March 23, 2007

There is a Ray of Hope in Ontario's budget. Included are rebates for home energy audits (here is a link to Ontario's new ecoEnergy Retrofit program) and a campaign of people going to door to door to install energy efficient light bulbs in your front porch light! This article also includes a link to a breakdown on the $125 million in environmental commitments in the budget.

End of Week Seven

The Year Without Toilet Paper : This is a really interesting article from the NY Times.

No Impact Man : This is the blog from the family in the above article. Good reading!

Here is an update about my weekly changes and how well or not well I have been keeping them.

Week #1 - at least one meatless meal a week - I have had this dang manicotti recipe on my menu week after week, and I never get around to making it. It is good, but fussy and time seems to have been at a premium around here lately. So I haven't been doing well with this one really. My day care kids have meatless lunches quite regularly, but the goal was really for my own family meals.

Week #2 - not to buy paper napkins - This has been easy because I have a big bag of napkins here to use up. I have purchased a beautiful set of cloth napkins at the thrift store that I will use for company. I am still on the look out for the perfect every day cloth napkins. I think I want them to be black... to hide stains. I found some new black ones but would much prefer to buy used.

Week #3 - wash out and reuse milk bags - This is going very well. I have found that stuffing a dish towel inside the bag and just letting it sit is the fastest way to dry the bag. It will dry in a few hours that way. I have also found myself washing out ziplock bags, something I was too lazy to do before.

Week #4 - no more plastic bags from stores - Dummy that I am... I now am the owner of six lovely bins that fit in my shopping cart. Shop, place items in bins. Get to check out, pack items back into bins. Put bins in car. Take bins from car to house. Empty bins. It really is very easy.
But I FORGOT to bring them with me last week. Furthermore, I am still not in the habit of asking for no bag from other stores. I really need to work on this one.

Week #5 - I didn't choose a new goal this week... just worked on previous ones.

Week #6 - trash walk around the neighbourhood. I have not done this yet.

Week #7 - start composting again - I finally emptied out our coffee can and it now lives on the counter top. There are a few things inside. Yesterday I had to pick out a banana peel from the garbage can and put it in the compost can. It takes a while to change habits!

This week's new habit? I think I will just work on the previous ones... especially the no bag thing.

March 19, 2007

Reusable Bags

A & P stores (Food Basics, Loeb, Dominion, Ultra Mart) has a fabulous reusable bag. Someone gave me one this weekend, and it is so durable and strong! They are made from 100% recyled stuff and are machine washable. They are 99 cents! What a bargain! Go get some and never use a plastic bag again!

What to Eat?

  • corned beef, veggies, mashed potatoes
  • homemade lasagna, whole wheat rolls, salad
  • sausage casserole
  • turkey dinner (I love cooking a turkey for no reason)
  • cajun fish, rice, veggies
  • pork chops of some description, veggies, potatoes
  • manicotti (if I ever actually make this... it has been on my menu for weeks, and it is rather fussy to make, so I keep putting it off)

Visit Laura for more menu ideas.

March 17, 2007

Random Ten

I am at my sweetie's office listening to my Joe playlist and just thought I would share what comes up...

X-Ray Style - Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (Rock Art and the X-Ray Style)
Ghetto Defendant - The Clash (Combat Rock)
First Night Back in London - The Clash (Super Black Market Clash)
Sweety of the St. Moritz -101ers (Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisitied)
Version Pardner - The Clash (Sandinista)
Death or Glory - The Clash (London Calling)
Sandstorm - Joe Strummer (Walker)
Mustapha Dance - The Clash (Super Black Market Clash)
Complete Control - The Clash (The Clash)U.S.
Midnight Jam - Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros (Streetcore)

March 16, 2007

Week Six - Composting

Composting is my new green goal for next week. I want one of these. I have just used a coffee can or ice cream bucket previously. We have a composter in the back yard, and I used to take all my compost items out there, and then last spring we put in a new shed and a new fence... the composter got tucked away in a not so easy to get to spot, and I got out of the habit! So now that the snow is melted, I want to get back into this habit. It makes such great stuff to add to the garden.

You can check out the Composting Council of Canada for more information.

March 09, 2007

Random Ten

Set your digital music player to Shuffle, press Play, then list the first ten songs that appear. No skipping. Here’s my list for today:

Prenda Del Alma - Los Lobos (By the Light of the Moon)
Safe European Home - The Clash (Agora 1979)
It Don't Mean a Thing - Duke Ellington and His Orchestra (Fabulous Big Band Collection)
Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (The Number One Hits)
Protex Blue - The Clash (DeMontford Hall, Leicester, 1977)
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley (St. Elsewhere)
Love - Prince (3121)
China Girl - David Bowie (Let's Dance)
That Old Feeling - Diana Krall (Love Scenes)
I've Changed My Address - Diana Krall (The Girl in the Other Room)

Week Five

This has been a much better green week. I got back on track with washing out the milk bags, and now have quite a stash of them. They are perfect for those large bars of cheese, and because they are so thick they are great for freezing stuff.

I bought two grocery bins. I will have to take a photo of them as I can't find any on the web. I know they are made out of plastic, but I did some research and they say the plastic is at least recyclable. Did you know that the blue boxes you buy for curb pick up of your recyclables are not recyclable? D'oh! I will buy two more this week, and I have one around the house somewhere, so that makes five. That should be plenty. Last Saturday, I shopped for one week with my two bins, and I only had four plastic bags. So the five will be plenty for one week shops, and hopefully, if I pack carefully, they will be enough for two week shops.

What else? Oh, I am getting my daughter to find and save Kool-Aid Jammer packages from school lunches. My sister has the most awesome tote bag made from these packages, and I am going to make one for myself, as a library bag. I get fifteen or more kids books from the library each week, and I can never fit them in the bag I have. I can't wait to make that Kool-Aid bag! Maybe I'll make a bunch for gifts.

We didn't get the attic insulated yet. The work men came and installed the needed vents in the roof, and then came in and said there was a problem. Part of our bedroom ceiling has come away from the trusses, so we have to have that fixed before they will put in more insulation. They also said that they will remove one layer of old insulation (it looks like it has been done once before, poorly) in order to make lots of room for the new insulation.

My daily newspaper subscription ran out last week and I did not renew it. Less paper in my blue box!

My new green goal this week is to go for a "trash walk" at least once a week in my neighbourhood and pick up trash that people have thrown on the ground. I will benefit. My dogs will benefit. The neighbourhood will benefit. And I am hoping that the weather will get nicer!

March 01, 2007

End of Week Four

It hasn't been a great green week.

#1 - at least one meatless meal per week - well, I planned on it... bought the ingredients, but haven't prepared it yet.

#2 - no more paper napkins - I DID find some cloth napkins, but they are not for everyday use. But at least they are on hand now for guests coming over kind of meals. I will keep searching for exactly what I am looking for.

#3 - wash out milk bags and reuse - oh, there was a leak in one of the bags and it leaked into the main bag and things got stinky and gross and I just threw them out. Yuck.

#4 - no more plastic shopping bags - I did not do this at all this week. I didn't find any cloth bags at the thrift store, didn't get to the grocery store to look at the bins, and when we did buy stuff... the item was in a plastic bag before I even realized it!

So in light of all the difficulites this week, I am not choosing a new thing for the coming week. I will just stay with these first four and try to do better. I did bring up the idea of green power to my sweetheart... something to think about. On Monday, we are getting our attic insulated so that will probably make a big dent in the heating bill.