Because of the way America is constructed, most of us shop at our local “box” store– Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Wal-Mart — for our garden and home supplies. And why not? They’re cheap, close by, and have nearly everything.
In the last few years, these stores have really been responding to our demands for more eco-geeky products: Target has a whole aisle of eco-friendly cleaning products (Seventh Generation) and the prices are becoming so competitive is seems wasteful to spend money on Tide.
At Home Depot the other day, my mind plagued with the Creeping Charlie taking over our huge lawn, I came across a ramshackly display that said, adorably:
Lawns ? Worm Poop
On the cardboard display were plastic bottles of plant and lawn food with hose sprayers attached.
I scanned the bottle: all natural worm feces “tea”… perfect. I knew that part of our weed problem was our thin grass. I scanned the bottle further and smiled: the TerraCycle owners were begging for plastic soda bottles to be mailed to their factory. That could mean only one thing: the bottle I had in my hand was once an old Pepsi container. Now it carried worm feces. The cycle of life beamed.
Colin spotted the bottle on the garage shelf right away and was thrilled. “Worm Poop!” he exclaimed and kissed me. I’d done well. “This is perfect.”
Time and Our Eco-Choices
It’s true that Colin and I have no children yet and we are able to budget our time and money for what I call “high-tech” domestic environmental research and ideas. And see how high-tech we are? We recovered old pallets from a neighbor and are going to build our own composter instead of buying one. We made weed killer from salt, vinegar and dish detergent first before we hopped in the car to Home Depot for the first bag of the synthetic stuff. We plan on creating a rainfall catchment system to use to water our garden and lawn.
What’s the difference between “eco-yuppie” and eco-geeky? I think the difference is where you draw the line in time. It lies, I think, in the difference between buying an excellent recycled plastic composter and building one made from recovered wood. The technologies are both equally old and new… it’s the time factor and how you decide to for yourself to break that down that makes the difference.
As for Worm Poop, the decision of time is made for us. Glorious eco-geeks at TerraCycle have done the hard work for us, so that we can spray, be green and relax. This is best direction eco-technology can take– the direction that synthetic competition will always find the most threatening.