Top 10 Frustrating (and Funny) Experiences with Going Green by Gia Machlin, August 18 2009, 1 Comment

Thanks for all your input on experiences with going green. I selected the following Top 10 from your submissions:

#10 Rob Dorfman of San Francisco: Trying to take the bus to the airport only to find out that the bus does not accept luggage! I'm not kidding! See the "luggage restriction" on the samTrans schedule.

MY SUGGESTION: I got nothing.

#9 LuAnn Glowacz of Austin, Texas: Trying to resist the temptation to "poison the house and yard" and cover my 3 year old with full strength DEET and "fabulously toxic anti-itch creams" after a summer of terrible bug bites.

MY SUGGESTION: Try natural bug-repelling oils such as lemon eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil.

#8 Jennifer Taggart, Trying to make my own dishwashing detergent only to end up with baked on spots on every dish - spots that were glued on like superglue and wouldn't come off despite the most valiant of efforts with everything from scouring pads to Goo Gone. She had to re-purpose those dishes for art projects.

MY SUGGESTION: I'm assuming you've tried this, but I have had pretty good results with Seventh Generation Dishwashing Powder.

#7 Mary Talalay of Baltimore, MD: Buying a manual lawn mower only to have my husband insist on following with "the exceptionally loud and emission-spewing blower." Now she mows when her husband isn't home and rakes and sweeps to keep that blower out of action.

MY SUGGESTION: Throw out the blower and tell your husband to get a greener toy!

#6 Gloria Smith of Middletown, NY: Buying a bunch of reusable totes only to forget them every time I go shopping. This is a very common frustration.

MY SUGGESTION: I've got two: first, keep all your canvas totes in one tote hanging on the front door or sitting in your car. Make it part of your routine after unpacking the groceries to fold up the bags and put them back on the front door or in your car. Second, get a couple of ultra compact foldable shopping bags, like the ChicoBag, and keep them in your pocketbook, gym bag, purse or man-bag. I always have three in my pocketbook, always fold them up and put them back after unpacking and can't remember the last time I used a plastic bag.

#5 Judi Perkins, Collecting bottles and cans at a funeral reception for recycling afterwards when "someone says to me 'OH! You want the nickels!' I'm like, 'Uh, no, actually I just want to make sure they get recycled.' As if! At a funeral reception? Even if I was that hard up for cash, I hope I'd have better sense!"

MY SUGGESTION: Keep up the good work Judi!

#4 Jan Jaso, (Stay with me - this one's a little complicated). Reusing ripped pantyhose by cutting off the leg with the rip on it and wearing two one-legged pairs and not realizing they were both control-top pantyhose and almost cutting off all normal breathing.

MY SUGGESTION: As you note in your blog - go bare legged!!

#3 Jason Raddenback with Being told by the city to conserve water while the city's answer to a report of a broken water fountain in a city park is “we turn that fountain on around memorial day and let it run until labor day.”

MY SUGGESTION: What city is that, Jason? Maybe we can get a bunch of people to tell them how silly that is.

#2 Stefanie Seacord of Newfields, NH: Joining a farm coop only to drive 20 miles in an SUV 3 times and come home empty handed because the farmer had back problems and didn't show up for work that day.

MY SUGGESTION: Try to find a closer farming cooperative (and try calling to make sure the farmer is in before heading out) ;-)

And the number one frustrating experience with trying to go green:

#1 Amy Shanler of Sudbury, MA: Having all my reusable totes in the carriage of my cart at the supermarket and having them STOLEN from the cart while I turned my head.

MY SUGGESTION: Don't know what to say, Amy, that's just wrong. I guess we can find some comfort in the fact that the thief is going green too!