Monday, December 22, 2008

You Say Cheap, I Say Green

So on Friday morning before leaving our beloved home, we had an early Christmas celebration with our family. Due to space issues, we weren't able to take all of the girls' presents with us, so we decided to exchange presents on a faux Christmas morning on the 19th. If you'll recall, I'm not that particular about dates, so this plan suited me fine.

In following the compact, we've been trying to avoid making a lot of purchases. With that in mind, Una got an IKEA easel we purchased for $9.99 and Duet got a hand-me-down rocking horse our neighbors gave to us for free when they moved. A second-hand toy, for Christmas? Indeed. But isn't that being a little too frugal? Cheap, even?

Here's what I love about the environmental movement (aside from the saving the earth bit. I totally love the saving the earth bit): no one argues with the idea of going green. Any effort one makes in that direction is accepted, no questions asked.

So when asked why I felt it was acceptable to give my child a second-hand toy for Christmas, I could have just explained about the compact, or simply said, "I'm frugal." I opted for this response instead: "We're going green this year by cutting back on unnecessary consumption. When we buy less, we are responsible for consuming fewer of the earth's resources, thereby reducing our carbon footprint." Note: it's very important that you utilize the phrase "carbon footprint." You always sound knowledgeable when using that phrase.

And suddenly, instead of a cheap mother, I'm an earth-saving heroine. Protecting the planet never felt so good.


Angie said...

OK, I am LOL so hard right now about the carbon foot comment. You are hilarious. Keith looked at me funny while I was laughing so I re-read the post to him and laughed just as hard with him as I did the first time. You are great! Plus, who cares what anyone else thinks right? I think it was a great idea. At that age you can totally get away with that. Good for you.

Maren Hansen said...

This is the exact stuff I tell myself when I take the kids to the thrift store to Christmas shop, give them gifts from Freecycle or Craigslist, or don't both wrapping most of their presents... See how green I am???...

Mary Poppins said...

angie--thanks. always glad to entertain. turns out she loved it, so i don't feel bad at all.

maren--glad to know i'm not the only one. about the gift wrapping, una opened a few presents early this year and we'd just run out of christmas paper, so i made her open them carefully so that i could reuse the wrapping paper. i was too cheap to buy new christmas paper, but now that you mention it, i was being awfully green. good for you and good for me.