You haven’t replaced that water-sucking front lawn with organic vegetables to share with neighbors, begun hang drying your laundry out by the Infinity pool or sewing your own reusable tampons in your craft room. BFD! You don’t have to be a card carrying member of the Earth Liberation Front to be going green.
We all go there differently. Some, by living the little tree house on the Prairie life; others put themselves on the front lines to brave the political battle of solving climate change; and then there are those I classify as Gruppies, middle class yuppies grappling with the so-called American dream while making strident efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle – driving hybrids, resisting the tempting sales at Nordstrom, unplugging the 17″ titanium laptop at night.
Many of us are judged cruelly by cynics challenging the eco-friendliness of anyone electing to own a nice home, spawn offspring and use gas-fueled cars as transport.
Are they right? I do aspire to be more of the “real green deal” like a colleague of mine who does fabricate her own reusable menstrual pads and measures a delightfully small carbon footprint. I dream of fleeing urban life where the flow of Feng shui is often disrupted by selfish drivers in heavy traffic, fierce competition in the workplace and private schools, and the exorbitant costs of housing, food and pilates classes.
Do you drive a Prius and have solar panels on your remodel in the gated community? Or perhaps you take the bus to work to save on carbon while you answer emails on your iPhone? If the answer to any of these questions – or the following 10 – is yes, you may be a gruppie. Take this test to find out.
1. You have made the friendly switch to 100% organic cotton and bamboo clothing and bedding, and clean them in hot water and Tide in you new, Energy Star LG rated front loader. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
2. You own reusable shopping bags can’t remember to take them out of your hybrid SUV when you go to Whole Foods to buy your imported organic produce. Yes (5 points) No (1 Point).
3. You take public transportation to work and home each day and also when you fly in big jets all over the world for business and pleasure each year. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
4. You would like to resist buying plastic-sealed products at Trader Joe’s where you shop to save money, but it is nearly impossible because almost everything is overwrapped at TJ’s and it’s a hassle to shop at more than one store. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
5. You love checking out farmers’ markets and the idea of buying fresh and local, but only go occasionally when they feature live music or when friends are visiting form out of town and it’s a cool thing to do. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
6. You make a habit of recycling all glass, cans, paper and plastics but don’t compost because it’s sort of icky having those smelly food scraps and egg shells under the sink, and the garbage disposable gets rid of it so quickly. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
7. You cut down on shower time, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, and refuse to buy individual plastic water bottles, except for Vitamin Water, because at least it is better than soda and so far, doesn’t come in big delivery bottles. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
8. You have invested in nontoxic household cleaning products to reduce exposure, but are still getting mani-pedis, because, well, it just looks better to be groomed, especially at formal events. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
9. When shopping, you are discerning about buying free range, grassfed meats, but you accept whatever meat is on the menu at the restaurants you frequent because the food is good even though the owners have not yet switched to safe meat you can trust. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
10. After watching reruns of Curb Your Enthusiasm at night, you routinely unplug electronics to save on phantom energy, including the computers in the bonus room, toaster and microwave, recessed lighting, heated cat bed, vibrating dog lounger, home theater and music systems, cordless phone adapters, cell phone chargers, digital camera chargers, espresso machine. You yell at your spouse and kids to turn their stuff off, too, but they ignore you.
Bonus Question: You espouse the philosophy that we all need to respect and preserve our planet for future generations and yet, you will never pass this way again and are entitled to fully partake in the “good life” which means all that you can afford (and then some) for your family. Yes (5 points) No (1 point).
How You Rate as a Gruppie
5 points: You don’t really qualify, yet, you earthy-crunchy you. Initiate a Capri Sun Pouch Brigade Program at your kids’ school and we will talk.
15 points: Congrats, you are well on your way to keeping up with the Gores!
50 points: Love to meet you and hook up for a bite! There’s a great new small plates bistro in the Mission and I’m getting a carpool together. Oh, we’re also sharing a sitter. Is that green? My therapist says it is.
More Quizzes: Are You an Eco Snob?