Monday, January 18, 2010

Is going 'green' ruining your relationship?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 3:40 PM

I can't say going "green" is ruining my marriage, but it does drive me bonkers when my husband leaves lights on or windows open, and I hate asking him to change an air filter more than once. While he drives a giant gas-guzzling land yacht, I drive an affordable car that gets more than 30 miles per gallon whether I'm in the city or on the interstate. I'm in favor of solar panels on the roof and he's not convinced the technology is ready for our 'hood. I recycle everything I possibly can and often dig his empty cans and bottles out of the trash.

However, there's no shouting (not about going green anyway). And although I might growl at him when he leaves the water faucet on, I usually just turn off the lights behind him and have (I think) finally convinced him to buy a hybrid land yacht. Mostly, instead of getting mad and on good days, I try to live by Mahatma Ghandi's saying, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

In good news: My husband is coming around to the green side of things. He did buy me a can crusher after all.

According to today's New York Times, we're not the only couple that's not totally on the same page when it comes to going 'green'.

Gordon Fleming is, by his own account, an environmentally sensitive guy.

He bikes 12 1/2 miles to and from his job at a software company outside Santa Barbara, Calif. He recycles as much as possible and takes reusable bags to the grocery store.

Still, his girlfriend, Shelly Cobb, feels he has not gone far enough.

Ms. Cobb chides him for running the water too long while he shaves or showers. And she finds it “depressing,” she tells him, that he continues to buy a steady stream of items online when her aim is for them to lead a less materialistic life.

Mr. Fleming, who says he became committed to Ms. Cobb “before her high-priestess phase,” describes their conflicts as good-natured — mostly.

But he refuses to go out to eat sushi with her anymore, he said, because he cannot stand to hear her quiz the waiters.

“None of it is sustainable or local,” he said, “and I am not eating cod or rockfish.”

As awareness of environmental concerns has grown, therapists say they are seeing a rise in bickering between couples and family members over the extent to which they should change their lives to save the planet.

In households across the country, green lines are being drawn between those who insist on wild salmon and those who buy farmed, those who calculate their carbon footprint and those who remain indifferent to greenhouse gases.

Read the rest of this New York Times article, by Leslie Kaufman, here.

Here are some easy tips for 'going green':

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