Towards a darker shade of... green. A monthly environmental awareness inventory.Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Over the last six months my shade of green has deepened considerably. Six months ago I had a lukewarm, half-imaginary commitment to recycling that manifested in only sporadic trips to the recycling center. I liberally used commercial cleaning products and paper goods with only occasional pangs of conscience, and I hardly ever put to use the canvas grocery bags I had bought on a whim. I did walk to work nearly every day though, bought a lot of my clothes at thrift store or on ebay, and was managing to keep two plants alive for the first time since Ophelia III died at the paws of my cat (rest in peace, oh glorious, though perpetually bloom-less, daisy!). However, since becoming more aware and moving to a part of the city with curbside recycling pickup (the angels sing!), things have changed considerably. Recycling, for example, I regard with a fervent passion that recently sent me on a thirty-minute internet goose-chase trying to discover what type of plastic my old contact case was made of, so I could dispose of it with a clear conscience. Emboldened by the huge success my boyfriend and I had at making my own laundry detergent, I am presently transitioning into solely homemade and natural cleaning products as well (more reports on that on that topic to come, as I discover what works best). I have resolved to use only recycled paper products and environmentally safe dishwasher detergent, but have only partially stayed faithful to that aim... I confess to straying momentarily after being tempted by "coupon + sale = free" toilet paper and a "c+s=.75" box of Cascade. (Oh I am weak, so very weak!) I'm also currently trying to coax four baby herb plants into feeling at home on my windowsill. In any case, great strides have been made, and I hope will continue further.
Goals for this year:
Go organic on the all the majors, as listed here by the Environmental Working Group
Plan and execute a small kitchen garden
Use only recycled paper products and natural cleaning products.
Consistently use alternative transportation and walk to destination whenever possible.
Always use canvas grocery bags, unless deliberately "restocking" plastic bags to use as wastebasket liners.
Goals for February:
When purchasing spinach and apples, only buy organic.
Research what vegetables are most foolproof, and decide whether to buy a potato bin grower thing.
Purchase petri dishes to test first batch of homemade cleaners as scientifically as possible (ha! I'm not even kidding...)
Consistently use alternative transportation for commute at least four days a week.
Use canvas bags for grocery shopping at least every other trip.
Make a new batch of homemade laundry detergent.
Am I missing anything horribly important and/or blatantly obvious? I'm excited to have disembodied cyber accountability with all this... Also, I've yet to name my herbs. For now I'm going to try to steer clear of the names of any Shakespeare heroines who went insane and died tragically (that's a weighty heritage for any plant, and none of my herbs appear to be sufficiently hardy or personable for that as of yet), but I would love suggestions. The herbs are basil, cilantro, dill, and chives. The cilantro is the most enthusiastic so far, with the poor lil chives working hard to peek over the edge of the pot.
For some more ideas and input on green resolutions for the new year look here. Granted, it's published by 7th Generation, so they aren't exactly unbiased...
Posted by Sarah Eliza