It ain’t easy being green.

Lukey and the City announced today a new initiative to make the city’s operations more green and to hire a coordinator to oversee it.

Forget the fact, for a moment at least, that I am sick and tired of the word “green.”  Not the idea behind it.  In fact, I recently began purchasing those pain in the ass spiraly light bulbs that take a second to flicker on.  I like my light to be instantaneous.  Bam!  Light! None of this [pause pause flicker] crap.  But I’m sucking it up like a big girl and being patient about it.

I also quit letting my faucet run while I brush my teeth and I’m seriously thinking about recycling.  I’m thinking hard about it.

But the “green” thing.  I’m going green.  We need to be green.  Is this building green?  My house needs greened (ding!)  And I’m pretty sure that this past television season every single show I watch, from Numb3rs to 30 Rock had an episode that featured a storyline about going green.  Just ugh!  Enough.  I don’t need to turn my TV on to worship at the altar of Tina Fey and find Al Frickin’ Gore’s face staring accusingly back at me because I choose not to recycle my dog’s puke.

Forgetting all that, there’s this:

Greening the City-County Building alone could be a huge job, said Mr. Sloss. “Right now, we are hemorrhaging energy,” he said. “You can go in some offices with air conditioning on and a personal heater on under the desk.”

Um.  I’m doing that right this second.  Swear it.

But come on, you’re going to put the office AC at sixty-eight frickin’ degrees so that all the men who apparently sweat 24/7/365 can stay cool and you expect little me, whose body has way less insulation, to sit here and be able to type through the shivers?  And if I chose to do what some colleagues do which is to wear turtlenecks year round, I would have to hear almost every week from my mother, “It IS summer, you know, PittGirl!”

If my mother sat in my office for six seconds, she’d be all, “Do you have any hot chocolate or an electric blanket or a small flame I could use?”

I figure my stupidly slow light bulbs are making up for this wee waste of energy.

Finally, I know exactly who they should hire.  The chick at the Arts Festival eating area who is reponsible for telling people what to throw in which trash can.  She basically said to me, “Ok.  Let’s see what you have here.  Separate your trash and you can throw the paper plate in here, the soda can in there, the fork here, then unwrap the pita bread that you didn’t eat so that you can throw the foil over there, and then you are going to have to eat everything else.”


I’m surprised she didn’t ask me to deposit some poop somewhere for fertilizer.


  1. MiamiShyner
    June 18, 2008 11:23 am

    Take away 3 degrees from the inside temperature and add about 10 degrees and 20% humidity to your day and you have my office. They refuse to do anything about it so I look like the freak when I leave the building during lunch in a turtleneck/sweater/long-sleeve everything/boots. Oh yeah, the office is on Miami Beach so I kinda fit in with the rest of the freaks though. :-)

  2. spoon
    June 18, 2008 11:57 am

    “I’m surprised she didn’t ask me to deposit some poop somewhere for fertilizer.”

    That’s because it all goes into a recyclable paper bag that we place on Onorato’s doorstep and light on fire.

  3. Kristin
    June 18, 2008 12:43 pm

    I stayed in a vacation cabin with those damnable light bulbs, and I couldn’t see a thing I was reading the whole time I was there. Plus, good grief that light is ugly. So I don’t buy them. But, you can make yourself feel better about it if you remind yourself that they’re full of mercury, so you’re actually keeping contaminants out of the landfill.

    Or something. :)

  4. Jenn
    June 18, 2008 12:44 pm

    Really? You don’t recycle? Really? For shame, PittGirl. For shame.

  5. Z
    June 18, 2008 12:52 pm

    We should trade offices. I have a fan running year round because I’m in my office’s hot zone and I’m a fat, menopausal woman will great insulation.

    June 18, 2008 1:15 pm

    Trust me Pittgirl, as a man, do you want
    us to start removing clothing to keep

    We don’t smell as nice as you women do.
    We sweat, you don’t.

    You just need to group yourself with
    others like your self, and controll the
    ac in that one area. Just sweet talk the
    ac guy to give you the layout of the ac

    They have energy saving light bulbs that
    don’t flicker and look good. I have had
    one in my bed side lamp for about 12 years


  7. efw_west
    June 18, 2008 1:25 pm

    yes it is a catch 22. Those new bulbs require less energy, thus burning less coal. But it contains a very small amount of mercury. However, if 200 million americans switched to these bulbs, that’s a lotta mercury going in the landfills.

  8. Goob
    June 18, 2008 1:45 pm

    In a couple of years, the LED light bulbs will be cheaper, and things will once again be BAM!

    For some reason, my office is always at least 80F in the summer. We have, however, extensive and eco-friendly mechanisms in place for dealing with that.

  9. Kat
    June 18, 2008 2:10 pm

    You’re not actually supposed to thrown the compact fluorescent lightbulbs in the trash, anyway. They can be responsibly recycled. And since I’ve changed mine over, I haven’t noticed any real difference in light quality, and my electric bills are a bit less each month. Not bad.

    I recycle everything. The stuff that doesn’t get picked up curbside (cardboard, magazines, junk mail, phone books) gets taken to Construction Junction once a month.

  10. Sarah
    June 18, 2008 2:47 pm

    I think you’ve found the problem between “Green” and “greenwashing”

    Trying to be more concerned about the environment is great, but to follow blindly what some tv celeb or city council member is saying is just kind of stupid.

    I mean, if we could believe all that hype, well then I could justify purchasing those Ron Popeil products that I see on TV at 4am.

    So youre right, the solution isnt to take away your space heater, the solution is to design a office building where there isn’t the need for a super strength a/c unit. You know, something like a window, with a breeze.

  11. bucdaddy
    June 18, 2008 4:15 pm

    I have those light bulbs. You’ll get used to them.

    I recycle — I have tons of beer bottles a month, as you might have guessed — but I always wonder what the point is when the options are a) burn fossil fuel driving my couple boxes of glass, plastics and cans to the nearest drop, about five miles away, or b) (if I lived in city limits) have a big-ass diesel-spewing truck come around to pick them up.

    I guess it’s marginally better than having them go into the landfill, where the jagger bushes grow, but my trash collector doesn’t charge me any less for the lighter load.

    Also, how much water do I pour down the drain each year rinsing bottles and cans?

    Google “Recycling is garbage” and read the John Tierney article for a contrarian POV.

  12. KGC
    June 18, 2008 4:39 pm

    Recycling? Pffffttt. I do not recycle. I will not recycle. I will not use the new CFL bulbs. I run AC at 72* all Summer and heat at 72* all Winter… and have a small space heater under my desk.

    I do, however, use a mulching mower rather than bag… but, only ‘cuz I hate taking the time and effort to bag the clippings! (Downside – I have to cut the grass more often so as not to get too far behind… mulching mowers and high grass are defintely not compatible. :( Big deal, it’s only a 45-minute job.)

  13. Rep Ted Poe
    June 18, 2008 8:18 pm

    Watch this about the CFL light bulbs then tell me what you think:

    Congress is making these things mandatory
    And banning regular lightbulbs

  14. Steve S.
    June 18, 2008 9:43 pm

    Not only is the mercury thing bad for landfills it is also bad for you. If you break one in your house the only thing that you can really do is replace the carpet to get the mercury out. So be careful if you are in a home with children or a pregnant woman.

    While the LED bulbs are more expensive they have the upside of not containing mercury.

  15. jl
    June 18, 2008 9:48 pm

    recycling is bullshit. just ask penn & teller.

  16. JP
    June 19, 2008 6:27 am

    coal burning power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions.

  17. addie
    June 19, 2008 8:55 am

    I’ll never understand people who don’t recycle – it’s one of those things I just can’t get my head around, just like people who litter. I just don’t get it.

    Guess I’ve been greenwashed.

  18. bucdaddy
    June 19, 2008 10:15 am

    Addie, Read the Tierney piece I referenced above, then tell me what you think.

  19. dave
    June 19, 2008 10:50 am

    those new bulbs SUCK!!! They have Mercury and you are supposed to call a haz-mat team to clean it if the bulb breaks. I don’t want anything in my house that takes a Haz-mat team to clean if it breaks. Before the congress imposed ban on regular light bulbs comes I’m buying like 3 cases of old style bulbs! Then I can wait for the LEDs. maybe we could construct a everyday household item out of Nuclear Waste. Oh, Hi Pittgirl, Love you!

  20. Kelli
    June 19, 2008 11:34 am

    I don’t much recycle. Like, I do at work and in public (like the Art Festival). I live in a large enough building that my landlord has to provide private waste removal and he doesn’t provide recycling.

    But that doesn’t really matter. I try to reduce my waste out front, on the consumption end. Trying to have as little waste that needs either recycled or thrown away. Trying to buy food that has the least amount of packaging. Rejecting packaging and bags whenever possible. When I can, I eat my mom’s home canned foods and drink my uncle’s homebrew (where the Mason jars and beer bottles get re-used for years, even generations.)

    Also, I would need to haul my recycling somewhere. And I don’t own a car. For some reason, I feel like my not using a car makes up for the occasional tuna can I toss.

    Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m just trying to justify things. But that’s my take on it.

  21. Randy
    June 19, 2008 12:30 pm

    Your incandescent bulb puts more mercury into the air from the coal that is burned to light it than your CFL ever will, and if you recycle it properly, (like drop it off at IKEA or one of the many other places that are beginning to take them) no mercury gets in the air. Yes be careful, but HAZMAT, come on folks. Someone’s been drinking the FOX cool-aid. you can find out all about the care and feeding of a CFL here:

  22. Kelli
    June 19, 2008 2:48 pm

    What about the fact that CFL can be hard on the eyes? I mean, I know that lots of folks said they don’t bother them. But my eyes aren’t that great and reading (which is like, my main hobby ever) is very difficult for me under them.

    Is there any solution or improvement for that?

  23. bucdaddy
    June 19, 2008 9:57 pm

    There’s a common metal object that we discard by the millions (and tons) every day and for which there is no recycling market at all: bottle caps.

    Any ideas?

  24. Kelli
    June 20, 2008 8:03 am

    Actually, last night at the arts festival, I saw magnets made out of bottle caps that had little yinzer sayings in them.

    Not that a magnet maker could keep up with all the bottle caps out there, but it is a start. Plus it combines to great things: the caps of beer bottles and my favorite “language”.

    My favorite might have been the retro-y picture of a girl on the phone with “neby nose” written next to her!

    To bad there wasn’t a jagger bush magnet.

  25. Ed Heath
    June 23, 2008 10:37 am

    If you truely want to be green:

    You can get CFL’s at Walmart in a daylight version, probably what you would want. The only place around here that I know that recycles them is IKEA, just inside their exit. Regular light bulbs have a light mercury too, but no one mentions that.

    So are you ready to compost and plant a vegtable (or “Victory”) garden in place of your yard?