Sunday, November 22, 2009

367: no impact week, days six + seven + eight

Day 6: Water. We're pretty low water users as it is, though I admit, my showers are probably longer than most (I shave every day, which makes me strange, I know). The largest waste of water is when we homebrew and bring the temperature down using a garden hose, though in the summers, we use jugs to fill up quickly and I bring them out to the garden. In the winter, it's a bit trickier and I can only make sure the largest buckets are full (to use for the pups and the indoor plants). Otherwise, we only run full loads of clothes and dishes and because it's just the two of us, it takes a while for that to happen.

Day 7: Giving Back. Today wasn't about taking out the checkbook, though I can say I do what I can (my two most recent donations were to an anti-smoking campaign and Julia's work, both in honor of people I care about). Instead, today, for Ryan and myself, it was about the garden. We took it down, harvesting the last of the Brussels sprouts and broccoli, and we built our very first ComposTumbler! It's already full, but I'm hoping we will be able to work our way through composting fairly quickly in comparison to the pile method I had earlier (which, actually, worked quite fine). We also mulched in the vermicompost and leaves from the gutters, all rich and gooey, and I started the worm compost bin over with the handful of remaining worms and brought the bin in for the winter. I'm surprised any worms survived the cold and the snow we had in October, but they are strong and I'm hoping they'll make baby wormies and fill the bin with more rich worm poo. I promise to take better care of them.

Day 8: Eco Sabbath. Here I am, writing on my laptop, getting ready to take a shower, Ryan is mopping in the kitchen, we will be making fish for dinner as I am hosting book club along with boiling vegetables and using the refrigerator to cool the wine, Ryan is going to leave soon to go to Meat Heads, our local butcher to which his mother gave us a gift certificate, and on. I cannot have a sabbath today; not with guests coming and Thanksgiving around the corner and this week being a big one for school. But I do fully respect the spirit of this day. I admire the concept of the idea of celebrating staying at home, not consuming, family game night, crafts, whatnot.

I'm making decisions and small changes that I hope will more permanently reflect how I feel about this earth. When we get to that children-having point of our lives, I hope to fill the house with toys that are eco-conscious, those sweet wooden options and repurposed goods. I want the emphasis in our home to be on handmade and being mindful and loving.

I think this week wasn't entirely about "no impact" as much as it was about "scrutinizing options to make yourself lower impact." Small shift, small steps, better planet. And I admit, sometimes writing or talking about these choices I've made, especially with those who haven't made the same choices, often makes me feel uncomfortable. I believe strongly in living more ecologically-mindedly, but I always feel those choices have to belong to someone. I may tease some for shopping at Target, but really, we do what we feel comfortable with; I have never felt comfortable with telephone fundraisers or faith converters or anything of that ilk. I think, instead, I'd rather live by example, even if I'm more often more a shoddy example than anything else. I include my husband in these choices--he may peripherally feel the impact, but I never want to make him feel uncomfortable, and it always makes me a little glowy when he makes concessions for me without my request--buying organic eggs instead of standard or bringing home fruit from the farmer's market.


michelle said...

here's my tip - when i shave and even lather up i turn off the water for these things so i'm not wasting as much water :)

michelle said...

oh - one more! chris was telling me how you can harvest rain water to water your garden. since our new house comes with a garden plot already set to go we're going to try and do this.

Molly said...

You bought a house?! Congratulations!

Yes, getting a rain barrel is one of the next items we'd like to add to our house. Our dear friend Mike made his own (!) from old water softeners he and his parents had replaced at their respective homes.

Now you can have me and Kelly and Christian up for a weekend. I'm going to email you two about it. xoxo