Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Chemicals for your Washer

Because, well, you know, you don't have enough already. What with your detergents and your softeners and your dryer sheets, buy this, too.

Downy has introduced a new wonderful product. Oh, don't fret, they still have you using Downy Fabric Softener... this is IN ADDITION to Downy Fabric Softener. You know, cuz we NEED even more crap sticking to our clothes and sucking into our skin.

"Use a little or a lot—you decide how much scent you want. That’s part of the fun."

Fun??? FUN???? 

You toss these in before you start the wash. They only make 2 scents right now... I'm sure they'll make more if enough suckers - er, uh, I mean consumers - buy them. Some people seemed to be griping a little at the price. I can imagine... Tide at 10-some-bucks PLUS Downy Regular Crap PLUS this stuff PLUS (I'm guessing) dryer sheets? Did I get it all? 

Do ya see a trend here? Maybe a little bit of an issue?

I'm trying to think what they can come up with next. How many different scent things do we really need on our laundry? Someone please answer me 'cause I really don't know. I know my laundry smells like nothing, but apparently detergent+bleach+softener+dryer sheets needed one more thing.

I'm out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


After my last post about the whole Jet-Dry crap, and subsequent washing of dishes by hand, and the comments by all yinz (getting back to my Western PA vernacular), I got to thinking a little more. I haven't had a dishwasher in YEARS. My parents have one, and I never know how to load the damn thing, and somehow there are always complaints about its performance. And manufacturers are taking the phosphate out of detergents, because it's kind of bad stuff, but then the dishes don't get very clean. You have to rinse them well and hell by then you may have as well just washed 'em by hand, right? Seems like an awful lot of extra water to me. Rinsing them off... then all the water even in your "water saver" mode... hmmm.

People say washing dishes by hand wastes more water. I say no, not necessarily. You just have to be a little conscientious and judicious when washing by hand. For instance, don't fill up the whole damn sink THEN start washing. Wash while filling. Don't rinse one thing at a time. Stack them then rinse quickly. Don't use too much soap; then you don't have to rinse as much. And most importantly, don't turn the water on full blast when you really don't need to.

SO THEN comes in the argument about TIME. My favorite.  Greenie, I don't have time to do dishes. I'm too busy. I have kids. We make a lot of dishes. Um, that's what kids are FOR... to do dishes. If you have kids and they ain't doin' dishes, you are doing something seriously wrong. They're too busy with all their activities?? YOU are doing something seriously wrong. Chores are FOR kids. Kids are for chores. We all did them. It made us better. I know a certain 22-yr-old that can't do dishes to save her life. THAT is WRONG. Kids on step-chairs to reach the sink to do dishes? THAT'S more like it. We juggled school and homework and playtime and still were expected to do our chores. Period. We earned an allowance, we didn't just get it handed to us, or get "rewarded" for behavior we were supposed to exhibit anyway. Kids should do chores. I will not back off of that opinion, no matter how many people try to say I have no idea what it's like because I don't have kids. I was a kid. I did dishes. Every day. Get over yourself and get over your kids and figure it out.

Then there's my other favorite thing: families who use paper or Styrofoam (??????!!) plates at dinner because they don't have time/can't be bothered to do dishes. See the above paragraph so I don't have to repeat myself. There is NO excuse to use anything disposable at the dinner table. Hell, I ain't even giving a pass on lunch. PLATES. Clean things when done. Repeat.

This is what we call progress, Folks. Disposable lives and no time to do BASIC things that we used to have to do, but now we don't have time because we are too busy running around and stressing out to do the most basic things in the world. Make it into family time. Catch up on the day over dishes. You're spending time together, who cares if it's a "chore"? Whatever. Just frickin' do something.

Wait, wait.. we have free time now and we're happier and oh so much more productive and life is so much easier.

Oh. Wait. No it's not. No WE are not.

Let's go back, shall we?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

UGH the commercial I just saw...

...sent me straight in to my computer.

FINISH® JET-DRY® TURBO DRY®The new Jet-Dry commercial... or whatever the heck they call that stuff now (don't have a dishwasher, son't want one), shows a chick pulling a glass out of the dishwasher and getting thoroughly disgusted by "spots." She then proceeds to THROW the GLASS in the GARBAGE CAN. (Which, by the way, is nicely lined with a black trash bag. Subliminal sales.) Oh, but don't worry: they flash the word, "Dramatization" at the beginning, and they also say "Don't try this at home" as she flips the wine glass into her nice stainless steel garbage can.

I know. Just a commercial. But what is this saying???

Nothing, Rhonda. It's not saying anything. It's just a dumb commercial trying to sell a chemical that takes spots off your glasses that wouldn't have them on there if you washed them by hand. But we're too busy. It's a pain in the ass. My hands might get dry from the detergent. I'm too busy. Dishes are germy and they have to be sanitized in the dishwasher. There's just not enough time. It's a pain in the ass to have to actually WASH dishes. Oh, wait, I repeated myself in there somewhere.

Do you even know what's IN that stuff??? I don't. What makes your glasses dry ultra-fast after they get bombarded by other chemicals? More chemicals, that much I know. Really? So that we don't have some harmless stupid spots on glasses? So that we don't have to towel-dry stuff after it goes through the dishwasher?

I've never really quite gotten on board with the whole piling chemicals on top of other chemicals to do something I'm too busy/lazy to do. Oh, wait, here's what's in it:

Trideceth-4Nonionic Surfactant
Magnesium ChlorideNone
Propylene GlycolSolvent
Alcohols AlkoxylatesNonionic Surfactant
Sodium Cumene SulfonateHydrotrope
Citric AcidComplexing/Sequestering Agent
Zinc AcetateNone
Sodium SulfateFiller
Tetrasodium EDTAComplexing/Sequestering Agent
Magnesium NitrateStabilizer
Acid Blue 9Colorant
Magnesium ChlorideStabilizer

Any questions?

I'm good.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Garbage In Garage Out Part 2

A lot of people seem to have a deep concern for the safety of their garbage. Either that or they are too nancy to deal with a little mess. When grousing against plastic bags, the inevitable question comes up... what about my garbage can?

Yes. What about it?

Well, I need a bag in there to line it.


Well... it's...

Gross?? It's garbage. Of course it's gross.

Well don't you...

Nope. I know I can rinse the wastebasket out with very little water if I need to. And ya know what else? I bet you don't have a shortage of bags from other places... chip bags, bags from frozen foods... if you have to be so dainty about what you are throwing away, why not save those for the messy times? Are we SO worried about our garbage that we have to make sure it is tied up and saved for all posterity in plastic in the landfills? Not everything you throw away is gross and messy, so why not assign those to smaller bags? Or if you MUST line your can, why not just dump the garbage out of that into the bigger can, if it's not so terrible?

Ohhh... wait, yeah that's right, I just realized. That might be inconvenient. Because, see, then you would have to bring the can out then bring it back IN to the house. You couldn't just run it out on your way to somewhere. It might take foresight, and planning, and some thinking. That just won't do. What was I thinking.

The water used to rinse out your can a little every so often (I hear the argument already) is nothing compared to the water used to make/transport the bags. So you are reusing ones from the store. How about not ever getting them from the store? The little bit of water used to rinse the can (reasonably, mind you, and I know, that too is a stretch) is nothing compared to disgusting amount of plastic floating in the ocean. And sh*t's not breakin' down in landfills, because we have to protect our garbage at all costs by confining it to plastic bags. Look, the garbage pick-up NEVER touch the stuff anymore; y'ain't protectin' THEM from anything. And the truck don't care neither.

And the title here and in the other? My dad used to write GIGO on the calendar every Thursday. We asked him why. It was to remind him to take the garbage that was in the garage in cans down to the end of the driveway. Garbage in garage out. That was before wheels on cans, when, bless his heart, he had to lug the METAL cans down one at a time. Talk about inconvenient. I feel like maybe we made less garbage in those days.

We were thinner, that's for sure.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If the bright lights don't receive you...

When do you know that it's time to give up?

People have told me, you have to stay where you can do the most good, where you can change people, not where people already have the same beliefs as you. But isn't it nice to be around people who believe as you do, and not have to fight all the time? 

I'm done here. I'm done with the "big city". I need more quiet. I need open spaces. I need to be able to bury my hands in the warm Earth as I plant my garden. I need less horns and fewer helicopters and less entitled people. I need to be where people might hear my message and actually try to change, rather than people hearing it and knowing it but ignoring it because they are so wrapped up in themselves. Is it really "giving up", or just trying something different?

Are we running away, or running toward? I think, a little of each. It's OK to run away from noise and stank and self-absorption. It's OK to run to hard but rewarding work. 

I didn't think I would ever want to leave palm trees and mild winters. But I'm ready. Everywhere I look now, I see ugliness. I try to see the pretty stuff still, but it's falling away quickly. My tolerance is slipping. 

It's funny how priorities change as we age. I'm OK with it. 

OK, got that out, now back to the everyday stupid stuff that makes me crazy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

White After Labor Day, Or Never?

I heard my step-daughter ask for bleach today. She wanted to do her whites. We don't have bleach in the apartment. I do not have need for it. This made me think, therefore I blog.

White clothes. I have a few white tees. They don't really stay bright white very long. Because, you know, I don't use bleach. What's the purpose of white clothing? Chef's whites, painter's whites, lab coats, white gloves... does white mean clean ? Pure? I think that's funny, considering the amount of chemicals it takes to keep things bright white. White snow... freshly fallen, bespeaks of purity. Yes, white IS pure. Clean. We are dirty. Life is dirty. There is dirt and dust and grime everywhere. It just is. I'm OK with it.

What material is pure white in the first place? What do we have to do to cotton to get it pure white? I mean, I know keeping it white takes a lot. Is it worth it? Should we phase out white clothing? (In our personal lives, that is. We shouldn't need a LAW.) Do other people have the "right" to have this clean-fetish obsession with white clothes to the point of chemical-dousing the rest of us? There are other things to use to brighten clothing... Lemon, white vinegar, baking soda... how white does white have to be? I know my socks are a touch on the dingy side, because I really don't care so I don't really do the lemon or white vinegar. If someone's judging me on the whiteness of my socks, well then they are the ones with the problem. Not me.

It's pretty easy to avoid white, and then just not really care that much if your socks aren't blinding. I say we re-think the whole white clothing thing. Our priorities are skewed. They really are. You know who loves white clothes? The detergent and chemical companies. Clorox LOVES white clothing. That's about it.

Now you'll be looking around seeing all white clothing. My gift to you today. You're welcome.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Must Blog

I blog because I must. It helps me deal. Otherwise... it's the clock tower.

I go to green events. Green fairs, green gatherings, etc, blah blah... Some of them are good, some of them are chock-full of greenwashing. Most times, I pick up a ton of literature and go through it later. That's what I am doing today - going through it all. And yes, some of it I pick up, just so I can rant about it. And yes, THIS will be one of THOSE times.

I came across a card of a product I really did not remember. 100% organic cotton clothing, made in Los Angeles. Sounds good so far. I still don't remember stopping by the booth. I go to the site. Looks good. I like the clothes. I'm pretty much a dress-for-comfort kind of person. All about the slouchy soft stuff. This stuff is made from hemp and organic cotton and looks oh so comfy. OK. I'll bite. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be somewhat pricey. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.

I'm not. I'm actually more horrified than I thought I would be. The  least expensive thing on the site is their tank top. I love tanks. Their tanks are $68.00. (Oh, there IS one tee for $62. Yay.)

If I EVER think it's OK to spend $68 (actually over $70 when you add the lovely CA sales tax) on a tank, you have my permission to take me out. Out. As in, out of the population. Hell I don't even want to be gifted one of these things. Now, I have heard it all and I am sympathetic to certain realities, like organic cotton is expensive and if we bought more products made from it, it would go down. Things made in the US are pricier, and if we all bought more stuff made here, prices would come down. That being said, it is NOT OK for a tee to cost $74. Not in any world.

This is where the critics of Green are right. It shouldn't cost this much to have eco-friendly clothing. I realize these guys are going after the assholes with more money than sense, but seriously??? They're hurting the cause. They're contributing to the divide. Good for them making a go of it, and they do donate a percentage of their sales to stuff. But really? Is it just me? Yes, I suppose it is.

What's my point? I don't know. I give up. This stuff gets my brain in such a twist that it's kind of all I can do to keep going. Moving on. Next card. Next literature. Next possible outrage. Next proof that quantity and not quality has been in place way too long.

Garbage In Garage Out

Just as I was sitting here planning to write a blurb about garbage, a commercial came on that stopped me with my fingers over the keyboard.

Yes, never fear, no worries, your problems with your garbage are over. I know, it was scary there for a second, it was touch'n'go. But you're good now. Hefty has the answer. BLACK garbage bags. Yes. I know. It's about time. Here's their spiel from a marketing sheet: "While stainless steel is the bigger trend in appliances, black is a bigger deal in trash cans, said Lisa Smith, marketing manager for Hefty waste bags, primarily because black cans are less expensive than stainless steel or chrome. Consumers also find black bags look better with stainless steel than white ones, she said. Delving deeper, Hefty discovered trash also looks better, or at least less messy, in black bags."

Our trash looks messy. Mmm hmm. Definitely a problem. I know my whole day is just ruined when my garbage is too messy. And when my garbage bag doesn't look good with my $100 designer garbage can... well just shoot me now. I may as well not take up space on the planet if my garbage is too messy or my trash bags look bad. 

Really? Is this what we are now? From their site: "Keep your kitchen garbage out of sight and out of mind!" Some of the other quips are even worse. This is just more of the same problem: don't do anything about ANYTHING, just hide stuff. It's OK if I don't see it. One of their "customer quotes" actually says, "My kids don't see when I throw their art projects away." Really??? Sigh. I almost don't know where to go with that. That's a selling point? I'm farther gone than I originally feared, I guess. 

How about instead of hiding our garbage, we instead do something moderately constructive with our waste? How about we make an attempt to NOT make a lot of mess throw so much away? How about we compost the messy stuff instead of putting Time Capsules of Junk in landfills? Oh I know I know, we don't have TIME. We're too busy working too much and having warped priorities and running off to soccer games and ballet and way too many activities for kids who really just need to have being-a-kid time because we're trying to live our failed existences through them because we feel so unfulfilled with what we've done and therefore have to live vicariously through them so naturally we are way too busy to make sure they have a planet to actually enjoy when their kids are trying to live although it might not matter too much because with all the cancer running rampant in children we'll have much bigger problems by then so sure it's OK well and fine now to go ahead and hide that mess instead of dealing with it because we're pretty much doomed anyway.

Wow. And that was all before my second cup of coffee.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

There's many a man has more hair than wit.

This one'll cause a stir...

It's been a long time since I last colored my hair. I've colored it black (did that for awhile), I've tried the whole Sun-In thing on it back in the day (what a rip-off) and I've covered the emerging greys. Heck I tried to get it to platinum for a time. Hint: very dark hair does not go gentle into THAT good night. I burned it with bleach, I very nearly shaved it off (that was actually a very fun look - I discovered I have not one cow-lick and a very nicely-shaped head!), and since have enjoyed a very short cut. So now I don't have to blow it dry, or iron it - it was just wavy enough in this dry climate to be annoying instead of "pretty" - or condition it or use a ton of products. Suffice to say, my hair is very green. Not in color, but in upkeep. I had perms when those were all the rage. I've used everything conceivable on it. Ugh. So many chemicals, so many products, so much plastic...

Do I miss long flowing locks, my hair blowing in the breeze, my hair getting stuck under my purse strap, shaking my head and feeling my hair flow? On occasion. Mostly I just like my easy hair. I like that I do not use a lot of product. I wash it with baking soda and rinse it with apple cider vinegar. I use a little stuff in it. I enjoy every single grey hair and I wish I had more of them. I can't wait til my hair is completely white. Want. My hair is frosted by Mother Nature and kissed by Time. And I love it.

This puts me in a weird place, though. I can spot a color job a mile away. (Many times, dyed hair does not reflect light and just looks plain bad. I even have my husband seeing it.) When I see someone of an age that SHOULD have grey hair and does not, I get a little... a little... what do I get? Well, I wonder WHY, I guess. Oh Vanity. I certainly don't disparage people for coloring their hair, after all, most people I know do so, but I just... yeah, I just wonder why. What's so wrong with grey? White? Why this thing, so prevalent in society?  Brazilian Blowouts?? That's formaldehyde, people. It's TOXIC. Hair color? Chemicals. Chemicals that burn and you have to wear gloves to handle. And we willfully and joyfully put this stuff ON our SKIN. THINK about it. All for... what? Because Society has this weird notion about grey hair?

But it goes on and on for me from there... Hair is any easy thing to change when we want to do something different. That's probably grist for another post, though. I could go on and on. And, you know, it's certainly not for me to say what YOU want to do with your hair.

Or is it? People can't smoke cigarettes in places because it affects the health of others. What about this? That a whole lotta chemicals going into MY environment, not to mention the plastic... the water usage... when is it for me to say? When is what our right to say something about something? What's the line? Where's the line?

Interesting.... Looking forward to some good comments here.

Oh, and thanks to Bill Shakespeare for the title.