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.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I have nothing to call this but life

Not sure why so much of my inspiration to write comes from debates (not arguments) that I have.  And not sure why I have so many arguments, oh I mean debates.  Anyway with this post I would like to say that I am not going to get all deep and philosophical on you, because let’s face it I couldn't even if I wanted, I like swimming in the shallow end.  And let me start off by saying this is absolutely in no way is a pro-life vs. pro choice discussion.  But twice in the last 8 months I have been put in these hypothetical situations where I have to choose one life (already born and moving about etc.) over the other.  And each time I have tried to make a point, that has failed me and I end up being misunderstood.  Now I get that people who I had these discussions with probably do not read anything on this blog and honestly do not care what the point was that I was trying to make, but I still feel like I need to make said point (for just a quick second and then I will let it all go).  
If my family or anyone, and for that matter anything, was in any sort of life threatening danger I would of course do anything in my power to save them, that is a given and should never be question.  I hope I am never put in any situation like that for many obvious reasons.  How successful I would be I am not sure, I have a feeling I would wet myself and pass out, but all intentions would be to save a life.  And there is my point; to save life.  The people posing the question to me offered me the choice of a baby and a puppy and said if I had to which one would I kill.  Well the answer is I would do whatever I could to save both.  There answer was immediately to kill the puppy.  And that bothers me greatly (as my answer bothered them).  It is that total disregard to another living being that upsets me.   This is where the debate became more lively. 
Here is my point, all living things are necessary for the survival of other living things.  Chose to love and respect all life, it is not hard (and for me much easier than killing something).  Because humans can talk and reason does not make us better than puppies, or trees, or whatever, it just means that we can talk and reason.  It is those that think they are better and could say so easily that they would crush something to death that scares me.  No regard for life.  And no regard for what I was trying to say because they were so blinded by destroying something to save what they saw as more valuable.  Humans are not better than the rest of the living things on this planet.  But because humans think that way is why we are in the mess we are currently in, no respect for anything other than ourselves.  And unfortunately we are learning the lesson that all life depends on each other much too late.  If I see someone hurting a dog I would do whatever I could to stop them, or a baby, or an old lady, or a tree.  I may be the only person to hold these type of views (but I doubt it) but I do think it is important to here the other side in order to form a complete argument next time you ask me to kill something.  Think about how stupid these hypothetical questions are, because I have a feeling if anyone that talks big would act a bit different given live circumstances.  I offer no harm to anyone, and even those who may be threatening something in some way I would still try to save rather than destroying the thing that is doing the threatening.  Again maybe this is big talk since I have never been forced to act on these words.  But I can honestly say that (at least I think/hope I would) I would always try to save rather than hurt or destroy.  That is all; now back to the shallow end where I can think only happy thoughts.

I have friends; and the evolution of Leftover Love

This title is probably hard to believe for some, but it helps me.  Anyway I have a friend who has been a great supporter of Leftover Love.  So much so that she even designed those awesome magnets I shared in another post.  Well this friend had made the suggestion to me about taking your own chopsticks when eating chopstick worthy food.  Well now that is a lovely idea, and it got me to thinking.  One, I need to learn how to eat with chopsticks.  And two why does it have to be just chopsticks?  So expanding and evolving the Leftover Love idea even more, why not keep whatever utensils handy so that you can continually stop the use of disposable items that may be offered to you when you go out.  OK so maybe you do not walk around with a bunch of cloth napkins in your bag, or maybe you do, if that is the case, good for you.  But carrying a reusable straw, or a reusable knife and fork, and for those with the talents that allow them to eat with chopsticks, reusable chopstick (side note I have a pair, so if anyone would like them please let me know) is pretty easy to do.  None of these items would take up much space, where ever you decide to keep them, and they would all help cut down on the use of disposable items that are constantly thrown at us.  I know that for some this may not be an easy idea, but to me it is a good idea.  It does not have to apply to food items, but lets face disposable seems to be all over the food industry.  So anyway take your own fork, save some plastic, help the planet.

Also I wanted to offer up a social experiment if anyone is interested in participating.  It is not difficult and requires you to do nothing weird.  All you have to do is next time you are watching a television program with ads in it, just say stupid after each add.  It is really fun.  You can say it in your head or out loud (just depending where you are watching the television).  But just saying it offers a gentle reminder that so much stuff that is shoved down our throats is crap no matter how pretty they make it look.  Give it a try, that is all. 

Just a few more great sites

Just wanted to share a few more great sites that I stumbled across.

This first one is a site that recycles plastic cups and bottle caps.  It all adds up.

This second site offers people the ability to reduce plastic.  Some interesting ideas.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Opinion Piece

Recently I had an (albeit a very weak) online debate regarding what some saw about the value, or lack thereof, of Leftover Love (see previous posts) in the grand efforts offered in the name of environmentalism.  The case was that it was a not a worthy cause because of the amount of gas it would take to go out for a meal.  All of this has sent my brain on a wild ride of coming up with thoughts (not at all arguments) to defend what I see as very worthwhile cause.   So this is my opinion piece (look at me pretending like the rest of the posts are 100% objective) to discuss the problem of narrow-mindedness. 

As has been the recurrent theme on this site, small efforts count.  You do not have to live in the tree tops to care about the environment.  I was at the grocery store earlier (oh my gosh I forgot to grow my own tea and grind my own flour, not too snarky I am sure) and the lady at the till was bagging the groceries was putting one item in one plastic bag.  And all I could think about is how is trying to stop this not a worthy environmental goal.  Yes I had to drive to the shop, and yes I bought stuff that maybe I could have done without or made myself (actually that is not true, since the other thing I got was milk and I do not have a cow).  But given my current abilities I am not able to live off the grid and survive.  And I am sure that I would be unable to convince anyone else to give up everything they know to do so as well.  That is not how I see change coming about.  And while I admire the people that are able to live more self sustainable lives, I do not think that said people should scoff at the actions of someone that still use electricity.  How will we accomplish anything doing that?

Small actions count, just as much as big action, sometimes more.  If you can convince someone who has never thought about the value of protecting the environment to do a small green act, I see that as a big win.  If you can get even one person to think about the consequences of their actions then I believe we have made a giant step forward.  These actions, like taking your own grocery bag or your own reusable container to a restaurant are just as important as someone who is able to commute by riding their bike or walking to the store/restaurant.   I get that not all people are able to ride their bikes.  And I also get that I am not going to convince everyone to grow/raise their own food and stop going out to eat.  Unfortunately, there are many on this planet that are forced to survive in a capitalistic society (not saying that is right or wrong).  And sometimes people are distracted by big pretty shiny objects (or yummy food) that capitalists sell.  Does it make me a bad person if sometimes I fall prey to the big pretty shiny thing and want it?  I don’t know, maybe, I guess it depends on who you ask; the point is that how this society functions.  But this is not a debate about capitalism, nor is it the answer to solve all human made problems.  There is no answer, if there was life would be a lot different and I would not be writing this.  So to me that means we need to look at multiple approaches and multiple answers.  It does not mean one solution is more right than the other.  Just because you cut your power usage down by 50% does not make you more dedicated or concerned about the environment than one who takes their own container to a restaurant or cuts down on paper towel use.  I mean how much energy does it take to make a Styrofoam container?  What are the effects of that container sitting in a landfill or worse yet someone’s water supply?  They are all equally valuable choices, and the more people we can get on board doing each of them, or all of them, or just a portion of them, will help significantly.  At least I think so.  I just do not see the value in discouraging any efforts to help improve and create more environmental awareness.  We should work together and little bit more, especially those in the same camp.  We might see some bigger results that way, and maybe the bagger at the store will put multiple items in one bag or better yet offer an alternative to paper or plastic bags.  I am just saying that spitting contests get us nowhere.

One of the points made on the other side of this debate was that our great grandparents were self sufficient, and that we could all learn something from that generation.  Well that may be true for some, but my great grandparents were not self-sufficient.  What they were (at least mine) was much more practical and resourceful, and had more of an appreciation for the value and cost of things.  So while I agree that we could learn from our great grandparents, maybe we do not have to think about them all living on self sustaining farms, and feel bad because we do not, but rather remember to appreciate what we have, not be wasteful, and wise in our choices.  

There was one last item that was mentioned by the other debater that has bothered me.   And I fully admit this is now me being nitpicky, but it was about travel.   He mentioned that he had traveled to China and saw a lot of people riding their bikes.  Well that is great, but I am sure this person did not ride his bike to China, and for someone who wants to promote a sustainable life, not sure were gas guzzling jet engines fall into that equation.  I love to travel, and understand that there is an environmental cost with it, but I see it such value in other areas.  But again that was not addressed.  I guess I will end here, and say that I know that going out to eat (and traveling) increases your carbon foot print, but any effort to reduce the size of that foot print should be encouraged, especially by others who claim to care about the planet.  I think we could accomplish a lot more working together and promoting all environmentally friendly ideas.  I heard and appreciate all of his arguments, and admire all of his efforts, but do not think that efforts to reduce waste should be brushed off so casually.  Just saying.

Friday, August 3, 2012

House Keeping

Since I started this blog I must say that I feel much more educated in certain parts of my life.  For instance I think that I write much gudder, ahaha I am teasing I know I do not write gud at all :) (oh my super awesome and not at all lame sense of humor never fails).  Anyway I do feel that I am a bit more wise when it comes to trying to keep certain chemicals out of our house and in turn out of other areas that do not need chemicals.  So here are my latest ways to clean house without chemicals.
1.  Vinegar (white).  I know we have already discussed this wonderful product here before but some recent events have brought it back into the spotlight.  I cannot cook, I try, but I generally fail.  My family has come to believe that all foods are not cooked unless they are completely blackened, as I have a tendency to burn stuff.  Anyway I burned a pot the other night, will not get into what I was doing or what burned (all too embarrassing) but it did.  I thought the pot was ruined.  I soaked in in soapy water, I scrubbed, and I then gave up and figured I would have to get a new pot.  Until I read online about soaking in in vinegar.  So I thought what the heck I will give it a try.  And omg the pot has never been so shiney.  All the burnt charcoal I had thought would never come off, did.  All I did was soak and rinse that bad boy.  So all I have to say is thank you vinegar.
2.  Still on this white vinegar kick.  So not sure if anyone else has been reading about how bad fabric softener is because of the many toxic chemicals.  I hate that it is bad because I do love soft and nice smelling clothes, but hate poison.  So as I have done before I went back to vinegar.  It is a great fabric softener.  And the smell does not stay on the clothes, so I do lose that nice smell, but everything is super soft and I love that.  Plus vinegar is so cheap, much cheaper than fabric softener (and it is good on fish and chips, again I kid that is a different vinegar, talking about white vinegar here not delicious malt).
3.  Now besides burning everything beyond recognition that I try to cook  I also have a problem killing all the green plants I try to grow in the garden.  Not all the time but a good portion of the time my plants die.  What I can grow is weeds (haha not weed silly, weeds like dandelions etc.).  Anyway I had seen online about boiling water being used as a way to kill weeds, and guess what they were not wrong (someone was doing their homework), because it really works.  Just pour some boiling water on the weeds, hopefully they are not in or around any plants or grass you want to keep, and bam they are gone.  It took less time to get rid of the weeds than chemicals did, it is much safer, and once again it is way cheaper.  So look out weeds I have the kettle boiling a lot more.  There are a few other chemical free methods of getting rid of weeds on the site daily green (
Anyway that should do it for me today.  Well I do have one more thing, I was recently given the opportunity to write a guest post on the awesome site Planet Save (, yes more shameless self promotion so kill me).  Of course I wrote about Leftover Love.  But there was a comment left about the post that I found very interesting.  It was about how the person did not think humanity was worth saving, because the planet would survive without homo sapien sapiens running around messing it up.  While the latter part may be true, while we are here I don't want to suffer. I do not want others to suffer, and I do not want the planet to suffer.  It may all be for selfish reasons that I want to try and save the planet and the people, animals, and all the other good stuff too, but they are still valid reasons.  I do think it is worthwhile and so I say to everyone, please try and make it a green day, if not for you, then do it for me and the rest of the world that does not want to breathe in smog or drink (if they are lucky enough to have access to water) polluted water.  Doesn't take much.