I was going to write more about the insanity at Associated Content tonight, but every time I think about it, my eyes cross, my blood pressure rises, and the dogs start to howl. Instead, allow me to share a simple little project which exemplifies how thinking green gets under your wallet & sometimes trips you down memory lane.
If my grandparents were alive today, they would be the greenest people on the planet. They recycled everything. Granny canned and preserved all sorts of fruits and vegetables, all which they grew. Everything got repaired by Papa. Trash was a rare thing. It was a very simple life they lived. They were farmers. They were poor.
By today’s standards they were very, very green. Recycling was not a choice. It was a necessity. My dad was the same way and slowly I’ve discovered everything old is new again. I’m not near the pack-rat my dad was, but I’ve started to look at everything with a “how can I recycle this” attitude. It’s not that I’m a dyed-in-the-all-natural-sheared-from-free-range-sheep-wool Green freak. It’s just that I’m cheap. Here’s the project that proves how cheap I am.
Just as most people keep a grocery list and jot down items as they run out or just have a moment, I keep a Lowe’s list. You read correctly. I jot down items I need at the hardware store as I come across a repair for which I don’t have the correct parts. On that list I’ve had “hooks for hat rack” for the last couple of weeks. The empty wall in the laundry room was a perfect place to put up some hooks to hang my hats. I have about a dozen hats and the cheapest six-hook bar I found at Lowe’s was about $14. I intended to buy a couple and utilize that empty laundry room wall until I found something squirreled away in the garage.
While looking through scrap wood for a step stool I wanted to build (yet another item I didn’t want to spend $60 on and for which I found the boards from an old entertainment center I had disassembled), I found a tool bar. It was something I bought three years ago thinking I would hang the tools in the shed. I hadn’t thought that out very well. My shed doesn’t really have a vertical wall high enough to mount a board like that. But the cheap, green CFL light switched on over my head. This board-and-peg bar would make a great hat rack!
I grabbed some paint, gave it a few strokes, found some screws, tapped in the pegs, and woke my wife up at 10:30 PM with the noise from my power driver.
Since finding a new place to hang my hat, I’ve pried my wallet opened and sprung for a level. After using my new level to hang a couple of pictures, I decided to check my work. It turns out I have a pretty good eye. The hat rack was dead-on level.
A hat rack is a simple thing, but using what was supposed to be a tool rack as a hat rack and not cluttering a landfill with a idea gone wrong, is green. Before you toss it out, think about my hat rack. Think about my Papa. He’d be proud of such a simple thing. He was green before there was green, not because of his ideology, but because of his economy.
When green becomes economically feasible, that’s when it will really catch on. In the current economy simple things like converting a tool rack to a hat rack are becoming things of necessity. Forcing people to be green with guilt or taxes only pushes people so far. The average person will only find the green path if led by their wallets. Follow me! I’m so lazy and cheap, I’ll find the shortest, easiest path.