If you think I sound frugal, I haven’t introduced you to my sister. As a stay-at-home mother of five children, Jen has nearly a decade of experience hunting for used bargains at rock bottom prices. In high school, she planned on becoming a fashion merchandiser and envisioned herself as a buyer for a major department store. Little did she know that two decades later she would be using her savvy style to outfit her family in quality clothing at huge discounts. For less than $500 per year, Jen keeps her whole family of seven clothed in stylish, comfortable duds at a fraction of what most parents pay. Besides the financial savings, Jen’s family makes a much smaller environmental impact than other similarly sized households because they have bought nearly all of their clothing used. (They also buy furniture, cars, and everything else used too, but that’s another story.)
While used clothing costs far less than it would new, it can still be expensive to outfit your family at a standard thrift store when you’re on a tight budget. Jen goes for the ultimate adventure by taking her troop of children to the ultra-discount thrift store outlets. These bargain super stores are usually only found in large cities, but they may be worth a short drive or bus ride. Jen shops at the Goodwill Outlet in Hillsboro, Oregon, which stocks items that don’t sell within a certain number of days at regular Goodwill stores. Click here to get a list of Goodwill stores and outlet centers in Oregon.
The first time Jen took me on one of her ultra-thrift expeditions, she prepared me for the “ick factor.” Clothing is dumped onto large bins and isn’t sorted in any way. Although it should all be laundered, she says that she has sometimes encountered some funky smells and textures. There is no dressing room and you are surrounded by endless bins mounded with loads of clothes.
It is an expedition for someone who has more time than money, because it can sometimes take awhile just to find any baby clothes, let alone ones that are in good shape, of the right size, and in the right season. Jen finds that she has much more luck searching for quality girls’ clothing for her four daughters than items for her son and husband. She endeavors to buy good quality girls clothing that she can sell for a profit on Ebay or at a consignment shop after her little ones outgrow it.
After just an hour of treasure hunting, we had heaped our cart with maternity clothes for me, a sweet little jean jacket for our soon-to-arrive son, Hannah Anderson striped pants in perfect condition, and loads of clothes for all of my nieces and nephews. Can you guess the total cost for these many dozen good quality garments? $9.65. That’s right! Clothing costs just $1.39 per pound if you’re buying less than twenty pounds, but prices drop when you buy higher poundage.
If you’re smart like my sister, you only buy fifty pounds or more at a time. The price then? Fifty-nine cents per pound! Jen warns that even with a friend, it usually takes her three to four hours to hunt for enough items to provide the fifty pounds needed for the best prices.
And the deals don’t end with clothing. Glassware and dishes are also just fifty-nine cents per pound. You can pick up hardback books for one dollar and also find children’s toys for far less than thrift store prices.
If you’re up for the adventure, outlet thrift stores are a great way to go. You can save the planet, stock up for baby, and pay a pittance for some amazing steals. Instead of buying organic cotton onesies, you’ll be reusing pre-existent clothing––a much greener action than purchasing new planet-friendly products. Your infant won’t mind the hand-me-downs and you’ll have a shopping adventure to remember!
Last night I had a personal crisis while reading Chris Goodall’s How to Live a Low-Carbon Life: The Individual’s Guide to Stopping Climate Change. The premise of the book is that each Westerner is responsible for emitting twelve tons of carbon dioxide every year–”four times what the Earth can handle.” This book shows how the individual can personally reduce his or her emissions from twelve tons to three tons.
I read through several chapters patting myself on the back for my low-carbon ways: I don’t drive, I don’t eat meat, I don’t live in a big house, I don’t turn the heat up too high. Then I got to the chapter about air travel. Goodall writes, “No single step that we could take as individuals to take responsibility for global warming comes close to deciding to stop flying.” One round trip flight from England to the U.S. emits 3.6 tons of carbon dioxide. A 3000 km (1864 mile) flight generates 4.5 tons-per person.
Taking just one flight a year can easily push an individual over the three-ton carbon dioxide limit. Goodall concludes that “the only morally responsible course of action is to avoid flying except in emergencies.” He goes on to say that while this would be a sacrifice and curtail our freedom, the damaging effects of flying “means that severe and uncompromising self-restraint is an obligation.”
So there I was, congratulating myself for recycling a bunch of cardboard boxes and buying an organic apple–when I had just returned from a thousand-mile flight from St. Louis? My daughter is now two years old. In her lifetime, she’s already taken three flights to Denver, two flights to Reno, and one flight to Hawaii and San Diego. How can I not fly? Is Goodall saying that my daughter should never see any of her grandparents or great-grandparents again? That she shouldn’t travel at all–see the world, experience different cultures, learn another language? I immediately thought of ways to justify my air travel. I also got defensive: It’s easy for him to avoid air travel! He lives in England, where all his friends and family can be reached by rail in one day!
I felt guilty–not only for the flights I’d made in the past, but for the flights I knew I would make in the future. It’s especially difficult to vow to stop flying when I know that the airplanes flying to Reno, St. Louis, or any other destinations will fly there whether I’m on that plane or not. Of course, if every eco-conscious person ceased traveling by air, the difference would be huge.
I’ve always valued travel as a way to broaden my horizons, experience different cultures, expand my world view–and these were values I wanted to pass on to my daughter. So where do I go from here?
There are a few ways to become more conscious about travel. Every “carbon calculator” I’ve come across gives me different numbers, but sometimes it’s better for the environment to drive rather than fly, especially over shorter distances. Traveling by train is eco-friendlier than going by car or plane, so in the future, I’ll look into more opportunities to ride the rails.
Also, some airlines are already working on going green. This article cites Continental Airlines as one of the “Ten Green Giants” who are making strides to become more sustainable. Virgin Atlantic is experimenting with flying their jets on biofuel, although there is some controversy about whether or not it will have enough environmental impact to make a difference. Learn more about it here.
If I’m not willing to stop traveling altogether, I can at least alleviate my eco-guilt by buying some carbon offset coupons. This website allows you to calculate the miles you traveled and put money towards a “carbon reduction project” such as a wind farm. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a step towards acknowledging the harmful effects of my actions. I may not lead the low-carbon life Chris Goodall wants me to lead, but I credit him for opening my eyes to my environmental transgressions. And as Joy always says, “Progress, not perfection.” I’m working on it.
In case you didn’t notice, you are currently enjoying a carnival–minus the expensive rides, suspicious ferris wheel operators, and heartburn. Today is greenbabyguide.com’s first post in Rocks in My Dryer’s ”Works for Me Wednesday” blog carnival. ”What is a blog carnival?” you ask. It’s a herd of bloggers all writing themed blogs on a similar subject–in this case, a simple solution that works. On Works for Me Wednesday greenbabyguide.com will strive to provide an eco-tip that makes life a tad easier for you and a bit better for the planet as well.
As a working mother, I sometimes long for packaged foods—but I’m not thrilled with the economic or environmental costs. Oftentimes the nutritional content is horrid and hydrogenated oils seem to be lurking everywhere. Plus all that packaging isn’t exactly eco-friendly. But still, I love the idea of pulling warm homemade cookies out of the oven to share with my eighteen-month-old. Do I have a Betty Crocker complex? Very possibly.
Lately, I’ve taken to making my own packaged foods so that I can still fit some baking into my very full life. My mother, a frugal green pioneer in her own right, first perfected this pre-packaged concept by using her “Make-A-Mix” cookbook back in the eighties. It offers 67 recipes for mixes that can be creatively used to whip up 306 different favorites.
You create your own mixes by measuring out and combining dry ingredients and storing them in Zip-loc bags or Tupperware. Then when you want cornbread with dinner or pancakes for breakfast, you can dump the mix into a bowl, toss in the wet ingredients and have a glorious home-baked product without the cost, packaging or time required from other options. Plus, it’s much easier for me to whip up homemade muffins with my toddler when the prep time is cut in half. You can preview the whole book here and even try some of the recipes.
It was re-published in 1995 and again in 2007 with even more recipes and is still very popular. My only criticism is that I would add more wholegrain flour and cut down on the sugar in several of the baked goods. Still, with a few modifications I can spend an hour or less on the weekend preparing a few mixes, and end up with a stash of dry ingredients that will provide me with a month of homemade favorites. Works for me!
I have to admit that my first concern with plastic is not toxins and off-gassing and all the possible health risks I mentioned here. Of course I’m not happy that some plastics are bad for us, but I’d been avoiding them long before I ever heard the terms “phthalate” or “BPA.” Plastic takes hundreds and hundreds of years to break down in a landfill. Why buy a child a toy he’ll enjoy for three months, only to have it last for all eternity? Sure, we can pass the toys on to other children, but after a while, plastic tends to look grubby. Because it’s cheap, it’s often uncared for.
A wooden kitchen from Heirloom Wooden Toys
Hand-crafted, heirloom toys made out of sustainable woods, on the other hand, are beautiful. These are the toys parents keep in a box to pass on to the grandchildren one day. They can also serve as nursery decorations, which is more than we can say about a blinking plastic gizmo that sings the Alphabet song. All of Audrey’s toys are hand-crafted heirlooms–I wouldn’t let her play with anything else.
Ha! All right, so Audrey doesn’t have any hand-crafted heirloom toys. She even has some plastic doodads, including ones that light up and make obnoxious sounds. What can you do when so many friends and relatives give her these things as gifts? Unfortunately, Audrey does not share her mother’s disdain for plastic–she loves her plastic toys. Even so, I’ve devised a few ways to cut down on PVC playthings:
A wooden dollhouse from Little Wonderland
Recent concerns over toxins have some parents ditching every piece of plastic baby gear in the house. This presents further problems. If you give it away, you’re exposing other children to possible health risks. If you throw it away, you’re piling more trash into a landfill. My plan is to avoid accumulating more plastic and to pass it on when I’m through with it. Older plastic does not off-gas as much as aged plastic, so I feel better about donating it than I do tossing it in the trash. Now I’ve got to work on finding some of those heirloom toys. . . .
We are outdoors people, and therefore took plenty of walks with Roscoe tucked into his sling in our early parenting days. Even so, I always watched the bikes and their toddler trailers with a certain excitement as they zoomed by.
When Roscoe was just eight months old, I couldn’t take it anymore and bought a used bike trailer. Our Instep Schwinn bike trailer was $100 on Craigslist and had only been used twice. It isn’t a fantastically great deal, considering that many of them go on sale for that much new at the end of the season and cost $160 full price, but we’ve been quite happy with it. It also seats two children so we may eventually use it as a double stroller in the years to come.
Unfortunately, when my safety-oriented hubby checked all regulations on our trailer, I found that baby shouldn’t be riding in it until one year of age. Since Roscoe’s birthday is in September, we’d have another summer of envying family bike caravans before we got our chance. Some parents work their way around this rule by putting a child car seat into the bike trailer, but our instructions specifically stated that it was not a safe option. So, we waited impatiently for Roscoe’s September birthday and then headed out for our first rides.
We were happily surprised by how much we used the bike trailer in the fall. I hooked up the trailer to take Roscoe for wading pool play dates and afternoons in leaf-strewn playgrounds. There’s enough room for a diaper bag, a raincoat, and a bag of groceries in the back, so I found the trailer/stroller to be ideal for running errands on my bike or by foot.
Besides converting to a running stroller, the trailer has a weather-proof flap that makes it perfect for rainy day walks. (In Oregon, that’s almost every winter day). We even managed our first family bike caravan on Christmas. Roscoe was happily impervious to the rain pelting us as we biked at full speed to make it home before the hail hit. We laughed and sang “Old McRoscoe” as we skedaddled our damp and bundled selves homeward. It’s a bike trailer memory that will last far beyond Roscoe’s years in it.
Biking with Roscoe is the ultimate environmental solution because it creates benefits that extend well beyond planetary health. Every time we opt to bike we’re getting exercise, saving loads of gas money, and enjoying the trip just as much as the destination.
In real life, it’s often hard–or even impossible–to find cloth diaper supplies. Big box stores like Target or Babys-R-Us sell a few cloth diapers, but these are generally the flimsy varieties that are better used as burp cloths. If you want to get started with cloth diapers, your best bet is to find a brick and mortar store in your town. Here in Portland, I’ve had good luck at Mother Nature’s (for new supplies) and The Children’s Exchange (for used supplies). Joy purchased all her cloth supplies at Bambini’s in Eugene, which carries both new and used items. In your local shop, it’s possible to look at the diapers, ask the shopkeepers questions, and avoid shipping costs. Many stores will offer starter kits so you can get everything you need for less than buying everything piecemeal.
If you don’t have a shop nearby, you will probably turn to the Internet for help. So where do you begin?
The companies below sell their own diapers. Their websites are also great places to find tips on washing diapers, weigh-ins on the environmental debate, and disposable vs. cloth cost-comparison analyses.
Diaperaps offers basic diaper covers to go over prefolds. You can also get diaper liners through this company.
Cottonbabies is the company that brings BumGenius diapers, which are adjustable diapers that can fit your baby from birth to potty-training. Cottonbabies also sells prefolds and an all-in-one.
Happy Heinys also has adjustable pocket diapers with great prints.
Fuzzibunz is a very popular pocket diaper.
Mother-ease has a leak-free system and offers one adjustable diaper style which can be paired with a waterproof cover.
You can go through the brands directly, using the links above, or go with an online store. Here are a few online diaper stores to check out:
Diaper Tips and Cost Comparisons
Check out the Cloth Diaper Blog for tips on using your cloth diapers. It’s your “all-in-one cloth diaper resource.”
Consumer Reports has an article about average diaper costs.
This site shows how Fuzzibunz end up cheaper than disposables.
Here is a detailed cost comparison chart of all the different cloth diapers compared to disposables.
G-diapers are a hybrid diaper, available at many supermarkets.
Tushies offer a gel-free disposable and can be found at Whole Foods.
Moltex aren’t available in the U.S. (as far as we know), but are compostable.
Seventh Generation make widely available chlorine-free disposables.
If you have your own recommendations–or anti-recommendations–for online diaper resources, let us know by posting a comment or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll save yourself hours of Internet browsing by visiting a local diaper shop, but sometimes that isn’t an option. The links above should give you a head start on the great eco-diaper hunt.
This eco-friendly craft can go from a simple twenty-minute project to a full-fledged artistic adventure lasting several hours. The result is quite beautiful in either case. My mother first made a batch of blown natural silhouette eggs with my sister and me when we were little. She saw the article in Sunset Magazine two decades ago explaining how to silhouette leaves and ferns onto blown eggs using natural, homemade dyes.
I envisioned myself with pots full of red cabbage bubbling and beautiful eggs emerging from the multicolored washes. In fact, I flubbed this craft up quite a bit before I had success. Hopefully you will learn from my un-Martha-like mistakes and have better luck.
The Easy Way: Boil the eggs. If you choose this option, skip blowing the eggs and go right to step two.
The Advanced Way: Blow the liquid out to make hollow eggs. The disadvantage of this method is the time it takes, but the benefit is that blown eggs can be used year after year as an Easter centerpiece. I tried blowing the eggs myself but had little success and nearly passed out after my first attempt. Eventually I found that using a bicycle pump with a needle attachment (like the kind you use for inflating soccer balls) works far better. Make a small hole at the top and bottom, insert the needle attachment and blow out the egg liquid.
Step 2: Find some attractive leaves, ferns and small flowers. Ferns work especially well, as will smooth leaves that easily adhere to the egg surface. I tried a few leaves and pine needles that were too textured. These eggs ended up with no silhouette whatsoever since the dye was able to seep along the bumps of the leaf and cling to the eggshell.
Step 3: Rummage around for nylons. It is neither cost effective nor eco-friendly to buy these new, so if you can, hunt up a used pair. They will work better if they have a great deal of elasticity left in them.
Step 4: Place the leaf on the egg and cover with the nylon. Be sure to tightly tie the nylon around the egg so that the plant stays close to the egg during the dyeing process. My first attempts at dyeing were failures because I didn’t stretch the nylon as tight as it would go around the egg. Because the leaf wasn’t secured to the eggshell, the silhouette didn’t ever appear.
The Easy Way: Plop the nylon covered egg into a mug of water with food coloring and vinegar. If you want to make your own dyes, see the hard way below. But if your life is too busy for the extra hour or two of work, just use food coloring. The longer you let the egg sit in the dye, the more dramatic the contrast. Also, try not to check it too frequently since it will disturb the dye and could affect the quality of the silhouette. If it’s been at least fifteen minutes, remove the nylon and admire your creation! You’re done!
The Advanced Way: Cut up natural ingredients, dump them into a pot of water and create your own dye washes. See my last post about using natural foods to create your own dyes. I love the earthy shades that emerge with home-made dyes. It’s best to boil down the natural ingredients until you have a few different colors of wash. Then strain out the veggie scraps and cool the dye water.
Add the blown eggs to the dye washes and toss in a good splash of vinegar. The hollow eggs will be difficult to submerge. You’ll have to weigh them down by putting small lid inside the pan and placing a heavy object on top. It will take quite a while for the dye to set so be ready to let them sit for up to an hour. And you’re done!
Overall, this craft is a good way to get your family outdoors exploring spring’s newest arrivals. Take the easy route and simplify your life or try your ultra crafty skills on the advanced version of this project. Chances are, you’ll do better than I did!
My basement is a level of hell where all my failings as an environmentalist are revealed. Up above this musty, dank repository of castaway boxes, Christmas decorations, charity donations, and mismatched pots and pans lies a perfectly ordered house. In fact, the first thing most people do upon entering my humble abode is marvel at the sheer emptiness of it. “Where’s your stuff?” they ask. I just offer a smug smile in return, affecting an air of effortless minimalism.
Where’s my stuff? It’s in the basement.
Sorting through the contents of my basements was akin to doing an archeological dig, uncovering remnants of my wedding and my baby’s first year. I’d thought a lot about the environmental impact of bringing a baby into the world. I limited the baby gear that entered our home and bought much of what we did want at secondhand stores.
But here’s something I hadn’t thought much about: people will buy you presents when you get married or have a baby. Many, many presents. They will encase these presents in bubble wrap and place them in huge cardboard boxes filled with Styrofoam. You will unwrap these presents and bring them upstairs. You will leave the boxes and packing material in the basement, where they will sit there for years, gathering dust and growing mildew.
I hate throwing packing materials away. After all, it’s still perfectly usable. The problem was, we’d collected way too much packing material to ever use ourselves. Take the packing peanuts, for example. We registered for dishes when we got married. The company took great care to wrap every dish in bubble wrap and place the dishes in huge boxes filled with packing peanuts. We ended up with eight garbage bags full of packing peanuts! We should have taken them directly to a mailing center (most will accept clean packing peanuts, which they’ll reuse), but we just let them sit in our basement for a few years. Some little rodent got into a few of the bags, soiling three bagsful of packing peanuts that we now have to throw away.
Portland has a handy recycling hotline (503-234-3000) with live operators standing by to tell Portlanders where to take almost anything that can’t be left curbside. We called about our cardboard boxes of odd shapes and sizes, and they told us about a recycling center just a few miles from us. This place also accepts bubble wrap, scrap metal, phone books, and all the normal recyclables such as glass and paper. If your town doesn’t have a recycling hotline, you could still hunt around for a facility like this one before taking packing materials out with the trash.
What about block Styrofoam? I have a lovely collection of block Styrofoam in my basement. I was happy to find that Portland has a facility that recycles block Styrofoam, turning it into plastic.
On a kind of recycling kick, we also got rid of old clothes and household items by calling a local charity that picks up your castoffs. We dropped off new toys (gifts we’d never opened because we didn’t have space in our house) at a toy drive we saw advertised on television. Last but not least, we loaded up a friend’s pick-up truck with branches and twigs from last summer’s pruning fest and sent them off to a yard debris place that will grind them into mulch.
Finally I can go down into my basement without the nagging feeling that I should be doing something about the piles of rubbish scattered all over the wet cement floor. If I leave the lights off and avert my gaze, I can almost forget about the boxes of outgrown baby clothes and seldom-used camping gear I still need to sort through. Maybe next weekend.
With daffodils just beginning to bloom, toddlers decked out in bunny costumes and thousands of families planning their egg-hiding strategies, Easter is a wonderful holiday full of hope and fun. (Also, chocolate.) Growing up, my family bypassed the bright, commercial idea of Easter by keeping it simple. Now I realize that our basic Easter celebration was pretty green as well. These tips were developed from my experience of a fun, but frugal holiday.
#1: Buy a used Easter basket for each child and then re-use it each year. These are unbelievably cheap and plentiful at thrift stores and will bring up cherished memories as your child gets to find it anew each spring. Let your child be part of the selection process and add decorative raffia or ribbon for extra flair. In my family we never tired of hunting for our own personalized basket again and again.
#2: Skip or reuse the Easter grass. When did we all decide that the best way to celebrate this ancient Christian holiday was to line our baskets with Astroturf? I have to guiltily admit that the green plastic stuff was in our childhood Easter baskets too, but we kept the same grass in there for decades. Our Easter grass is now quite vintage, but it’s still providing new memories. If you’d like an alternative to plastic, put a piece of green paper into the shredder and Voila! You have yourself some recyclable Easter grass.
#3 Use food coloring and vinegar to dye eggs. Instead of shelling out the money for the dye kits each year and ending up with all that packaging, just fill mugs with warm water, add one tablespoon of vinegar and then pour in food coloring. Dump the eggs in and watch the magic with your child. You can use color crayons to draw on the eggs before you immerse them and the designs will stand out after the dye sets.
#4 Consider all natural egg dyes. I think our family is going to experiment with this exciting tip from the tushbaby website. If you add a bit of vinegar to the water while boiling your eggs and one of these natural ingredients, they’ll have a full range of hues. The drawback is that you have to have a different pot of eggs boiling for each color you want to use, but you can always just pick a few and experiment. The eggs need to boil and then simmer for a full fifteen minutes in the vinegar and natural dye mixture.
#5 Hide Real Boiled Eggs. Rather than hiding candy in plastic eggs that you’ll find months later while pruning the begonias, hide real eggs this year. Then you’ll have a healthy snack to share with your child that might distract him or her from the chocolate bunny. (We can hope, can’t we?) We always enjoyed deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches and some other creative egg dishes in the days following Easter.
What is your favorite tip for a greener Easter? Send us your photos and stories and you just might make it into our next blog!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no television at all until after they turn two and urges parents to limit television after that. We had no trouble sticking with these recommendations during the last few months. With the writers on strike, there wasn’t much to watch, anyway. I wonder if the AAP will rethink their position now that the writers are back and networks are showing so much concern for the environment. Before the strike, youngsters could watch Leonardo di Caprio on Oprah praising adjustable thermostats and Ty on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tearing down a perfectly good house and building an eco-friendly house in its place. Surely all this media coverage will influence young minds everywhere, changing the world one Nielsen point at a time.
An Earth Day special sometime in the early 1990s was pivotal in my development as a young environmentalist. Who knows why I found it so inspiring–one day I was living my selfish teenage existence, the next I was banning Styrofoam and collecting glass bottles for recycling (bottles that my dad, who unfortunately must not have watched that Earth Day special, threw in the trash because he didn’t want to drive around town looking for a recycling center).
At the beginning of the fall season, when I should have been out composting table scraps or harvesting rainwater, I was once again riveted to the television set during NBC’s “Green Week.” That was months ago now, and I have to wonder if it’s begun to have the same effect on our collective eco-consciousness as that Earth Day special years ago.
Important Environmental Lessons I Learned Watching NBC:
Recycle. On Law and Order SVU, a mystery pizza was delivered to the precinct. No one was hungry, so they were going to toss it, but then someone piped up with the
Don’t Use Electricity. The Biggest Loser made the grandest attempt to go green, weaving in other significant messages such as “Eating a Lot of Take-Out is Bad for the Planet” and “Drinking Lots of Soft Drinks Creates Piles of Waste.” Contestants exercised without electricity (Bob let his contestants out into the mountains to hike, whereas Kim made her trainees work out in a dark gym). As a reward for trudging up a ramp and dumping cans in a recycling bin, two contestants won what looked like Hummers, but were actually Hybrid SUVs. On The Biggest Loser: Couples, which aired during the writers’ strike, the show is advertising their use of refillable water bottles rather than bottled water.
Use Solar Power. On Life, Damien Lewis’s character had a dream about solar panels, proving that hearing about someone else’s dreams on T.V. is just as boring as hearing about someone else’s dreams in real life.
Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car. E.R. tacked on a sub-plot involving a Smart car, which I surmised was their nod to Green Week.
30 Rock Particpates in Green Week
Don’t Open the Refrigerator (You’ll Kill a Penguin). I learned this thanks to Green-zo, a beautifully realized character played by David Schwimmer on 30 Rock.
Now that the strike is over, we may be in for some more valuable lessons on ecology. What better way to teach my toddler about environmental stewardship than to plop her in front of a T.V. set for hours on end? I am sure somewhere, a gullible teenager is off collecting glass bottles for the recycling bin. And with any luck, she’ll have curbside recycling.