Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rubbish husband

Oh dear. Not yet 9am and already an eco row in the Delaney Lethbridge household. Basically, Wednesday is dump day (as is Saturday) - we don't have garbage collection - so on Wednesdays the hubby has to drive to the dump to get rid of our trash and do the recycling. An early starter, he usually has this done and dusted while I'm still upstairs with Dot.

This morning, however, Dot and I were at the kitchen table as he readied himself. Out of the corner of one eye I sudennly noticed that not just the garbage, but also the plastic and even paper recycling were being thrown in black plastic sacks (one for each type of waste). Since the plastic was already in a plastic bag and the paper in a paper bag, it was pretty obvious to me that the additional bags were completely unneccessary. Not only that, but since he tied about eight knots in the top, these bags were not going to be reusable.

I couldn't let it pass. "What is the point of that bag?" I said crossly.

"Well, the bag in the bin is full, and I need to combine it all so I don't have to do three trips to the car" he said.

It's pretty cold outside, granted, but still, the car is a grand total of about 10 feet from the front door. This didn't strike me as a brilliant excuse. Garbage is one thing, but recycling? Basically, a whole huge bin liner was being used simply to double wrap and transport the paper and/or plastic 10 feet, then being chucked. Was it just me, or was this completly inexcusable? He'd obviously been carrying on like this for months, and had I not got my arse out of bed a bit earlier than usual this morning, would have continued on indefinitely.

"I do then throw the bags into the recycling," he said defensively.

"Yes, but you can't recycle plastic bags," I sighed. "Do you know what 200 bin liners a year in landfill looks like? If you didn't tie those knots you could at least reuse the bags every week - that would be better."

"What, reuse the bag that's been used for the plastic recycling that has dirty bottles and beer cans in it?" he said scornfully.

"Well you're supposed to be washing them out before you throw them," I said not meaning to catch him out, but really.

I knew exactly what was coming next.

"Alright then, YOU take over dump duties."

Ah yes, that old chestnut. "Well I will if I have to, but how hard is it really?" I said resignedly. "I'm not saying all this to be annoying, I'm saying it because it's really important."

He strode out of the room in a huff. I sat there wondering why it is that I still have to tell him this stuff. I mean, this is not a stupid husband (I don't think...). Could he not see the complete wantonness of using a bag just to get the paper from the bin to the car in one trip instead of two? Or am I just an evil wife making up excuses to nag my poor well-meaning husband (let's face it, I'd rather not be the one heading out to the dump in the freezing cold to dispose of Dot's dirty - albeit biodegradable - nappies).

Two minutes later he came back.

"Alright, well now I know what I'm supposed to do I'll do it differently next time," he said. "But there are limits."

"No, there are no limits," I replied firmly.

"Grrr, bloody green goddess," he said in a tone which implied 'you are impossible', and swept off to the dump.

While he was out I received an email from a friend of Sally's (she of carry-a-bag fame) who lives at this amazing eco-community in Ithaca, upstate NY not a million miles from here.

I forwarded the link to the hubby with a note saying, "At least I'm not making you live here."

He got back and read his email. "I'd actually quite like to live there," he said.

Weird. He'd really have to brush up his act or he'd have many more people than me nagging him there.

Actually might be quite good for our marriage to let someone else be the baddie for a change. Maybe I'll look into it...

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