My wife has always been a “greener” thinker than me. As our two separate lifestyles became one I noticed that her ways have shifted mine quite a bit. Long before it was cool, she was shopping with her own grocery bags, was conscious of lights on for no reason, and eating organically. “Did you really need to put that one thing in that plastic bag?” I remember her asking me, as I stood in the kitchen, back from the store.
Over the last six months, with her new blog and movement to live greener, there have been a few things that I’ve really enjoyed and others that were a little more life-shifting for me. I like the worm bin in the back. It’s kind of cool to be using our produce waste for the spring garden’s compost. I’m excited about chemical-free stuff in the house for housekeeping and personal hygiene. I think the only thing that I didn’t like is … Hate me for saying it … coffee tastes better in a paper cup and a plastic lid you get at a coffee shop. There is something about drinking from it that I enjoy. I have changed my ways though, drinking coffee out of a reusable cup. (It’s not the same.)
A big thing for her is recycling, and she talked me into recycling the craziest thing ever … my car. Well, it wasn’t exactly recycling where you tear it up and recycle the metal. It’s called Freecycling, where you list it on a web page in a community for people to come by and take it off of your hands for free. The idea is to keep things out of the landfill, or in this case, the junkyard.
I mentioned earlier that she had to talk me into it. This car was a Toyota Tercel that I made payments on while starving in college. The car that took me all over the west coast in the US without any problems (aside from a huge carbon exhaust cloud that exploded out of it while I drove in the heat of Death Valley). It was the car that had a busted-out passenger window, which I never replaced because it cost too much and I secretly liked the Dukes of Hazard windowless-look. It was the car that was buried in snow up at Mt. Bachelor parking lot, which I had to dig out both outside and inside (because the tarp didn’t do its job), and which took me home with ice on the inside of my windshield from my breath because my heater went out. Then, on that last drive from the mountain, it stalled out the exact moment I pulled into its space at home and never started again. After all of that loyal running, with my lack of gratitude and care aside, oil and spark-plug changes—now my wife suggests giving it away?
I agreed to it and the car was immediately snatched up by a local who wanted to get his 16-year-old boy a “beater” for his first car. He picked it up while I was at work, commenting to my wife that from the looks of it I really didn’t like this car that much. Well, I did … well, at least I did for the first 75 thousand miles of it. We learned that all the car needed was gas. He said the tank was bone dry and the fuel gauge was broke. That explains why it died the way it did. To this day I see it putting around Bend, Oregon.
This story originally appeared at Practically Green