Monday, July 19, 2010

one done, one abandoned

Finished the last 101 pages of Cross Country last night. Best book ever? Uhh, no. But did I enjoy it? Yep.

And I'm sad to say that I'm abandoning Recycle This Book. I really shouldn't, but I am. I *love* the concept of this book immensely. And honestly, for the most part, I love the little essays, which are for the most part written with great humor. But already I've come across two that have irritated the hell out of me. First, advocating reusing the bottles you buy bottled water in. NOOOOO!!! Please don't tell kiddos to do that!!!! They leach dangerous chemicals like BPA. DON"T BUY BOTTLED WATER TO START WITH!!! Instead use reusable, BPA-free water bottles filled from your tap. Second, the article saying while there is nothing we can do about the methane released when moose belch and cows fart, there are things we as humans can do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Uhhhh, gee, actually there is a lot we can do about cows!!! EAT LESS MEAT!!! Look, I don't mean for a second to tell anyone that they should be a vegetarian--that is a personal choice that everyone has to make for themselves. But I am saying that one of the most important environmental choices we can make is to eat less meat. And learn where our food does come from. The way this particular article was written, the blame for the environmental harm done by "cows" was taken completely away from humans and the way we've allowed factory farming to take over our food supply. So, yes, I'm giving up on the book...because I let it put me in a pissy mood. What can I say...


  1. I am so glad to see someone else anti-bottled water! Personally, I can't stand the stuff. I only get it when I have no other choice and I usually don't make it through a whole bottle. I drink enough to feel somewhat hydrated and get rid of the rest. In fact, if possible, I will dump out the water that comes in the bottle and pour water from the tap into it if there are no cups around for me to just get tap water!

  2. I love that you see all the stainless steel water bottle around, now, they've become something of a trend, I think. I don't understand bottled water, it just seems like a colossal bad idea, in so many ways, you know?

    Additionally the cow produced methane is only the LEAST of our problems in terms of how meat is produced in America... :/.

  3. Amanda,
    YAY for fellow bottled water haters!!! :D

    We love our stainless steel ones! :D
    And yes, exactly! It's really just so horrendously sad the environmental devastation being caused by industrial farming. And it's not just the feedlots and poultry farms (though they're the worst) but all types of industrial farming. *sigh* But anyway, it wasn't so much what he said about methane that irked was that he was acting as if it was somehow the cows' fault and we as humans played no part in it.

  4. I'm sorry Debi T_T I feel like I made you miserable by recommending that book. I know you don't feel that way, but I am sorry. I need to be more conscious of stuff like that. That is horrible though. You know...I thought the same thing about the bottled water essay when I read it...and it's actually an idea that SEVERAL authors recommend..but I had just forgotten it when I was done. But when they started recommending REUSING bottled water I thought to myself NO! But there was other stuff that I just liked as far as kids being able to get involved. As for cows being blamed for I'm so with you. I just disregarded that essay really. It was almost like "do I have to write something? I'll just do this..." How about we stop treating animals so inhumanely!!!! And stop stuffing 2000 chickens into the area of a bathroom. Sorry Debs :(

  5. Chris,
    Hey you--you're going to get a kick when you get here if you're not careful!!! Don't you dare apologize!!! I still think that the book has an awesome premise, and I'm willing to bet that it will do a lot of good in getting kids excited about taking care of our planet. Honestly, I just think it was my mood...and for some reason those couple things just hit a nerve and really made me grumpy. :P You did not make me miserable, my dear friend! Banish that thought!!!

  6. Woot! Vegetarians unite! And yeah: there's nothing that drives me crazier than pretending that eating meat doesn't impact the environment. I mean, we all make choices (my car only gets 27 mpg), but we should own those choices, you know?

    And eek to the suggestion of refilling bottled water! That whole thing drives me crazy; we live in a wonderful industrialised country that gives us potable tap water. Why don't we celebrate that?!

  7. I LOVE the way you put that, Eva--about owning our choices. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not perfect. In fact, despite the fact that we try very hard to make environmental sound choices, we're still *very far* from perfect. But that's the thing--I have to accept responsibility for the fact that we drive long distances on vacations and to visit family...and I have to accept responsibility for the fact that while we try to buy most things used, we do still occasionally buy things new, and some of those things are merely a matter of wanting, not needing...and I have to accept responsibility for the fact that I drink coffee, use spices, etc. that obviously are not locally grown...and so on. I'm not proud of these choices, but I'm not about to bury my head in the sand and deny that they *are* choices, you know.

  8. I don't think anyone's PERFECT...I mean, if you take it to the extreme, the best way to help the environment is to simply not exist. ;) So I don't think you should feel guilty about all of the choices you make! Because there's more to life than saving the world, as mean as that kind of sounds.

    I know I'll never be a total locavore, simply because the world's great diversity is something I delight in and especially for dry stuffs (like spices and tea!) that have been traded for centuries, I think there's something so marvelous about having them in my kitchen, connecting me to different cultures and different times, that I have no desire to give that up. But I have been trying to get more local produce (easy peasy in the summer here), and since produce is almost all that I eat anymore (lol...vegan and gluten free pretty much eliminates most aisles of the grocery store!) I think it's a fair trade off.

    It's funny to me that a lot of the choices that I originally made as a result of being too sick to work and thus being on a very strict budget (like only buying clothes secondhand, using the library pretty much exclusively to get books, and car pooling w/ friends or family almost everywhere) are also better for the environment. I wonder, once I get a job, if I'll be able to stick to those choices! I think I will, just because it's such a habit at this point, but I'm sure it'll be more difficult when I have at least the *possibility* of the less environmentally friendly choice.

    I'm rambling a lot, because this is a topic I've been thinking a lot about but I don't have anyone here I can really talk about it with (they tend to get either defensive or dismissive right away). But in the end, I only think that we'll be able to change our tracks as a society if we find a happy medium, rather than become complete ascetics.