Green or Die!

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Do you remember the television show 3-2-1 Contact? I hold it responsible for making the 10-year old me believe we were in imminent danger of losing our water supply and therefore about to D-I-E (!!!!!). This led to much running around to make sure our faucets were turned off properly and much chiding of family members.

But we’re running out of water!!! Don’t you care about the environment????

The answer I got was a resounding, “Meh.”

Apparently my efforts must have paid off because the planet has survived another 20 years. Looking back, I realize that my unenthusiastic family was greener than I first presumed even though they probably never cared (and still don’t) about saving the whales or sealions or whatever endangered animal was en vogue at that time. My family taught me that you should squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube and then cut it open to scrape out the remainder before deeming it trash-worthy. The same goes for lotion, shampoo and really, any substance in a bottle. I also learned that having the radio, television and all of the lights on in the house at the same time was a big “hell no!” Granted, my family was much more concerned with frugality than environmental impact but these things were green nonetheless.

The grown up me still can’t stand the sound of a dripping faucet, can’t bring herself to litter and drives her husband crazy by insisting on holding onto old items in hopes of finding another use for them. I’ll probably drive Baby E crazy too with my insistence that we need to use every.last.bit.of.toothpaste before getting out a new tube.

But I’m still learning how to be green and I’m sure Baby E will have plenty to teach me, especially if he finds his own modern 3-2-1 Contact.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Code Name: Mama and Hobo MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.

(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)

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Posted on March 9, 2010, in Blog Carnival, Natural parenting, Random bits from my life. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. How funny about the toothpaste-I guess I never thought of cutting the tube open! I may have to try that out sometime (especially since we are almost out of toothpaste right now…)

  2. I loved that show! And I remember ranting with the same passion about saving rainforests and endangered species the world over. And squeezing the death out of toothpaste tubes and feeling like my ears were bleeding from hearing “turn the lights out!” 100x a day. Sounds like we had a v. similar experience!
    I am sure you will do a wonderful job of bringing Baby E up with the same love of the earth :)

  3. We used to do that with our toothpaste. Sometimes I still do :) The girls told me it was gross. I guess they didn’t like the way it looked on the inside of the tube.

  4. “drives her husband crazy by insisting on holding onto old items in hopes of finding another use for them” LOL, I sure can relate to that one!

  5. I am loving the stories in today’s Carnival about kids being the catalyst for change. I guess TV has one redeeming value ;)

  6. Sam & I were just reminiscing about 3-2-1 Contact! It’s funny how many of us have memories of being told to turn off faucets as the only Green Thing that was important growing up. I drive myself up the wall trying to get every last squirt and squeeze out of tubes and bottles. I get kind of obsessive about it!

  7. I don’ know that TV show but I really enjoyed reading your post! (we do the toothpaste trick!)

  8. theadventuresoflactatinggirl

    I am always so amazed when I cut open the toothpaste and get another weeks worth when I would have thrown it out in the past. What a waste!

  9. Man, I am getting so many terrific ideas out of this carnival! I honestly never thought of cutting open the toothpaste tube! I’m sure my husband’ll looove that! hahaha

  10. I think I drive my husband nuts with my need to get every last bit of toothpaste out and every last bit of shampoo. With my hand creams I always end up cutting open the bottle after no more comes out the pump. Good thing too as there is always a good 1/4 cup in there clinging to the sides!

  11. oh my goodness, my father was a tyrant about the toothpaste!

  12. It seems like frugality and being eco-friendly sometimes inadvertently go hand-in-hand. All the better for us poor people. My husband is also one of those crazy toothpaste tyrants. He hates that I squeeze from the top and not the bottom.

  13. We also cut open every container in search of those last elusive days of creams and paste. It’s amazing how much is actually left at the bottom.

    I am grateful that your conservation efforts have kept our planet afloat these past 20 years. Keep up the good work.

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