Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Everyday is Earth Day (For Retailers)

Today we celebrate the Earth and our efforts, as part of the human race, to preserve it. A worthy cause for celebration no doubt, and hot on the heels of Patriot's Day at that!

While I love the Earth (obviously), I find that I don't do the best job of 'doing my part'. For instance, I am fairly conscientious about separating my milk jugs and cardboard boxes from the everyday trash, but I have chosen to use disposable diapers...and I mean Huggies and Pampers, not Seventh Generation.

I thought that I was doing the earth some good by toting my Nalgene instead of using multiple plastic bottles...that is, until I got a litany of daily emails talking about the perils of BPA. Seriously, if I get one more email about it, I will dry heave all over my keyboard.

I understand that it's thought to be dangerous. What I don't like is feeling like I'm being scared, bullied and shamed into buying alternative products and that I'll be viewed as an irresponsible parent if I don't make those changes. I like to hear the fair and balanced argument, and I don't mean the Fox News version of fair and balanced, before I invest money that I don't necessarily have in a litany of products only to discover that I didn't really need to. Sure enough, days later I found a list that reassured me that every single sippy cup and bottle I already own is on the 'safe' list. The only exception being my Nalgene, which I am replacing with a Sigg.

I feel like it's much easier to be eco-friendly when money is not necessarily an object. For instance, gDiapers, eco-friendly cloth diaper services and Seventh Generation disposables are far more expensive than regular disposables; generally at least 1.5 times more expensive from what I've found. I'm not saying that I feel no remorse for using the less friendly versions, it just seems that the companies that make these products are seriously invested in saving the earth one poopy diaper at a time, so why not price them in such a way that they were honestly competitive for the 'average' middle-income family.

When J and I made the decision to have me stay home, I did not even consider that this would result in us having to make fiscal decisions that make me feel guilty on an almost daily basis, due to the barrage of email, commercials and interviews by those 'in the know.'
In a few years, money will not be an object for our family (at least not as much of one), but I hope that change doesn't make me place judgement on, or point and accusatory finger at, those who are making the best decisions given their circumstances and priorities.

HA! This is almost too good to be true. While googling, I found the following passage on Tiny Decor's blog (which is also where I got the photo for my post):

"As if G Diaper wasn’t cute enough already, they have come out with a special Earth Day diaper. The XOXO ‘little g’ diaper is $9.99 with a case of refills (total $61.99). Let your little one show their love for the planet Earth."

In short, earth day should not be everyday only for those who make over 80K.


That Girl said...

I am so with you on this! I did hear a comment on NPR today that said one of the best things you can do for the environment is buy long-lasting items even if they aren't the most eco-friendly, simply because they won't need to be replaced.

I must admit...I've used a Sigg water bottle for over a year now and it is so much better than Nalgene in every way!

MomtoSophieandOliver said...

Ok, ok, so I bought the Earth day Gdiaper. However, that $9.99 cover will prevent many disposable diapers from ending up in landfills. I think that one of the reasons I can buy G's is because I buy most everything else I can from Ebay or Craigslist. I do get your point, though. Some people don't even take into consideration how their lifestyle impacts the Earth. We all just need to do what we can.