Ain’t Easy Going Green

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As I mentioned in Monday’s post, my huz preached an awesome sermon on Sunday (check out the blog that followed). In the midst of the sermon, he made a statement about how difficult it is to preach a sermon when it does not change behavior.

Just the day before, I had purchased all of the paper/plastic products for the Super Bowl party coming up.  All of these items were completely and totally disposable.  Watch the trash pile increase from our football-watching fun!  As he preached about creation care and made this statement, I texted him (because he encourages texting during the sermon – about the sermon) and asked if we should use real plates instead of the paper ones.

That led to a discussion later in the day and some decisions were made.  By the end of the day on Sunday, things had changed in the way that we saw our hosting of the Super Bowl party.

The first item: cups.  The huz’s idea was to call Chili’s and ask them to donate the cups.

I called Chili’s in Plymouth, MN, and made a bold request: would they supply us with 100 of their kids cups?  I explained that we were hosting a large group of people from our church for the SuperBowl.  I also explained that we were trying to be smarter about resources and keeping trash out of the landfill.

The manager said yes. I was so shocked! Cups – check.  I pick them up on Saturday!

The next consideration for us was plates.  100 plates…ones that would not break…this was not going to be a cheap endeavor.  My initial thought was to scavenge at all of the thrift and goodwill stores.  My next thought was Wal-Mart or Target.  I mentioned this all to a co-worker who also works with me. She suggested the Target thrift store – an overstock center of sorts.

On Tuesday, I tried to find the Target thrift store. Turns out, it is not a thrift store. It is the office furniture contractor, and sometimes they have leftovers that they sell to the public.

Next stops: the Salvation Army Thrift store and a Goodwill store.  It became quite clear that the thrift store idea was going to be super time-consuming, frustrating, and difficult.  AND – I would end up spending a fortune burning a bunch of gasoline while driving around looking for the 100 plates.  That doesn’t seem very green to me!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner: Target.  The plates pictured at the top of this post are one dollar each.  That is not a bad price considering that we host the Super Bowl party annually and host many other functions in our home throughout the year.  I would guess that we might even see a cost savings in the first year.  And this never was about the money!

Time to back up and talk a bit about being a girl:  We doubt ourselves.  I bought 100 plates at two different Target stores (one store did not have enough – I have bought out two stores in the endeavor).  However, I still made stops (yes – all of these stops were part of my route) at Bed-Bath-and Beyond, Menards, Sam’s Club, Cub Foods, and BigLots.  Even worse than that, I actually bought another set of plates at BigLots so that I could show the huz the two different styles.

What is that?  Where does that come from?  My mother raised an independent thinker.  She put me on airplanes at a very young age, allowed me to drive from North Dakota to Rhode Island when I was 19 years old, and did not bat an eye (or at least did not show it) when I married at 21.  That is not the profile of a woman who cannot choose plastic plates for a Super Bowl party!

Oy vey!  By the way – I returned the plates to BigLots, and I adore the ones from Target.

Question of the day: What one small decision can you make in your family to change the way our environment suffers from our use?

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