Thursday, February 15, 2007

Earth Saved by Trained Cats

As a mother of a newborn baby, I used disposable diapers. And I felt terrible about it. How could I add to the overflowing landfills? I should be washing cloth diapers, saving the environment. I was bad bad bad.

Then a friend of mine, also a mother of a young child, said, that’s hooey. What is filling the landfills is mostly construction waste. Building materials. But it’s so much more fun to blame women and their baby’s diapers. Besides, women feel guilty about it. Big business does not.

Ahhhh. I said.

And if you take the amount of energy it takes to wash diapers in hot water, the amount of chemicals used to get them clean, it is, in many ways, a wash.

Pardon the pun.

So I used my disposable diapers. It wasn’t a choice of pride but one I no longer felt guilty about.

Now? I read a plea to train your cat to use the toilet instead of kitty litter.


Because all the cat litter used in a year would fill Yankee stadium.


Jeanine showed me the article. She had tried, in vain, to teach our cat to use the toilet instead of the kitty litter.

I told you, she said.

No. I’m not buying it. For one, our cat goes outside. She rarely uses the kitty litter. I’m not filling more than a half a garbage can a year with her. Secondly, it’s one more way we are finger pointing at the wrong person, the wrong thing. We are entertained by images meant to keep us from the truth.

Clearly, she's getting something to read before heading in.

A picture of a cat squatting on a toilet is far more eye catching and interesting than a pile of construction waste. The image of Yankee stadium filled with kitty litter? Okay, I don’t know if I’d call it sexy but it’s definitely more engaging than the already familiar shot of a landfill.

How about my pile of diapers from all three kids next to the last ranch house in Weston demolished to make a new McMansion?

Jeanine can train the cat to use the toilet, I don’t care. Cat pee, boy pee, cat poop, boy poop- it’s all the same to me. None of it gets flushed anyway until I come along.

Just don’t try to tell me it’s going to make an enormous difference.

It’s time for people to reflect on their own trash barrel, to be sure, but not at the expense of seeing the real problem.

And it isn’t disposable diapers.

Nor are kitties on the john the solution.


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