Is it Easy Being Green?

My daily adventures in attempting an environmentally-friendly lifestyle

Sigg-nificant frustration October 30, 2009

Filed under: Green Foodie,plastic,reducing waste,water — isgreeneasy @ 5:20 pm
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I just went on my third trip to Whole Foods to attempt to exchange my old Sigg bottles with no success. It’s my own darn fault–I just can’t find bottle designs I’m happy with, so each time I’ve gone to return them, I’ve decided to hold out and hope for some better designs to come in. Why am I doing this? Well, in case you haven’t heard, a couple of months ago Sigg announced that their bottle liners have trace amounts of BPA in them. What’s worse is that they knew about this for a few years without telling the public. There was quite the hostile and disappointed response on the web from people who had put their faith in what they thought was an eco-minded company.

Some people have trashed their bottles, but the company has been offering a free exchange program so that people can return the old tainted bottles for bottles with the new “EcoCare” liner that is BPA-free. So, since I have four Sigg bottles I decided to go with the exchange rather than waste the investment I put into the bottles (they’re not cheap!). But now I guess I can’t quite do it; I think due to bitterness about the whole situation and ambivalence about continuing to use Sigg bottles. It’s disappointing (I trusted this product) and scary (what else am I being misled about?) when you think you’re doing the right thing for the environment and for your health, only to find out that that wasn’t as much the case as you thought. It’s hard enough trying to live green without feeling screwed over by the company that makes those stylish bottles!

This all goes back to my quest to get my husband (and myself to a lesser extent) off of plastic water bottles. About five years back, I would buy a case of water at Costco fairly regularly, and it was really bothering me. Not only was it wasteful, but there were pesky bacteria and leaching issues if we reused the bottles. I also didn’t want to be contributing to the crazy amounts of bottled water being consumed in the world. So, I bought several reusable bottles, filled them with water and kept them in the fridge so we’d always have water ready to go. It’s worked really well and has been totally worth the investment, even with this Sigg setback.

I’m sure I’ll pick out some bottles sometime soon and have my new and improved Siggs. But, I won’t feel quite as cool while using them, and I won’t be buying them anymore. There are a lot of other good options out there. They might not look as hip, but oh well.


Save that shower water January 21, 2009

Filed under: water — isgreeneasy @ 4:07 pm
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roadrunner_product1 Getting shower water to the desirable temperature is like a delicate art. It has to be just so, or the shower is ruined, right? Getting the ideal temp usually involves running the shower for any number of minutes, depending on your shower situation. In my old apartment (on the 3rd floor of an old house) it took what seemed like forever to warm up, and sometimes never really did. In my place now, it heats up pretty quickly, which then presents another issue–am I ready to get in the shower when the shower is ready for me? Sometimes yes, but sometimes I’m still removing make-up or brushing my teeth or whatever. And some people, who will go unnamed, seem to run the water while they go and make a sandwich, or at least do something that would take the same amount of time. All of that lovely clean water is literally going down the drain while we putter around!

I’ve definitely been working on being as quick as I can to get in the shower (and get out) to save those precious drops. But, I just found out about a smart new development in shower head technology that I think is pretty awesome. It’s called the Roadrunner shower head, here’s what it does: You turn on the shower and it runs until it’s at a nicely warm temperature; then it automatically reduces the water stream to a mere trickle until you pull a cord to resume the full flow. It’s a low-flow showerhead, saving even more water, but the water pressure looks pretty impressive (as opposed to the flat hair-causing piddly droplets that Seinfeld suffered).

The company that developed the Roadrunner says that it saves about 8 gallons of water for every five minutes in the shower. That’s equal to almost 3,000 gallons of water per person each year. At $40 the price isn’t bad and they claim that it will pay for itself in two months in savings on utility bills.  It looks like they’re out of stock and backordered right now at a number of sites; I guess they’re getting popular! 

I hope the next shower head they come out with will be one with the same technology, but that does the trickle thing from the moment you turn it on, even when the water’s cold. Now that would save even more water, and cut down on the pre-shower stress!