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I have a favorite print hanging in my entryway. It shows two Labs engaged in a tug of war, a rope taut between their teeth. The caption reads: "Love Is Give and Take." When you cohabitate, there's always going to be some push and pull, and a lot of it centers on the "little things." Case in point: the proverbial Battle of the Toilet Seat. You may live with someone who loves to concoct in the kitchen but never cleans up afterward, refuses to learn your precise method of utensil-sorting, leaves fingernail clippings in the bathroom sink, or can never remember to close the lid. Call these trespasses unintentional, call them passive-aggressive -- it doesn't matter. When such irritations reach a critical mass, big blowouts can result. When you start going green, the list of potential grievances grows exponentially. Last year right around this time, I wrote a post titled Can Green Disputes Kill a Couple? which raised the question as to whether differing environmental philosophies and practices are enough to break up a relationship. At my house, a lot of the issues continue to be about the "little things." While my DH has, more or less, espoused my flush-less policy, there's still a whole lot of water being wasted. For instance, my 7-year-old just can't seem to wrap his little brain around the concept that he doesn't have to run the tap while brushing his teeth. (On the other hand, I have to pick my battles; I face a different sort of Waterloo every morning and night just getting him to brush in the first place.) When it comes to bathroom annoyances, it doesn't end there. Despite my reminders, I continue to find toilet paper tubes in the wastepaper basket. Perhaps this small item seems inconsequential to the DH; I know it's not. But I also know when to "give," so for now I'll continue to fish them out for recycling and hope he takes a hint. Old habits die hard. I write about this stuff and I'm still learning. So I'll endeavor to remain patient and keep a sense of humor as I continue down this green path, with two loyal Labs and a great caption to remind me. What are the "little annoyances" in your house? How do you handle them? Beth Arky is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer who hopes to have two real Labs one day. photo: Nick Richards