottles were put out on tables at meals and found in any other location where food was available.

The use of that many styrofoam containers and garbage bags is just plain gross.  I think we created our own landfill last week, and I am completely disgusted by it.  I've been trying to think of ways to help this situation in the future, and I'm not sure what the best solutions are.  I thought about having my own water bottle, but when the only water available is already in bottles it doesn't make a difference if I use my own bottle or not.  I suppose I have a year or so to think about it.  I would love to hear ideas.

My other experience of fighting "traditional thinking" last week, had to do with diapers.  I normally use cloth diapers, but when we travel, especially for any amount of time we use gDiapers.  For more thoughts on the diapers we use go here.

I was changing my daughter and someone noticed that I was not using a normal disposable diaper, which of course prompted a conversation.  It was with a long time friend of JGD's family, we'll call here Bumble.  Now I was not surprised by this conversation but found it amusing just the same.  Let me give you a little background on Bumble, well at least let me tell you that Bumble (like many Jewish grandmothers) has her thoughts about doing things and is not afraid to express them.

Bumble looked at me and mentioned that when her daughter lived in Israel (now this was some time ago, as he oldest son is my age), her daughter used cloth diapers with her kids because it was less expensive.  When Bumble and her husband went to visit her daughter in Israel they decided that they would spend the money to buy the disposable diapers for her daughter.  However, she was quite upset that her daughter went back to using the cloth ones after they left.

I wasn't sure what Bumble was expecting me to say, but I thought the conversation funny.

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