Thursday, July 30, 2009

Open To Interpretation!

BEWARE by pheezy
Attribution License
Sometimes the old adage, "Take this advice with a grain of salt!", screams out for renewal, especially in the area of "green" advice. Just because you use a chemical substance at home for one job, don't try to repurpose it in some novel way just to try to be green. When reading advice, make sure it's NOT OPEN TO INTERPRETATION. If you're not sure what is being said, ask for clarification or don't use it.

The advice given by green advocates is definitely well-intentioned, even if it may be unclear at times. Sometimes, they may give advice or information that is open to interpretation. Writers must include the necessary caveats, subject nouns, or explanations that bring accuracy to the sustainability party, the green revolution or whatever you are calling your ecological epiphany.

A case in point comes to us from the Exchange For Green: Green Living, Better Living network website via their advice that they mention comes via the Real Simple website.

Before explaining, I'll mention a few caveats of my own. First, I love Real Simple, and their work is very helpful for thrifty people everywhere. Second, I am very impressed with the Exchange For Green Network. Third, I share this story, because the information can help you be a critical thinker and live sustainably in a healthy way.

When I read the Green Advicespotlight, I notice it listed a decanter, hot water, vinegar and dishwashing soap. The directions stated,
Swirl the rice around for a few minutes to remove the residue, rinse with hot water, and air-dry.
There was no clear information as to which was being cleaned, the rice or decanter. Therefore, I inferred from their directions that the advice was about cleaning 1 cup of rice, enough rice for meal preparation. Not knowing what they maaaay have been talking of cleaning, I became alarmed...don't use dishwashing soap to clean your rice.

So, as the effective consumer I try to be, I decided to find the reference link on the Real Simple website. There was no link to the the Real Simple article at the Exchange for Green Advice, so I had to search the Real Simple website. Using the following key words (tags) alone and in various combinations: rice, clean, decanter, dish soap, I never found the reference.

Next, I did a browser search and found an article called "How to Clean The Inside of a Glass Bottle" (aka decanter), at TipNuts. This was a great advice article. It was very clear in its meaning and directions. The author mentions using rice to clean glass bottles, but only suggests using 1 teaspoon of rice. This makes sense, so there maaaay be a misprint: 1 cup of rice on the Green Network website maaay have been mistakenly substituted for the recommended 1 teaspoon of rice.

It is NOT sustainable to use 1 Cup of Rice. If you need to use that much rice that will be destroyed, you are not living sustainably...therefore NOT GREEN. If you need that much of an abrasive substance, you would be better served in using some sterilized, cleaned, fine-grained sand. The sand can be cleaned using solar heat or other simple, sustainable methods. You can reclean this light abrasive, store in a repurposed container and save for use another time.

Personally, I would use a long bottle brush and other substances, that are sustainable or low/nonpolluting, to clean a decanter. Since the bottle brush may not be readily available, a long spoon and a dishcloth can be substituted for the bottle brush.

My suggestion is that you should comment if you notice or perceive problems on a person's blog or advice blurb. Ask questions if something they've written doesn't seem correct and sustainable. That's what I do, and I'm on my way to their website. To comment, I had to sign up to be in the network, and I'm waiting for a login.

Enjoy working towards a sustainable life and always ask questions!


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora e Sheryl!

Is it that these days, people think it's not cool to be straightforward and simple?

When asked a straightforward question do they want to be so innovative that their answer makes us wonder if we got the question wrong?

Are people scared they may be seen to be stupid if they give a straightforward answer to a straightforward question?

Is it not cool to check what's been proffered and be critical of it?

I'm with you. Just check out my comments on Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's latest post. I admire her patience with me. But I'm also aware that (very) few people would do what I did. It's not cool to discuss too much or to disagree too much. And I say 'rubbish' to all of that.

Catchya later.

neochonetes said...

No one will agree with everything that another person thinks or does, but it's our responsibility to share what we know when it means preventing accidents, poor education or other serious issues.

I appreciate your comments.