This blog was started, and is intended to illustrate that environmentalism happens through small acts, is not difficult, and that it does not always have to be some big life changing event that forces you to live in the tree tops with no electricity. All that being said, one of my small acts was to start this blog to gain some friends to help me save the world.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I guess I am not that green

So I am still getting over my shredded paper and paint can issue with the city's poor recycling program, and then I discover I am really not that green.  Well maybe what I should say is I am not that patient.  Is there a difference, I am not sure?  Here is the situation.  I was in the car with a very dear and beloved family member, my father, when I found myself ready to pull out every hair on my head.  Why you may ask?  Because he was driving like -15 miles per hour.  He called it hypermiling or supermiling or something like that.  Basically what it is is ways that you stretch out your cars mpg.  Example you coast and cruise whenever you can to reduce the amount of times you need to use the brake pedal, which ultimately saves the amount of fuel you use.  This apparently is very good for the environment (dur Charlotte).  I mean better tactics would be to walk or ride a bike (and trust me when I say that is probably faster).  But when you can't I guess go ahead and try this hypermiling stuff.  And even though I am pure evil and normally would be honking the horn like mad for someone going -15 mph, in the future I will try to refrain.  For the environment and also for my father.  Please forgive me mother Earth and also my dad.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Love It

Been too long

OK normally I do not write about anything personal, mainly because my life is very dull and I am not cruel enough to bore anyone with it.  I mean if I cannot fall asleep I tell myself the story of my life and I am out pretty darn fast.  But anyway I have to get personal to let you know why I have not been writing.  At the moment I am in the middle of a move.  And I would like to just get this out of the way and tell everyone I hate moving.  I hate packing and I am not fond of lifting or figuring out what to do with stuff, not a big fan of scrubbing, I could go on but I won't.  But it does make you think about the environment, how much stuff you have, and how much of an impact that has on the world.  Material possessions are cool, until you have to pack them and then they really blow, but that is capitalism for you (different post different rant).  Right now I wished I had not even a quarter of the stuff I have (I know I know there is an easy solution to that, but we have already discovered I am weak, especially when it comes to pretty shiny things).  I always felt as though I used or had a purpose for everything I owned until I had to pack, and I find I had stuff I did not even know about, so what is the purpose of that.  The answer is nothing.  But getting to the point here, when purging your household, I mean packing, you tend to get rid of a lot of stuff.  After my gasoline and match idea was rejected by others (mainly those who cannot think out of the box like me), I started donating and recycling a lot.  So this is the issue.  First off all some of the stuff that I donated was rejected. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!!!  It was an old 13 inch TV in working order that could have been sold or recycled, but instead was rejected by the receiving company.  And then here is the worst part.  After several trips to the recycling center, our regular recycling service which comes every two weeks did not pick up our bin.  We were too full, because we were the only ones on the block that were skipped over.  Like I needed more reasons to hate moving.  But seriously WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!!!  Why is it still so difficult to do the bear minimum to be green.  How green is it to keep driving back and forth to the recycling center when you have a service that comes to you and then they say you are too full and some of the stuff in there is not recyclable.  So here it is city in which I live, get with the program.  Shredded paper, recyclable!  Metal shower curtain rods, recyclable!  Card board boxes, recyclable!  Please catch up with the rest of the world city.  Do you job recycling program, and recycle stuff.  Geez.  And paint cans, oh yeah they are also recyclable (actually they do have to be empty, or the paint needs to be dried, or the other option is to take the cans to your local hardware store and see if they are able to reuse any of the paint, but the cans themselves are 100% recyclable).  I don't mind that being green or environmentally friendly  or whatever you want to call it offers challenges to "normal" social life sometimes, but this is ridiculous.  And when I am trying to minimize my impact, especially when moving (which challenges the environment in its own ways), and I am hit head on with these issues, well then it just annoys me.  And if anyone out there has any suggestions as to what to do please share.  I would also just like to mention that if this post seems to be lacking compared to the wonderful literature that I normally produce, I do apologize, but it has taken me 4 days just to piece this together, because have I mentioned I hate moving and now I hate it even more because more stuff needs to be accepted as recycling.  Not everything is trash people.  Our resources are running out so lets use what we got.  Shutting up now.  Hope no one else is having to move and you are all having a great week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Very Special Treat

So I am really not sure what the etiquette is for introducing a guest writer on a blog, so I will do it my way (even if it is wrong).
We have an actual writer in our midst, who has taken some time to create a superb post for us today.  That being said, below please enjoy the words of the fabulously green Ellen Keane Graham.  (Thank you Ellen).

When Charlotte asked me to do a guest post for her blog, I thought it best to try to tie in and combine the thoughts of my own blog with those I have when I read hers (which I do religiously, of course). My blog ( is about my son, Knox, and how much I love him and his daddy (not nearly as upstanding as this blog), but I write about how thankful I am for the time I have with him and how much I have learned since becoming a mother.  However, something that I haven’t yet written about is our lifestyle and the choices that we make in order to make sure that our son will be able to enjoy the beauty of this planet for the rest of his life.
Like most families, we do recycle, but we’ve tried our best to go beyond that and take some extra steps to do our part in protecting the environment from further damage. We try to compost as much as possible, reuse and reduce our waste when we can, but I thought it would be appropriate to address some of the specific ways that we address the environmental issues we face as parents and to offer some information that I’ve discovered in my journey to a greener, more eco-friendly home.
So many of us are so unaware that there are even other options available aside from the societal norms that are marketed so well. The parenting world is a disposable one. Most of the products made for children are disposable, plastic, filled with toxic chemicals and produced irresponsibly and without consideration of society, the economy or the environment. My husband and I have tried to do our best to avoid these things as much as possible, although I know we could (and should) do better. By no means do I think we are model “green” citizens, but I’d like to share a few changes and choices that we were able to easily make. These are things that anyone could (and should) do with a small amount of effort and consideration.

1. Cloth Diapers
When most parents or parents-to-be see these two words, they start to squirm with disgust. But, having changed a lot of diapers before I ever had my own child, I was never that grossed out by poop and figured I could handle cloth diapering easily because of that. My husband, on the other hand, was not so sure. When I showed him our first set of cloth diapers, he vowed he would never change one, EVER. He said it was a terrible idea and he would support me in it but would not participate in the actual act of diaper changing. I’m happy to report that our son just turned one and my husband is now a cloth diaper changing pro and possibly even an advocate, if you can believe that.
The first thing you should know if you’ve never looked into cloth diapers is that modern cloth diapering is much different than the old “thick cotton pads with safety pins and rubber pants method”. There are so many new options and you just have to try a few to figure out what works best for you. This website ( carries all different kinds of diapers – from prefolds and covers (which are similar to the old school method) to All-in-ones (also known as AIOs, which function exactly like, or even better than, disposables). If you do a little research, I think you’ll find that modern cloth diapering will not only help save the environment by keeping all of those diapers out of the landfills, but it will also save you tons of money (I’m talking thousands, people).
Next, you need to know that cleaning the diapers is NOT THAT BAD (yes, even the messy diapers). You just spray the residue into the toilet and throw the diapers in the washer. I would say I do one full load of diapers every other day in hot water with a free & clear detergent. You can dry them in the dryer or line dry (they do take a little longer to dry than regular clothes because of their absorbency, but not so much longer that you would notice it in your electric bill).
You can also go one step further with this and purchase used or locally-made cloth diapers. I have purchased used diapers before (I know it sounds gross, but just trust me, it’s not), however, I’m constantly finding things to make myself feel guilty about, and the “made in china” tag on Knox’s cloth diapers constantly begs me to make the change to buying diapers made here. A friend shared this website ( with me recently and it is a great resource that sells cloth diapers made by work at home moms. This is a switch I WILL be making in the very near future.
This option IS available and completely doable. It WILL save you money. It IS better for the environment (people who say that the extra water usage for cleaning them is equally as bad for the environment do not know what they are talking about). It IS better for your baby (chlorine and other chemical-filled disposables are not good for babies’ skin – the less chemicals you can expose your child to, the better!). It IS better for the economy (by purchasing cloth you are supporting smaller businesses). With all of those positives, it’s hard to say no, right?! Unfortunately, the convenience factor weighs much more heavily with most parents than any of these factors do, but it is becoming an increasingly popular choice, which gives me hope.

2. Buy Organic/Free Trade
I often get the long silence or strange look whenever people find out that I buy organic. I’m not sure where the judgment comes from, but there does seem to be a stigma attached to the label “organic.” What I think that most people don’t understand about buying organic is that it is not just about preventing your child from consuming massive amount of pesticides and other chemicals and preservatives. It is also about considering the environment and the economy. By buying organic you are supporting smaller, more environmentally, socially and economically responsible businesses.  Buying organic can be more expensive, I know, but that’s what “voting with your wallet” is all about.
When most people hear the term “organic,” they think of food, mainly produce, I believe. But, spending your money on organically made cosmetics, toiletries, clothes and other packaged goods is a great way to be environmentally responsible while also benefitting your body by choosing not to expose it to unnecessary chemicals.
Again, take it one step further and buy locally-made organic/free trade goods whenever possible.

3. Avoid Plastics
A few months ago, I went on a crazy streak and starting getting rid of all of our plastic containers – mainly the stuff we used for storage. I was trying to be responsible by reusing things like yogurt containers to store leftovers, but then it suddenly hit me that those containers are not BPA-free, so I freaked out and recycled all of them and decided we would only store things in glass from that point forward. Well, that didn’t work out so well because glass jars turned out not to be the best size/shape for most storage needs. So, I purchased a large set of BPA-free Tupperware and I try to re-use yogurt containers for other purposes whenever possible (i.e. storage for non-edible sundry items).
My point is, it is VERY hard to avoid plastics. Plastics are one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution; yet, they’ve become so engrained into our everyday lives that they are like an addiction - especially where kids are involved. Try this if you are a parent: look around at all of your child’s belongings. I guarantee you that at least 90% of them are made of plastic and at least 10% are disposable. There are even plastic food and drink containers called “Take & Toss,” which are BPA-free and there is no reason they cannot be cleaned and reused, but they are marketed to encourage you to “toss” them…because it’s just easier, right? There are tons of products like this out there.
As parents (heck, as PEOPLE), it is impossible to avoid plastics altogether, so my suggestion here is to purchase as little plastic as possible (packaging, new toys/accessories, bags) and repurpose the plastics you do purchase. Consider whether you really NEED things before you buy them. Plastic is necessary for modern life, I am not suggesting that it is evil – it saves lives every day and makes modern life possible. I am simply suggesting that limiting your personal usage of plastics is the responsible thing to do.
Here is one switch I am hoping to make soon so that I no longer contribute Ziploc baggies to the landfills. You should, too. The initial investment may seem high, but, in the long run you are sure to save lots of money AND the environmental damage.
Again, buying locally-made (in the USA) plastic products from small businesses in an extra step you can take to do your part.

4. Buy Used and/or Local
As parents, we are constantly seeking ways to save money and buying (or accepting!) used items is another thing we can do to save money and the environment at the same time. The majority of Knox’s clothes, toys and even furniture and baby gear are hand-me-downs from generous friends and family. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve never purchased anything new for him, but I do try my best to purchase used clothing and toys whenever I can. Consignment stores/sales, goodwill, craigslist, ebay, antique stores and garage/yard sales are all great places to find better prices than you would on the discount rack at the mall. If you think about all of the materials and work that goes into making just a single item and then consider how fast children outgrow not only clothes but toys and other gear, it makes sense that these items should have multiple owners and get as much use out of them as possible. By buying used goods, you are decreasing the demand for new ones which decreases the demand for the use (and abuse) of our natural resources (conventional cotton farming is terrible for the environment in many ways).
Another great reason to buy used clothing for your children is that it is better for their bodies to wear something that has already been washed multiple times (the more times, the better!). The toxic chemical dyes, inks and pesticides (from farming the cotton) that remain on clothing long after it’s made decreases with every wash, so your child’s skin is not absorbing the harmful toxins.
I mentioned that buying organic products was good for the environment, but buying local goods (whether organic or not) is another way to stay green and clean. And, no, I don’t mean shopping at your local Wal-Mart. I mean buying products that are made locally, and, by locally, I mean - the closer the better. I understand that you simply cannot purchase everything you need from vendors within 20 miles of your house, but purchasing American-made products from companies that are environmentally, socially and economically responsible is the best possible alternative when truly local products aren’t available. By choosing farmers markets over grocery stores (although some groceries offer local produce), and local boutiques and shops over chain distributors and department stores, by supporting local small businesses of all kinds whenever possible (after researching them first, because not all small local businesses are environmentally responsible and you don’t want to support a business that is irresponsible in any way, right?) we are being conscious and respectful of this planet from which we take so much.

5. Pass the Baton
The best way you can protect the environment as a parent is to make sure that future generations appreciate it and take care of it. Modeling all of the behaviors listed above are, in and of themselves, ways to show your children how to be respectful of the planet, but make sure you talk to them about it as they grow. Ensure that they understand that the choices we make are conscious ones and every action we take affects not only the people around us, but the world around us.
Get your children outdoors and show them how to enjoy their surroundings. Explain how the ecosystem works and why it is so important to be very careful as to what we introduce into that delicate system. Teach them (and show them) to be thankful, respectful and thoughtful when it comes to the Earth.

As I slowly step down from my soapbox, I’d like to share a couple of resources that I’ve found to be helpful in my journey to a greener lifestyle.

This website is one of my favorites. ( I have learned a lot from this site and if you’re interested in learning how you can make ANY aspect of your life greener, then I suggest you check it out. You simply type in ANYTHING on the search bar at the top of the page and it will produce not only a list of greener ways to live with that search item, but it will also give you tons of information about why the conventional ways of doing things harm the environment and how changing your habits in regards to that search item can have a positive impact on the planet. The research is fully backed by reliable sources and very, very thorough.
This book ( belongs on every bookshelf in every home across the country. It is a very well researched guide to shopping for pretty much anything and everything you ever need. From electronics to toiletries, this book ranks brands and companies based on their business practices. If you never buy another book again, buy this one. It will change the way you think about spending money forever.

I hope this post, although whiny, preachy and nagging, has been helpful to someone somewhere. I hope it makes you think, if nothing else. Charlotte is doing a great thing by dedicating her time to raising awareness, and I hope this helps her in her gallant quest to save the world. J

Monday, July 18, 2011

This just in: Some Sad Sad News

So apparently there is no love for the leftovers.  One of the restaurant chains that I had called a few weeks ago has totally dumped me.  After leading me on and making me feel like I had a good idea, they have told me otherwise.  Not to fear, as promised I will be calling other restaurants, so as not to abandon my own challenge.  Taking your own container to help reduce the use of non-recyclable styrofoam doggie bags is still a good idea.  I know that one day this will be the norm in restaurants.  But in the meantime please keep doing this yourselves.  And call your favorite local eateries and see if you are better at convincing the owners than I was.  We will overcome (love being dramatic).  I will report back if I get any more hot leads, and hopefully this time I will not be dropped like a sad sack of potatoes.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Murder (this is not sensationalism)

When I was out walking this morning I noticed something on the side of the road.  From a distance I thought it looked like a coiled black snake.  And as I got closer I noticed it was.  Unfortunately though it was dead.  And even more unfortunate it did not look like it had died from natural causes.  OK so here we go.  I will keep my mouth shut on a lot of things (cough cough sometimes), but there are some issues that I will not, and this is one of them.  STOP KILLING SNAKES PEOPLE.  It is inexcusable.  The thing that makes me most mad about this, is that mostly it is ignorance and unwarranted fear that leads to these killings.  Leave the snakes alone.  I do not care if they are poisonous or not (and yes most people cannot tell the difference between venomous and non-venomous, even though they think they can).  It is probably more safe for you to leave the snake alone anyway, especially if it is poisonous.  I get that there are different circumstances in different parts of the world that may warrant the need for a snake to be removed, but those times should be rare, and we are not all living in the jungles of Central America, India, or Africa.  Oh my goodness I am so upset by this that it is honestly difficult to type.  Just don't do it.  Leave them alone.  Do you want a bunch of rats and mice running around.  Aaaahhhhh.  Do we need to alter our fragile (especially in urban areas) ecosystems even more.  Just don't do it.  They were here first.  And although you may think you are defending your turf, you are not, it is not yours.  Get over yourself and freaking share it with the snake and anything else that may be around.  Just a quick example of how humans are a much worse enemy of snakes than vice versa.  It is now thought that rattlesnakes, in the southwestern part if the US are rattling less.  Why because those that are quiet stand a better chance of survival against the evil humans.  OK I am stopping now, and I hope if there is any one out there that actually reads this (hi Mum and Dad (not snake killers just talking to my audience)) that you will spread the word  and make it stop.  STOP KILLING SNAKES PEOPLE!!!!

Bath Time

Last night as I was giving the smallest member of our household a bath I started thinking about ways to reuse the bath water (aka grey water).  Now there is only one human member and two four legged members of this house that actually take baths (some more than others), as showers are much more efficient at conserving water (that is if you keep the shower short).  Anyway, lasts nights bath was particularly short, and although I do not fill the tub up very much at all, I still felt like it was a lot of good water that could have been used for something.  So I did a little research a found a few easy (maybe) ways to reuse the grey water.  Now if you are like me, then means are limited, and afford one of those fancy grey water tanks that store the water.  But if you are cheap, like me, there are ways around it, called a bucket.  Now with said bucket you can:
  1. Use the water to flush the toilet.  Side note, if it is yellow let it mellow, if it is brown flush it down (been meaning to work this in for a while).
  2. Water the plants with it.  This is the obvious one.
  3. Use it for the first cycle of the washing machine.  This was an interesting way to reuse that I found at
  4. If you are not in the mood for running between the bathroom and the laundry room, then just  let some of your really muddy clothes pre-soak in the water before washing them.
So that is all I could come up with, but I am sure there have to be more ways to reuse it.  Hopefully they are cheap and easy ways.  And if anyone knows of some more ways let me know.  My goal is to create the top ten ways to reuse bath water (aka grey water ;) ).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So here it is

So here it is, I am down to my last paper towel roll.  Dundundun..... what is a girl to do?  Well actually I am doing OK, the withdrawal symptoms have been minimal.  I really have been working on my addiction and after several interventions (all of which were way to gruesome to put on TV, even though I did try) I think I may have this issue under control.  Down to about  2-3 (of the small towels) a day.  And trust me when I say that the towels that I do use, pardon my French here, but I use the crap out of them.  And I do not see any need to buy any more in the immediate future.  So take that paper towels, and yay for me!
Also I know I have not had any big reports on the leftover love issue as I had promised, but please be patient (since I am not).  There should be a very full and exciting report (man I hope so) next week.  So stay tuned.  If I still don't have anything to report back, trust me when I say I will make something up just for the entertainment value.
Lastly I would also like to mention that I now calculate, assess, and analyze almost every one of my actions.  Geez I annoy myself.  Since I calculated my carbon footprint and after reading this article  I cannot stop thinking of all the ways that I can reduce my footprint and dependency on well the Man, man.  I have not grown anything yet, and I am not living off the grid.  But it does make you think, and it does make you try to make more thoughtful actions.  Just saying.  Being thoughtful and mindful is not bad, and who knows may lead to some change.  I know we can save the world, I know we can.
Anyway I don't have too much to say today so I will end here.  Take care.
Also check out another interesting blog (us bloggers got to stick together)  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Something Cool

Interesting article about easy ways to go green over the summer.  I found it all very interesting, especially number 5 (hehehe).  Enjoy!
P.S. I love adding links now :)

What Size Are You?

People use a lot of stuff (being super scientific here, hope you can understand all my technical  jargon).  And people in affluent countries use even more stuff (wow this is deep I know).  But I bet we don't need all that stuff.  And I bet that some of us could reduce all the stuff we use.  So getting to the point here, I did a quick search this morning to find a carbon footprint calculator.  And after doing a handful of calculations from different sites, I found that the carbon footprint (or at least something close to  what these calculators think the carbon footprint is) for my household is about 8.76 metric tons of CO2.  Not bad, but not great.  I can definitely drop some weight, I just don't look good in a moo-moo.  So hear is my new years resolution (7 months late) to try and reduce that carbon footprint by July of 2012.  Yikes, we all know that I am weak, so really do think this will be a challenge for me.  But according to one of the calculators that I used, if I did pretty simple things, such as, bought more local produce, bought more organically grown produce, and basically was a little more intelligent when I shopped period, I could do it.  So that will be my goal.  Look where stuff comes from (to see how far it has traveled, (buying local would seem to knock a significant portion off my total foot print)), how much packaging is on it, if it is organic etc.  So there it is.  I am really starting to regret how big my mouth is and starting this blog now, because now I have to do stuff, ruh-roh.  The only thing I know I will have no control over changing is travel.  Guess that will be next years July resolution.
Anyway if you want to calculate your footprint one of the sites I liked the best was:
Search for your own calculator, and I hope you like your size.
Have a super day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What to do, what to do?

I think I am finally doing what most normal (modern) people have been doing since the internet became so readily available, and that is surfing on it.  Since I have started this blog (my new obsession) I have been looking at other blogs, specifially other green blogs.  And there are some fantastic ones out there.  There are some very dedicated, intelligent, somewhat crazy (that is not an insult, seriously I like a little bit of crazy and think it is healthy (should be a Jimmy Buffett quote in there somewhere)) people out there who really put me to shame when it comes to the environment.  On one of my recent explorations of the web I have a found a number of websites and blogs dedicated to plastic and the plight of trying to be free from it.
Sounds easy, OMG  so not easy.  Just try and look around where ever you are (hopefully I am not talking to myself here, but if I am that is OK) and see how many steps you can take without running into something plastic.  Geez, I am at home right now, and right in front of me is the plastic keyboard and mouse that I am using.  So see I could not even stand up to take the step to find plastic.  It is everywhere.  And seriously I do try to be thoughtful and cognizant of my surroundings and my actions.  But as I have mentioned before I am weak and I know I buy plastic stuff (I also have limited resources which keep me in a gas powered car, keep me on the outdated electrical grid etc., but I am accepting donations, I kid I kid).  I was once donned the nickname granola crunchy.  I wore that name proudly thinking my recycling was enough.  But after seeing the dedication of others I think I may have to retire that name for a while, as they have put me to shame.  There are those who have tried to live plastic free for short amounts of time and there are those that are constantly trying to make their lives plastic free.  Could I do that?  I think it would be a great struggle for me.  How would I type all these awesome blog entries (haha)?
It really was not that long ago that people did live petrochemical free. So it really can't be that hard, right?  Wait how would I brush my teeth, type on a computer, wear polyester (that is a joke), ride in a car, wear shoes, pay for stuff etc.  Really I cannot go far without running into it.  And why should I care about all this.  I have recently read this book (and highly recommend it, although if you enjoy eating seafood you may not after reading the book) called the World is Blue by Sylvia Earle.  And in it, it discusses the importance of the worlds oceans.  It also highlights how humans are destroying the oceans.  Discussing the massive floating plastic garbage deposits that have formed in the worlds oceans.  These plastic islands aren't going anywhere (that is sort of the problem with plastic) and are affecting life near and far from them.  I think I have mentioned before, just because you cannot see something does not mean that there are no consequences.  Plastic is everywhere, I guess that is why I have so many posts about plastic bags and doggie bags etc.  I mean if we are recycling and reusing it may help, but a lot of plastic is made to be disposable.  Quick reminder, plastic is made from the finite resource, oil, which as we all know is very costly and causing lots of global issues.  Just saying.  Anyway as I have already gone on too long, I will try and end here.  This is my new challenge to myself, to try and make my carbon footprint even smaller (although I wear a size 7 and don't think that is huge, man I am on fire today).  I am not going to do anything crazy like purge my house of all plastic, because there would not be anything left.  But I will try to reduce the amount of plastic I bring into the house, recycle and reuse all possible plastic items that I can, and continue to research other ways to reduce the amount of plastic I use.  So get excited because if I find anything cool I will be sure to share, and if anyone else knows or finds something please share as well.
As always many thanks

Friday, July 8, 2011

I am weak, but this is interesting

Some links (I know I already caved on the pictures so it was just a matter of time before the links would follow) that are pretty interesting on energy and bottled water.  Enjoy.

Boring Me

It was mentioned to me the other day that I need to stop being so preachy.  Guess I am a bit obvious on the environmental stuff, you know since the whole planet has gone green and we are all doing what we are supposed to and that is why there are no environmental issues any more.  1, 2, 3, NOT!   Anyway the suggestion was to give updates on what I am doing, you know to follow up on me and see if I practice what I preach.  Well I did not really want to bore anyone with well, me, but I guess you got to give the public what they want right.  OMG I sound like some old vaudeville star or something.  Anyway here goes.
First update: The Paper Towel Scandal.  Actually here I am doing pretty good.  Not completely free of the demon towels yet, still lingering at the 2-3 (small towels not full size) mark per day.  Honestly not trying to make excuses here (although that is totally what I am doing) it really is the only garbage I create.  And in a house of 3 humans and 2 dogs to have as little refuse in the bin as we do I think that is pretty good.  OK I know I need to keep working on it, and I will.  So there is that update out of the way.
Second update: Walking.  Well here I can say I am really doing well.  I have been running for a few years now.  But I have now added walking to my routine on the days that I do not run.  Nothing much, just a few miles around the neighborhood (which unfortunately is easy to do b/c of all the cul de sacs, see what I did there linked another post to this one, clever girl, wink wink).  And guess what, going out walking I have met some neighbors.  OK honestly I chased them down and forced them to be my friends, but it still counts (true story, see I am not desperate at all).  Who knew that after living in the same place for 4 1/2 years that we had neighbors, shocker.  So I have some friends to walk with now, feel much healthier, and yes we pick up trash that we see. Which leads me to the next update.
Third update:  Pick it up you filthy animal.  I am picking up bits and pieces here and there.  Have not been able to recycle too much yet, but picking up junk nonetheless.  And I am happy to report that in the neighborhood the more I walk the less trash I see.  I wonder why.  So doing OK on this front too.
Fourth update: Sesame Street.  I have been unplugging a lot more stuff in the house lately that is not in use.  I ALWAYS turn off the lights when I leave the room (although we have left ceiling fans running lately, shame on me, but I am trying to be honest here).  I never leave water running (actually have cut my shower time in half, which was pretty short to begin with) so doing good there.  I never let the dishwasher run the automatic drying portion, and we have upped the AC a degree or two to help reduce on power usage.  So this really has not been too much of a challenge as we did/do most of this stuff on a pretty regular basis.  Although if anyone has suggestions as to more ways I can improve let me know. Definitely up for suggestions.
Fifth update:  Water bottles.  This is easy, I never use plastic water bottles, they are gross.  I have my own super awesome reusable bottle, and I love it.  It has a straw, and it makes me feel special.
Sixth and final update: Leftover Love.  I honestly have not been out to each much lately but each time I have had my own take home container.  But because I have been really hungry lately, I have not had to use it.  Guess that is from all the extra walking.  I have always had the container though, so if I had needed it I would have been prepared.  And as I mentioned on the leftover love challenge I am still working on that, but do feel like I could have some very promising news to report soon.  If my efforts fizzle out on this one particular restaurant, fear not, as I have no problem calling a few more eateries and bugging the snot out of them too.
OK so enough about me for right now.  Keep saving the world.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Take a Hike

The human body is efficient at a lot of things.  Walking just happens to be one of the things that we do best.  We are designed for it. We have evolved into bodies that are superb at walking (and for really long distances), so why don't we do more of it.  Well I guess we could look back at the last entry and blame cul de sacs.  Or we could blame Henry Ford.  Seriously I am very good at finding scapegoats, that is my evolutionary advantage (hehehe because it is never my fault).  Lets say I was very efficiently walking around 300,000 years ago (yes we were walking back then, there are studies that have shown the way/style we walk may have developed while we were still in trees) I would very easily be able to blame at least one (if not more) of my homo erectus counterparts for why all of my stone tools still looked liked well stones (rambling).  OK who knows what I am talking about, maybe I am trying to cling to my beloved anthropology classes here, and maybe I should shut up and just get to the point.  All I am trying to say really is, take a hike (but in a nice way).  If you are able to get anywhere without a car, just do it (thanks Nike).  I know not always possible.  For example I live in a town were it takes at least 20 minutes by car to get to anything.  And public transportation, well lets just say what public transportation?  But we can still take a walk around the neighborhood.  We don't always have to be going somewhere.  You can walk the dogs, or just take some time to collect your thoughts.  I mean I wish I could tell everyone to stop driving, or even just pack the car full of as many people as possible and carpool, or take a bus but I know it is not always possible.  But seriously if we try we may be able to cut down on gas just a little and maybe even burn a few calories.  And guess what if you are walking you can pick up litter.  Just a suggestion.  OK well that is all.

And because I am a weak individual, that desperately tried to avoid images, but obviously failed, here is my picture for the day (and no it is not a self portrait, but enjoy anyway).

Just as an FYI, my original post for the day was censored.  Guess you cannot talk about water conservation and the act of not flushing pee and still be taken seriously.  So that is why I am talking about walking.  
Still hope everyone out there is having a super fun day.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rambling Charlotte

I was told the other day that I needed to add some pictures to this blog.  And although I was tempted, at the present I think I will have to respectfully decline.  Why you may ask?  I have been looking at a lot of other green blogs lately and there are some really good ones out there.  Most have pictures, adverts, and links on there which I think are awesome, but it seems a bit too much for me right now.  All I really wanted to do with this blog was get some ideas out there.  Just the ideas.  Get some good discussions going to get more ideas, and that was really it.

The other thing that green blogs have helped me realize that although I feel pretty isolated in my thoughts and points of view some times, there are bunch of people out there who think like me, agree with me.  So why do old schools of thought still dominate?  How does progressive thought become commonplace  and remove outdated ideas?  Anyway maybe I will get around to pictures one day (maybe I will become inspired enough at the end of this entry wink wink) when I am brave enough, but right now I think I would rather hide behind my really bad writing, which I am fine.  Discuss ideas that I know others, somewhere out there, are talking about (sorry to my 8th grade English teacher for constantly ending my sentences with prepositions).  And that makes me feel better.

So as I continue this random ramble I thought I would bring up the concept of cul de sacs.  I know that so far this very young blog has had the predominate theme of saving the world by going green, but I think it should also allow me (and us if there is anyone out there that wishes to join) the chance to just complain or discuss other things as well.  Case in point today, cul de sacs.  Really they just give you something to think about.  I mean, they are weird form of city planning that don't offer any real benefit (unless you ask Garth and Wayne playing street hockey, but if I remember correctly even they are were on a regular road) and very little in the way of green benefits.  I remember having to read this article back in school about cul de sacs and health risks.  It was strange for me because I had never linked those two parts of life together before.  I suppose that is normal though, because there are so many parts of our world that we do not really think about we just accept,, and we definitely do not think about in tandem.  But that does not mean that everything is not connected and that there are not consequences from those connections.  For example the cul de sac has created a common idea of Suburban America but it has also created more traffic, as there are less direct ways for thru traffic, which creates more pollution, and longer time being in the car.  That has health effects on the humans in the car and then the humans that breathe polluted air.  It is just something to think about, and it just happens to be where my mind is wondering to right now.  So just thought I would throw this out there as something to ponder over for the day.  There is always a struggle, at least for me, to try and understand why humans do the things we do. And a struggle or maybe better yet  a challenge to try and learn about us and what we do.  Guess we humans are still in the trial and error portion of evolution, but maybe one day we will catch up.
So here is a me succumbing to the pressure of a picture, I know same entry and I am already contradicting myself.  I am so weak.  Anyway enjoy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Don't get too excited

I do not want to get too excited, but I may have some very positive news to report soon re: the Leftover Love challenge.  Stay tuned, and as soon as I have some official details to report I will let you know.  But be excited, be very excited, and think lots of positive thoughts.  Yay!

Can't kick the habit man

This is much more difficult than I thought.  Paper towels seem to have some stranger control over me.  I am weak and I am unable to resist the temptation of the towel of paper.  Aaaahhh.  I did fine the first day, but I have been progressively getting worse with my rations.  Really it is everyone else's fault for making big sticky spills in the house.  See it is not my fault.  Ah now I feel better.  Denial, ain't just a river in Egypt, bahdahdah!   Enough bad jokes, this is serious now.  I must prove to myself that I  am not weak, that I can do this.  So I am going to try again to limit my use of the demon paper towels and then be free of their evil ways.  I can do this I can do this.  But if anyone has any suggestions for easier ways to do this, or better alternatives please, or a magic drink that makes everything better (hehehe) please let me know.   Insert big sigh here.