Have you noticed that it is now impossible to read a newspaper or magazine that does not have the word "green" in at least one headline?
Green in this context, of course, means environmentally friendly.
Almost anything you buy now has a "green" aspect to it.
Home furnishings retailer Crate & Barrel has been running full-page magazine ads in which they hardly mention the style or comfort of the couch they are selling, only how environmentally responsible they have been in manufacturing it.
Green is apparently where it's at these days.
So I thought maybe I should reconsider shopping at Planet Natural.
Planet Natural sells "natural products for home, lawn and garden."
Their slogan is: "Good stuff for your world!"
I like to see myself as a man who adds good stuff to the world.
But on the other hand especially after that hand has flipped through the pages of the Planet Natural catalog maybe I am not really ready to be this green.
I mean, really: Do I look like somebody who is in the market for worm castings? I just do not see me calling the 800-number for the 33-pound bag of worm poop.
Ditto for Sup'r Green Chicken Manure ("Great for mulching and moisture retention too!") and the Steer Manure Blend ("May be used as a top dressing for established lawns.")
You see, I don't feel these products would enhance my standing in my neighborhood. Yes, I would have the only green mulch and the only lawn overlaid with manure, but I see this form of individualism as coming with a serious social stigma.
Maybe I could get away with spreading the "Glacial Rock Dust" (they show it on their Web site at $6.95 for a 5-pound bag), but you know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking they are trying to sell me a bag of lime with a fancy name.
They are right up front with some of their other products, though.
They do not in any way try to romance their Desert Bat Guano, their Organic Fish Fertilizer or their Seabird Guano.
In case you are wondering, the seabird droppings are apparently the way to go. According to the description, there is something like twice the nitrogen in the seabird guano as in the desert bat guano. Likewise, the organic fish powder has four times the nitro of the organic fish fertilizer.
This tells me you have to be really careful if you are in the market for wacky fertilizers.
Now I truly was interested in the composting section of the Planet Natural catalog. You see, I've been recycling yard waste from way back.
But I really don't think I need the "Compost Corral" or the "Compost Thermometer." I've found that if you just pile the stuff up and let it sit there long enough, it turns into compost no matter what.
I did like the "Big Stinky Fly Trap" and the "Bird Scaring Balloon." But probably not enough to place an order.
And wouldn't I be popular around the house if I bought some stuff from the "Beneficial Insects" page? Let's see: Maybe the gallon container of 72,000 lady bugs would be a good starting point. Or perhaps the 150,000 Trichogramma wasps (to destroy moth eggs) would be the smarter purchase. I'll have to think about that one.
I perked up when I saw their "Lawn Repair" product. But on closer reading, I determined that it wouldn't have worked for me. My lawn was gouged by a city snow plow. And the Planet Natural product is for places where your dog has peed.
On reflection, I feel bad that I cannot use more of these natural products.
But it did occur to me that I can be your Green Columnist. Here's how: First, collect a cup or more of organic rainwater. Then clip this column each week and tear it into narrow strips. Combine the rainwater with the column scraps and puree in a blender for 30 seconds. Pour onto any garden plant.
I am sure this will work at least as well as Desert Bat Guano.