Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Days 76-77 Daily life stuff

Day 76 - Natural laundry detergent
Yesterday Trudi did the laundry, and to a bit of relief we finally finished up our chemical detergent last week, so we could evolve and purchase Ecover's natural laundry detergent. They use plant based ingredients, it's quickly and completely biodegradable, has minimum to no impact on aquatic life and it was never tested on animals.

Day 77 - Wrap and reuse aluminum
I was always right in thinking aluminum is fairly abundant, so never worried to much about it. But the mining harms the environment and the process of manufacturing it is quite energy intensive, so I washed off last night aluminum and rerolled it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 64-75 No internet is tough

Day 64 - No electric heating pad
Working on building the small house and moving, and carrying video equipment, I have come
accustomed to using the heating pad to relax my muscles. These use a lot of electricity. No more. On another note, it's hard to update this site with no internet. When I'm at work I have to do work. When I go to the library I have to run in and out. I'm doing my best. Never fear, the challenge trucks on, even if you don't hear from me for a few days.

Day 65 - No more dehumidifier
Since we turned off the air conditioning it gets quite humid in our apartment. We occasionally used the dehumidifier to get the moisture out. Energy killer. No more.

Day 66 - Let hair air dry
No more blow dryer eating up the electricity.

Day 67 - No more Swiffer
These things are really a waste. Use the pad, throw it out, grab another and repeat. Not to mention the chemicals in their sprays. Bad. No more. Now we use towels. We don't have too much floor space anyway.

Day 68 - Use natural biodegradable hand wash at home
We used to do this, then we moved into an apartment with a huge supply of dial hand wash. Time to get rid and get hand wash with no parabens, artificial colors or fragrances, that's 100% biodegradable. Kiss My Face.

Day 69 - Cook at a gentle boil not rolling
I've always cooked at a rolling boil. Turn the burner knob all the way up and leave it up during the entire cooking process. I made some veggies on Tuesday and cooked at
about 3 on the dial, instead of 10.

Day 70 - Squeeze the toothpaste
For our wedding Trudi and I got toothpaste squeeze clips. I found them, so I can scrape out the last drops of the toothpaste in hopes of buying and using less tubes. I was about to kick the tube 2 weeks ago, and it's still producing.

Day 71 - Wear clothing twice or more
When I get home from work I carefully take my shirts and slacks off and hang them neatly back in the closet so I can wear them again in a few days, saving on the amount of cloths I wash.

Day 72 - Write a book
I started writing a book last Friday about my attempt to save the planet. I feel that if I can find a publisher, a few people might read it and try, in their own way, to save the planet. As of this morning I was over 3,000 words. I have no idea what that means, except that I'm serious. If it comes to fruition would you want pictures or no pictures?

Day 73 - Buy green birthday gifts
I went to Savannah on Saturday to celebrate my father's birthday. We ate at a local organic
restaurant that grows there own produce and raises free-range chickens. Yum. On the way we stopped at the farmers market and bought him a Miranda, a carnivorous plant grown locally. They eat mosquitos. My birthday is in a week, and he bought me a new composter. Word.

Day 74 - No more styrofoam
On the way back from Savannah I was thirsty and almost bought a sweet tea, which comes in a styrofoam cup. I turned it down. Bad styro.

Day 75 - Use natural mouthwash
No more harmful Listerine. This stuff contains no parabens, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or animal ingredients.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Days 57-63: 2 Months

Day 57 - Carpool
Any time it's possible, carpool. On Thursday my friends and I had a movie screening in Orlando at the Plaza Cinema Cafe downtown. A small group of us were going down (about 2-2.5 hour drive). We all got off work at separate times so the easiest thing to do would be to meet down in Orlando. This would mean multiple cars doing the work one could handle. Bad. We decided to hang and wait and get off early to accomplish the environmental saving feat. We will continue this trend!

Day 58 - No more paper towels
I used to own a cafe, which closed a little over
a year ago. We had cases of paper towels and napkins left over so I have been using them up over the past year. We finally ran out of paper towels, and I put it on my list to purchase from
Whole Foods. Dumb. I didn't actually buy them. I found two washcloths in our bathroom closet and they have become the kitchen towels. There is one for the floor and one for counter tops.

Day 59 - No disposables at parties
I've pretty much sworn off disposables altogether, but this stuck out like a sore thumb. I went to my friend Curtis's birthday party this weekend and they had tea and chips I ate and drank for nourishment. Here's the thing about parties, no one wants to clean up a mess, so they use disposable cups and plates. I instead went to my car and grabbed my steel water bottle and filled it with yummy tea, and just grabbed as many chips as I could fit in my hands. I did feel better.

Day 60 - Repair ruined clothes
With a new school year starting up I would usually buy a few clothes to get my wardrobe up to speed for the year. New shoes, a couple new shirts and slacks, to replace old worn out clothes.
Instead, this year I spent Sunday at the sewing machine fixing torn clothes and missing buttons. No new anything! Good for the purse and the environment. And the sewing machine is borrowed, thanks Oakley!

Day 61 - Pack no-waste lunches
With the co-op food in full swing, I've got great fruits and homemade breads for lunch. Usually I would wrap the fruits and breads in saran wrap or use sandwich baggies. Not this year. I am using old Earth Balance butter containers instead. And no napkins, I am using my sewn hand-towels instead. Woot.

Day 62 - Unplug electronics at work
This day marks 2 months of the challenge, and still going strong. This seems like a challenge I should have been doing all along. The problem is, my school wants us to leave on our computers overnight for updates and whatever else. I got crap for turning my computer off overnight last year, a lot of crap. I'm in a new building now and I'm trying it again. I've plugged everything in my office to power strips, and I'm turning the strips off when I leave the office for the day.

Day 63 - Make my own salad dressing
I was noticing every couple of weeks I was buying a new bottle of dressing, wasting the small bottles. No longer. Trudi bought a huge vat of Vegenaise (grapeseed oil) and with it I can make months worth of dressing with just the one jar, which I reuse since it's got a big enough mouth that I can clean it thoroughly after each use.