Green vs. Gross— Where do YOU draw the line?

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        Today’s post was inspired by my younger brother. When Rob and I were home for Thanksgiving my brother had an interesting reaction to one of our “habits.” In order to use less water and save a little money we don’t flush the toilet every time we use it. When we visiting it completely did not occur to me that this might bother my brother with whom we shared a bathroom. Bother it did. We quickly rectified our etiquette faux pas.

         This situation got me thinking about what different people are comfortable with when it comes to being green and frugal. What seems second nature to some is disgusting to others. I will fully admit that there are certain things I do that are potentially gross to others. There are also things I know that others do that I would not be willing to do.

          So what are some of the more “questionable” things I do?

    • “Rescue” coupons from the trashcan by our mail box
    • Limit toilet flushing to solid waste
    • Reuse dish towels
    • Use natural cleaners like vinegar and baking soda for a lot of my home cleaning
    • Freeze leftovers for another meal– this seems normal to me but I know some people who refuse to eat leftovers
    • Stretch meat dishes with beans
    • Shop in thrift stores
    • When we have kids we will use cloth diapers

             And what do I refuse to do?

    • Dumpster dive for food products
    • Allow solid waste to sit in the toilet
    • Eat expired food
    • Shop at day old bakeries– I don’t know why this weirds me out
    • Use “reusable” toilet paper– eww

So where do you draw the line? What do you do that others won’t and what grosses you out?


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  1. Aimee Nadow
    January 13, 2011 / 12:14 am

    Loved the quip about flushing at your parent's house: my family does the same thing, "if it's yellow let it mellow–if it's brown, flush it down!" Mostly because the flushing is noisy too at night. My in-laws would probably freak about this one. It's funny what people make a "big deal" about! Although, my parents also keep a bucket in the shower/tub, and while the water's getting hot, they fill the bucket, and then they use the bucket to pour into the toilet which flushes it automatically. Pretty cool. Loved your post! -Aims

    Ps. What the HELL is "reusable toilet paper?" LOL

  2. Nicole
    January 16, 2011 / 3:14 pm

    haha1 reusable toilet paper is basically small washcloths that you resuse. You sort of handle them the same way as cloth diapers– bucket for dirty ones, laundering etc. Definitely NOT for me!

  3. Sarah Gates
    January 21, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    We also do not flush every time…I love to dumpster dive for boxes (clean ones) when moving…Some people have said negative things about me doing this…or have been too embarrassed to go with me. =) I LOVE leftovers! Salvation Army and Goodwill are two of my favorite stores!

  4. Nicole
    January 22, 2011 / 2:53 am

    Sarah: my table and chairs are a dumpster find! It's amazing what some people throw away!