Friday, November 7, 2008

The Lesser of Two Evils

No, I'm not talking about anything political. I'm talking about cotton swabs. Or as we call all of them Q-tips. And breakfast cereal. Because sometimes, part of being green is choosing the greener of two things that really aren't inherently green.

Take Q-tips. If you buy actual Q-tips, you've got a paper stick which seems to me to be a better choice than some of the other brands that have a plastic stick. The store brand where I shop has a paper stick, also. So I think it's a greener choice to buy the paper stick kind. I've never looked to see if there is a brand out there that is made from organic cotton and sticks made from recycled paper, but that would probably be an even greener choice. And the greenest choice - forgoing the cotton swabs altogether. 

Breakfast cereal - extraordinarily convenient on school mornings. My kids, like all kids, like the sugary kind. I buy organic frosted flakes. Yes, there is a version of organic frosted flakes (not made by Kellog's). I know that choosing something like organic slow cooking oatmeal would be greener than processed cereal, even organic processed cereal, but in the morning sometimes I need convenience to get my kids out of the house and to school. 

I've been thinking about this lately because the holidays are coming upon us and it's a time when convenience often takes precedence over environmentally sound decisions. I think that before things get crazy, we should take the time to do a little planning, a little decision making before there's no time to make the right decision.

During the holidays there will be times when we need to make decisions between the lesser of two evils, but sometimes with advance planning we can avoid that. For example, if you know you'll be having a dinner or party in your home, make a list of all the things you'll need now. Plates, silverware, serving stuff, punch bowls - whatever. Then figure out how you can obtain these things if you don't already have them in the greenest way possible for you. For some of us, it may mean borrowing a punch bowl instead of running out and buying a new one. For others it may mean shopping now to make sure we can get the most environmentally friendly disposable products instead of having to take what the store offers the day of the party.

A little planning ahead is all I'm suggesting. 

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jmisgro said...

Here's a question - Can you compost Q-tips?
THat would be a good thing?

Robin Shreeves said...

jmisgro - never even thought of that.

Apparently, according to this list

the paper stick kind are.

jmisgro said...

Thanks for the list!!