Towards a darker shade of Green: Feb edition

Having noted the date, it's probably now obvious to all and sundry that "punctuality" wasn't on my 2009 Goals list. But even though it's more than half-way through March (good Lord!), I still want to do a "environmental inventory" for February. As you will see shortly, the procrastination in posting might have been due to the fact that I wasn't doing too well in the Green Arena last month... But confession is good for the soul. My goals for February were:

1. When purchasing spinach and apples, only buy organic. Hurrah! This one gets a check mark.... during the month of February, I only purchased organic apples and spinach. And by organic I mean pesticide/chemical free -- a distinction I draw because my boyfriend balks at the term "organic," since all living things are by definition "organic matter." Touche my dear.. now hurry up and hop on the wagon with me! :P

2. Research what vegetables are most foolproof, and decide whether to buy a potato bin grower thing. Errr... unfortunately this one I utterly failed to complete last month. We have decided on some of the vegetables we want to plant, and are definitely going to purchase a couple potato bins, but all that deciding only happened yesterday... However it is done, so check mark none the less.

3. Purchase petri dishes to test first batch of homemade cleaners as scientifically as possible Sigh. I didn't get this one done either. However, though I can't scientifically verify the fact as of yet, I have every reason to believe that my homemade cleaners are working beautifully. I've been using them regularly and even my fastidious side has been completely satisfied with the results.

4. Consistently use alternative transportation for commute at least four days a week. Ok well... I fell short of the four days a week for sure. According to the log-site, during the month of February I chose non-driving options 16 times. Which sounds really good initially, but they're counting to work and back as two "trips", so it actually means I only carpooled or took the bus twice a week on average. Not so hot... I was doing better at this one in January. However, 8 days of alternative commuting does add up to 48 miles worth of eliminated driving, so it still counts for something.

5. Use canvas bags for grocery shopping at least every other trip. This one I also didn't quite accomplish... however I figured out why not! My paranoid psyche was uncomfortable with taking my Publix-logo-ed canvas bags into Publix, for fear that the register clerk would try to charge me for them a second time, or perhaps would think I was a hippy thief who just popped the tags off that one item before proceeding to pay for the rest of my groceries. Hey I've never claimed that my paranoias make sense, ok? But anyway, I was ending up with plastic bags at certain stores because of that, and the issue was easily solved by stocking up on canvas bags during a sale at Walgreen's. No room for trouble there! And hopefully a higher success rate on this item in the future.

6. Make a new batch of homemade laundry detergent. Hurrah, another check mark! My boyfriend and I whipped up another batch of laundry gel a week or two into February, and if anything it turned out better than our first one did. We still had "ingredients" left from that batch, and have plenty for another few too. The first one lasted me somewhere between four and six months, so I won't need to repeat this item for a while.

Last but not least, the best 'repurposing' tip I found during February was the idea of using coffee filters to cover food in the microwave. I had a whole package of coffee filters that were too small for my coffee drinking needs and had been on the verge of heedlessly tossing them out, so I was very excited to find and utilize this tip.

Alas. Honesty is very painful. Despite my good intentions at the beginning of February, I only managed to reach three of my six goals. This probably means I should whittle them down a bit for March. I can't decide whether the month already being half over is a good thing or not...

My "green" goals for March are as follow:

1. Add potatoes to my list of organic switch-overs, joining spinach and apples.

2. Buy vegetable seedlings and potato bins; till garden; plant seedlings if appropriate for type

3. Purchase petri dishes (I still think this would be a fun experiment). Use only homemade cleaners, and environmentally-friendly dishwasher detergent (my weak point... so expensive. =/)

4. Use alternative transportation at least three times a week. (Preferably four)

5. Use canvas bags while shopping at least every other trip (for reals this time yo)

6. If adding any lamps in my new place, use only CFL light bulbs; switch over existing light bulbs in kitchen fixture as well.

7. Find and execute an idea regarding a new use for something that would otherwise be thrown away.

I have two weeks (less, but don't point that out to me) to get moving! Anybody relate, or have encouragement, or green 'repurposing' ideas I should try? Let me know -- I want to hear! :)


  1. That's so awesome of you to make your own cleansers! Or should I say, that's so MARTHA of you?!? ;)

  2. What's your recipe for making your own laundry detergent? I would love to be able to make my own, is it pretty easy?

  3. i think we're all eager to know this detergent recipe! you are awesome!

    you need to come over some time and get some seedlings from us. i think we'll have way more than we need, once they're big enough to transplant. plus, i'd really love to have you over anyway.

  4. It's a great idea that you're doing monthly goals. It's so much easier to track your accomplishments! I might shamelessly steal this idea from you :)


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