Thursday, January 31, 2008
I don't need a nap, I've finished my book, there are some other rowing things I could be attending to but frankly I'm just not interested.
You know, 'greening' up my life has really been pretty easy. There isn't anything at home that I'm struggling with. I don't miss the dryer. I like the way my clothes smell when they are dried on the line (even in the basement). Recycling has been pretty easy. The drop off place is close and I've almost got all of the cardboard out of the basement. This new awareness has sparked cleaning and organization like you wouldn't believe! Being more conscious of my driving habits has resulted in more time at home which has allowed me to read more...not to mention the great napping!
Life at the fire station...well, that is another world all together.
Both the rig and the ambulance were crazy dirty this morning and needed to be washed. The spray nozzel for the hose leaks so bad that you can't use it with out getting soaked. This means the hose runs most of the time we are washing the rig...makes me crazy but I can't figure a real way around it short of talking one of the guys into standing in the back of the bay, turning it on and off for us. (not gonna happen!)
The apparatus bay is the big garage where we park the rigs. Why it needs a big industrial heater is beyond me and why, in God's name, why are firefighters given access to the thermostat?? It should be set at a temp that will allow the rigs to start, the water in the pump not to freeze and to keep the back of the ambulance at a temperature that allows it to be warmed quickly for a patient...I think 60 degrees is plenty and I think we could do with 50 degrees.
I need to leave the bay thermostat alone or someone's gonna slug me...
Then there is the recycling issue. I try to get a hold of recyclable items before they are put in the trash. (I WILL NOT dig in the trash for stuff). In a few weeks, after the thermostat issue has died down I plan to quietly bring in a container for recyclables. My guys will probably use it with much eye rolling and humphing. But the other two shifts...forget it!
But I will press on....
And lastly I will answer a few of MUD's questions:
- I believe it is better to eat what you buy. Buying what you don't need is the ultimate in wasteful consumerism.
- The producer that maximizes his effort and minimizes his costs does a better job for his bottom line.
- Yes, I paid $5.99 for two beautiful heirloom tomatoes. I will not eat the waxy winter tomatoes. These were 1-local, 2-fresh and 3-soooo yummy! I would imagine that this farmer does not have a large carbon footprint.
- Oatmeal cookies are great if you use a lot of cinnamon, real butter, dark chocolate chips and don't over cook them. They should be soft.
Posted by Jenn at 11:30 AM
and no, I don't even want to talk about it...so don't even start.
(K-State played a very good game. There has been a lot of talk about Beasly being the only player they have. I disagree...)
Posted by Jenn at 10:10 AM
Posted by Jenn at 9:26 AM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Today I shopped in the crazy snow. Nuts but I was already out and need to do some restocking. The cupboards were mighty bare.
I bought apples from Washington because I couldn't find any from anywhere closer...so when I went to look at pears...also from Washington...I bought some thinking, maybe, just maybe they all came on the same truck (smiles, knowing that she's full of s*%t).
I was hungry for some cookies and was not happy with the packaging of any of the cookie choices so I purchased oatmeal (in cardboard) and made my own cookies when I got home. I had everything else I needed and boy are they better than anything I can buy! (MUD, they are pretty close to Uncle Chuck's Chocolate Chip cookies).
I did purchase some hydroponic heirloom tomatoes grown here in Kansas. They are beautiful but $5.99 a pound!
The peanut butter options had me very disappointed. My favorite Creamy Jiff only comes in plastic as do really all the other major brands. I purchased an organic peanut butter for $3.99 when my Jiff was on sale for $1.89.
I'd like to explore some fair trade coffee. But I ended up with a local coffee (Roasterie) which I like but is probably responsible for the death of the song birds. At least it's local company. (this paragraph has been edited for errors, thanks GB)
I did forget my bags so I chose paper and it was interesting watching the checker as she tried to keep my dirty potatoes from touching my Washington apples and then having to remind the sacker that I didn't need the veggies in a plastic bag...crazy!
I bought less than normal to keep from wasting things I buy but don't get around to eating but I spent a bit more because the greener options are often more expensive. I hope it will maybe all even out.
Posted by Jenn at 6:35 PM
Friday, January 25, 2008
Posted by Jenn at 6:59 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Did I do enough yesterday to deserve to lie on the futon reading this afternoon?
Do you do this to yourself? Geesh, I sure do.
Seems I hold myself to such higher standards (I guess that's okay). I had to mentally make a list of all the productive things I've done in the last 24 hours.
- Swept and mopped.
- Blogged (I did that yesterday didn't I?)
- Lunched with the Petty girls and had meaningful conversation.
- Hung shelves in the kitchen.
- Picked up the library book that had been waiting for me.
- Dropped an entire carload full of stuff at the salvation army.
- Watched American Idol, SuperNanny and Project Runway.
- Began cleaning out the freezer.
- Took an entire carload of recycling to the recycling center.
Why, oh why, do I feel guilty about staying on the futon under many blankets on a 10 degree day....screw it...I'll be on the futon if anyone needs me. Guilt free!
Posted by Jenn at 10:10 AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Rethink is obvious...at least by now, I sure hope so.
I freakin think about EVERYTHING!! (except that styrofoam cup of coffee I had this morning after a itty bitty house fire at 6am)
Reduce is next. Reduce what we purchase, reduce what we throw away, reduce how much food we prepare (which often gets thrown away), reduce how much we rely on the car for our transportation (or at least be more mindful of our travels). Below is my trash for 1 whole week! (prior to the manic basement cleaning)
Reuse creates opportunity for creativity. I am now using my paper towel holder to dry ziplock bags. (yes, I have become the crazy lady who washes plastic bags...I have not, however, began reusing tinfoil...there are limits)
Recycle well...duh. If you haven't got that yet, you've not been paying attention!
(and just a ps...there is a water main break on my street so my water is turned off and now the gas company is here to replace my gas meter and they will be turning my gas off...I'm almost living utility free right now!!)
Posted by Jenn at 9:34 AM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Okay, I get why this holiday is important. I admire MLK and all that he did for all of us. I do, really.
But right now I'm mostly just annoyed.
See, in the world of the BIG RED TRUCKS we don't get regular holidays like so many of you. Mind you, I'm not complaining. I get more time off than most unemployed people I know. It does not suck!
So that makes this day pretty much like any other.
No trash pickup.
The recycling center is closed.
The Salvation Army is closed.
The library is closed.
The bank is closed.
I spent all day yesterday (and I mean ALL DAY) cleaning the basement. I have piles of stuff to got to the recycling center. I have several boxes for the Salvation Army. I have created twice as much trash in one day as I have in the last two weeks. But it will all have to wait.
So...I thought to myself..."self, why don't you go to the library and pick up that book you requested that is waiting to be picked up. You can spend the day on the futon reading".
But, no...dang library is closed.
And the bank. Which was something else I need to do.
So I'm just annoyed.
Posted by Jenn at 7:20 AM
Friday, January 18, 2008
Posted by Jenn at 11:59 AM
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Posted by Jenn at 5:39 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Well there are two ways to answer that question.
Green is kinda fun. Green is much harder than I thought.
Here is a small list of my current 'green' thoughts.
- Recycling is going to be easier than I thought. The recycle place is on my way home from work and it just takes me a few minutes to put the stuff in the car when I leave for work and stop on my way home the next morning. The sorting and storage at home seem to be working as well. I am floored by the amount of paperboard (cereal boxes and the like) and paper I generate. The next step is to see if I can drastically cut the amount of crap that comes in the mail.
- Not purchasing non recyclable items is (excuse the french) a real bitch! Hanging out with Austin and Andrew seems to be the biggest challenge. Andrew knows I'm an easy mark and always needs a snack.
- I still don't get the whole 'only #1 and #2 plastic with a neck'. What is that all about...
- Cutting my energy and water use has so far been fun. Trying to see how long each day I can go with out turning on a light, using water I boiled potatoes in to water the plants. planning a clothesline for the back yard and hanging laundry in the basement (I already had this system set up from when my dryer died).
- There are paper towel issues at the station. I can't seem to figure out how to clean the bathroom here without paper towels. At home I use Clorox wipes (I know but I'm NOT giving them up). The guys are so gross...it's an issue.
- I love taking my grocery bags to the store...and watching Steve carry them back to the fire truck!
- This little project of mine has generated so many great conversations with my friends and families. Many already do a lot...some are doing more.
- I'm anxious for Farmer's Market season. I'd really like to explore eating local. I have been making my purchases at the grocery with more thought to 'where' my food is coming from.
- Not only have I not added any more crap to my overstuffed house, I have made one trip to the goodwill and have another pile ready to go tomorrow.
And on another note it's getting close to rowing season....just a little over 4 weeks until the kids start back for the spring!
Posted by Jenn at 3:45 PM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I was on the phone with Kimmy last night while she was putting Andrew to bed.
He's a chatty little guy and I heard him say "We need to see Cousin Stephen all the time. I can talk to him about recycling.
Maybe it's like a carbon offset. I buy him the chocolate doughnut in the plastic bag and he talks to other little kids about recycling....
Posted by Jenn at 6:59 AM
Monday, January 14, 2008
Posted by Jenn at 9:19 AM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
We've talked about why we won't go to McDonald's (we'll bring snacks in the car). About why it's important to turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth. I remind him to turn lights off when he leaves a room. We even have reusable cups in the car now for soda stops.
Today he helped me with the recycling. We gathered it from around the house. Talked about the difference between paperboard and cardboard. He read the number on the bottom of the plastic so we were sure we only took the right kind. He helped me put all the items in their correct bin at the recycling center.
On our way home from Lawrence this afternoon, where we freecycled a cartop carrier and lunched with my Mom using cloth napkins brought from home and our reusable cups, he fell asleep. Not wanting to wake him up and hoping he'd get a small nap I drove around for 45 minutes. Polluting the environment.
So far it's a draw.
Posted by Jenn at 4:16 PM
Have any of you purchased those little 100 calorie packs of...well, just about everything. I have.
For me they are nothing but a convenience, I'll admit. Nice for taking my lunch to work, carrying in my purse or the car.
I know, I know. They are more expensive and create a great deal of packaging waste per item.
So here is my dilemma.
I can't buy the individual packages of Cheezits because they create too much packaging waste.
I can't use ziplock bags to portion out the big boxes because ziplock bags are evil.
Little plastic containers are...well...plastic.
If I buy a big box I rarely finish it before they are stale. Thus creating waste when I toss uneaten food.
Do I have to give up cheezits to save the planet?
Where will the madness end!!!
Posted by Jenn at 7:25 AM
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Today, instead of letting our rig idle while we shopped for tonight's dinner, I turned it off.
Now...normally my captain doesn't come into the grocery store with us. He waits in the truck. The running truck. When I turned it off he looked at me and I cheerfully said "Saving the world one fire truck at a time."
Then I hopped down and headed into the store, canvas grocery bags in hand.
He thinks I'm nuts.
Posted by Jenn at 7:05 PM
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I've found some great blogs and websites (I'll be linking these soon) and done probably too much reading. All of this information is making my head spin!
I took dish towels and cloth napkins to the station on Monday and we used very few paper towels. I didn't use any and the guys were good sports but I'm sure they think I'm crazy.
Dinner at a friend's house on Sunday night had me drinking out of a plastic cup and it bugged me. I don't want to be one of those people who annoys everyone but I can't get it out of my mind.
I've only filled 1/4 of a trash bag this week. Interesting...
It will be interesting to see how my energy use changes. I'll track my bills and keep you posted.
How many times can you wear a pair of jeans before you wash them? Unless they have actual dirt on them or smell...I'm on day 3. Bonus-they are comfortably stretched out.
This morning before I had any coffee I left the kitchen with the lights on and the TV on AND put a yogurt cup in the trash not the recycling. Horror! (Just kidding) But it does illustrate how difficult it is to change behavior.
I have discovered that at night I will need to leave a few well placed lights on so I don't break my neck walking around in a pitch dark house. Or get a good flashlight!
What are you doing that is 'Green'?
Posted by Jenn at 8:01 AM
Monday, January 07, 2008
Posted by Jenn at 8:33 AM
Saturday, January 05, 2008
1. No more paper towels. Or paper napkins. I have dish towels and cloth napkins.
2. Lights off unless needed. Same with the water when brushing my teeth, washing dishes and the big one...washing my fire truck.
3. Replace all light bulbs with those weird looking ones.
4. Begin to recycle. This one is going to take a little work. We don't yet have curbside recycling and I need to create a space in the garage to put recyclables. If you've been to my house you know that space is at a premium. And the recyclables will need to be out of dog's reach.
5. No more bottled water. I have a water bottle. And I'm going to try to wean the rowing club off as well.
6. I will ride my bike to work at least once when the weather gets warmer. If it's workable to ride regularly I will do so.
7. I will do my best to be aware of and try to buy local and/or organic. But not to the point it gets nutty. When I have the option and it's not a huge cost.
8. I will unplug things that don't need to be plugged in all the time.
9. I will not shop for unneeded crap. See
A Year Off. She inspires me!
10. I will carpool with my sister to Lawrence even when it means driving to her house and adding 20 minutes to my trip.
Posted by Jenn at 11:56 AM