Cleanliness is Next to…

… complete destruction of the earth, apparently.

You see, I think of my self as fairly eco-concious. I don’t drive a car. I make sure to use compact fluorescent light bulbs. I don’t leave the water running when doing dishes or brushing my teeth. I also recycle.


But certain times it’s not convenient for small things. For example, I tend to throw the tiny box that my bar of soap comes in into the trash can in the bathroom. I’m usually naked at the time (since you don’t realize you need soap until you’re planning to shower) and running downstairs to the recycling bin for a small, flimsy, piece of cardboard doesn’t seem like it’ll benefit the world that much.

But every time I do that, Randy will pluck the 2 inch by 4 inch box from the trash can and bring it to the recycling bin (often with what I interpret to be a slightly exaggerated sense of  frustration), as if I’d just poured 10 million gallons of oil in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Randy is the same guy who will flitter about the house from room to room leaving beind him a wake of illuminated rooms  – never even thinking about shutting off the lights. I tend to follow behind and turn lights off as often as he’s turning them on.

It is rather peculiar. He seems to focus on the material benefits of being environmentally responsible (recycling), whereas I’m more focused on the conservation side (not wasting electricity). Combined, I guess we make a good match and balance each other out.

Though, the one area where I’m Al Gore’s number one enemy is when it comes to showering. I love a good shower. And a good shower has lots of water pressure and takes at least 15 minutes, ideally 25-30 minutes. I become all giddy and austic in the shower, standing under the warm water,  humming happily, while rocking back and forth and enjoying the spray.

I like to think I make up for it by not running water when I shave, brush my teeth, or even wash dishes (I’ll get things wet, turn off water, then scrub and stack until done…then turn water on again to rinse). And Randy and I just ordered a new energy-efficient dishwasher that should help, too.

So, I still think I do my part. Don’t  judge me.


  1. Comment by Randy on December 16, 2009 1:47 pm

    OK So I laughed harder on this blog entry than I have in a while for your stuff. 3 chuckles.
    First off, since I was home later than you due to conf calls, I saw your little soap box in the trash. I already plucked it out.. along with the metal shaving cream can that you trashed too. I didnt even sigh.. I have accepted it. And well I think that one day maybe you will pick it up and take it to the recycling.

    Second, my lights, I dont tend to leave on lights unless I plan to reenter the room. You just want to shut them off everytime i walk out.. Doesnt help Im usually walking around with piles of stuff to carry floor to floor in the new place 🙂 Lets talk about the plies that are building up ?

    Third, autism in the shower. Yea that pretty much describes you. I mean dont rush to get out of the shower. Im less worried about the 1000000 gallons of oil in the Atlantic and more like the 1000000 gallons of water in the Arlington sewer system. Again Ive accepted the long showers. I too like to take long showers but now quite as long as yours. You help pay for the bills so shower away unless we are in a rush.
    Of course the humming.. that maybe the worst thing of all. I can drive me batty.. but you are cute anyway 🙂

  2. Comment by Melody on December 16, 2009 3:06 pm

    Thank you SO much Karl for my laugh of the day. I remember your long showers and how much you liked them. 🙂

  3. Comment by Jeffrey on December 16, 2009 7:21 pm

    I knew it was only a matter of time before a nude picture of you surfaced on the internet.

  4. Comment by snarl on December 16, 2009 8:46 pm

    Actually, that’s my brother. There were no pics of me in the bath tub. There was a photo of me in one of those portable plastic baby tubs on the kitchen table, laying on my back with my legs spread wide open….but that sure as hell wasn’t going to find it’s way onto the worldwide interweb!

  5. Comment by Mark on December 19, 2009 7:28 am

    So what you’re saying is we have to find your brother and bribe him to hack into your Facebook account and post that photo for all your friends to see?

    I’m on it.

  6. Comment by Will on December 21, 2009 9:44 pm

    In our household, Fritz is the lengthy shower taker, I’m the one who turns out the lights, and we’re both ruthless about recycling paper, glass and plastics.

    The difference is that our water comes from 320 feet in the ground on one side of the house and is returned to the earth via the septic system on the other side, the local transfer center takes much more than curbside recycling, and we make somewhere between 40 and 45% of our own electricity.

    You two are doing a great job–you complement each other nicely in this.

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