Wednesday, May 30, 2007

low impact anxiety

first, hello to new friends clicking over from crunchy chicken (also linked on the right there, for your surfing convenience). if you haven't read her, she makes you think about what you're doing or not doing to be more eco-friendly, but doesn't make you feel like a jerk. don't we all need a little more of that in our lives? more nudging, less judging? so, low impact week. i won't lie to you: the choices i decided to make won't exactly be easy. this is why i have a blog! support and accountability for this kind of thing. let's review my choices, shall we? line dry your clothes instead of using the dryer* is it cheating if we just don't wash towels that week? i normally toss the bath towels in every week, but we have plenty in the rotation. their drying rate (indoors, at least) just can't outpace the moldy smell that can take hold in wet towels. oh well. outside of sharing the neighbor's clothesline, we'll just trade towels out. take shorter showers and/or use a water saving showerhead hm, that's fine. except in the morning, when i'm too tired to remember things like conservation. a girl can only do her best. and maybe make a case for leg waxing? (this is a good question for our friend at crunchy chicken) minimize pre-packaged foods and make more of your own from scratch on my honor, i will do my best to use NO NEW PLASTIC. (yes, i WAS a girl scout.) this may become an issue at the farmer's market, where they like to pre-bag your greens, but i'll weasel around it. is this a midwest thing? in portland and eugene (oregon), they would normally just have bins of produce, and weigh everything after the fact. here, everything is pre-measured. lots of it is, anyway. compost your food waste and soiled paper products* as soon as we get the 5-gallon buckets from the community garden, this is in effect. can't wait! will it keep raccoons out of the garbage? that remains to be seen. take the bus or other public transportation to work and on errands* ooh, this is tough. i will have to wake up - get this - an extra ten minutes earlier. it's harder in practice than on paper. confession: i can get to work whenever i want between 8 and 9. before 8:30 is just my chosen timeframe. this is an office "best boss ever" situation which i appreciate every day. sign up for an alternative energy plan if available in your area the budget can handle it, but can the husband? i left this one out on my earlier post: don't use paper towels; when you can, use cloth napkins or towels instead (e.g. public restrooms)* public restrooms, huh? like, at work? oooh, friends. will this go over? my reading on the office quirky scale is already quivering in the orange zone, what with my refusal to use a styrofoam bowl that one time, and the vegetarianism and all. and i don't like to wear shoes when i'm not with a client. sue me. cloth napkins will be procured for home use. i will look into reusable towels for the bathroom at work. the community garden supervisor razed all the weeds in the plot next to mine, and now mine is officially the saddest-looking plot in the place. this weekend, if it's not too rainy, some serious food is going into that plot. i envision carrots. i envision marigolds next to my tomatoes. i envision whatever they're selling at the market on saturday. it's going to be a beautiful thing pretty soon, strawberries or no.


John said...

I'm not sure about not uing paper towels in public bathrooms due to the number of microbes on every surface in there. At home, it makes a lot more sense, although there are still questions about using cloth towels when cooking with meat (not something you have to worry about, but we do).

kelley said...

how about just bringing a bandana in the bathroom with you? and aren't there microbes on every surface, everywhere? my organic housekeeping book says that kitchen counters are just about as dirty as it gets.
i sometimes fish my co-worker's empty pop bottles out of the bathroom trash after she leaves, and microbes have never crossed my mind!

Gretchen said...

I love Kelly's confession about fishing bottles out of the trash. I do it, too, and am fine with people rolling their eyes at me. As for the bathroom, wash, shake and drip dry (your hands of course.)

Oldnovice said...

I'm with John on this one. We've come a long way as a species regarding warding off infection and disposables help us do this. There's NO WAY I'll go back to hankies (for instance) now that anti-viral disposable tissues have been marketed. IMO, if you use a cloth to dry your hands and then open the door (if there's a door that needs opening), the next time you do that you're putting the germs from the door on your hands when you wipe them. It'd be better to use a disposable towel to open the door and then put it in a container for adding to the compost pile. If there's no door, you can just shake off your hands; they should dry shortly on their own.

kelley said...

it's required for me to argue with john's points because he's my older brother. hi john!
drip-dry is a good technique if you can push the door open with your back or hip (and you're not looking to shake any hands in the near future). i do like to use a paper towel to open a handle, though. maybe i'll just stay conscious of how much paper towel i'm using. 6 inches of towel can do the trick as well as the 2 feet some people pull out.
we've been using kitchen towels for napkins at dinner, and that's saving us a little paper. i'll post a little about my other paper towl concerns.