Living greener is common sense - Johnny Jackson

Living greener is all the rage these days.

And I've already joined the pack of recycling hounds.

I've been recycling for the last couple of years - some paper, aluminum cans, and virtually all the plastic I encounter, just as much as I think I can.

I figure those plastic jugs and bottles can just as easily go into a recycling bin as in a garbage dumpster.

We dump millions of tons of trash, which can be recycled, into landfills each year. We even waste time figuring out ways to get rid of reusable junk. But I've decided to put more energy into living greener.

It's not wholly about "saving the planet," as much as it is about using common sense, despite the inconvenience I think doing so will cause me.

I also conserve water as much as I think I should. I don't run the water while I'm brushing my teeth. I don't do any unnecessary washing -- dishes or clothes.

I use hardware plates and utensils, not paper or plastic. I turn the lights off as I move from one room to the next. And my showers are shorter these days than they have been.

A few months ago, I donated a pair of gym shoes to a local thrift store. But that's not the half of it. I'd had the shoes since high school, and they were still in good condition when I gave them away.

I take fewer independent trips places. My job makes it impossible for me to carpool or commute on public transportation.

But after hours, I typically run errands in one block of time. And I drive to them in sort of a circular pattern. So many people I know don't do that.

I drive, at least, a gas-mileage-efficient car. And during special events, in the city, I'll take the MARTA train.

This is my version of living greener. I don't have a hybrid car, or green, energy-efficient appliances. I don't have solar powered any thing, or wind-driven whatever. I can't afford those things.

Some have, and will say, living green is a sort of doomsday school of thought. And in some camps, it is. But when given the choice to waste a resource, or save it, I think it illustrates common sense to do the latter.

My grandparents grew their own herb gardens, and recycled and reused the little resources they had. Why can't I?

I am doing what I can - the common sense things - to help save our resources. And maybe, someday, I can say I was a part of a collective that saved our planet.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.