Continuing on my quest to be better to the world and myself, to lower my carbon footprint (whatever the hell that means) and to just be more self sufficient and more conscious of waste, I have run into a few things that are driving me crazy.
Choke a fish or kill a tree? Whatever happened to paper or plastic? Now, regardless of which one I choose, I am wrong and evil. I have tree hugging, dreadlock wearing, T-shirt slogan sporting teenage grocery baggers making me feel guilty about how I'm going to get my groceries home. Mind you, my groceries alone are already packaged in 20 lbs of processed, chemical enhanced, non-biodegradable plastics, not to mention all the additives and chemicals that are actually IN the food itself. We don't dwell on that. Baby steps. So I bought some reusable bags. Just so you know, when you go into a store with those bags, the cashiers HATE you. Unless you're shopping at one of the "environmental" stores. I have talked to a number of cashiers at various stores and nothing makes them cringe more than having to bag up someones groceries in those things. Here's the number one reason - people don't give them the bags until they've already started bagging. So, if you are going to use those bags, be sure to tell the cashier before they start. They will hate you less. Or shop at Winco where you bag your own stuff. Then you can do it however you want. My biggest problem seems to be remembering to take them with me.
My other dilemma is that I have found two websites that I love and are chock full of information but I do not want to spend my time at home sitting on the computer. First of all, I do that all day at work. Secondly, I am trying to reduce my energy consumption at home. On the other hand, ordering magazines just creates more paper. For the record if you're looking to do some Urban Homesteading check out Mother Earth News and Backwoods Homes. Both of them are fantastic. Jackie Clay is my modern day heroine. That woman has forgotten more about canning and self reliance than I will ever learn. I think I will probably still end up ordering the magazines. I'll call it part of my entertainment budget.
I am on my way to getting the garden started. I ordered my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and they just arrived. They are a fantastic company and they send you a package of free seeds with your order. Now, last year they sent me a package of Thai Yellow Eggplant. While I appreciated the thought, I live in Idaho and those seeds had other ideas about the type of climate they'd like to grow in. No go on the tropical eggplants, but this year they sent me Parisienne carrots. Yay! Those I can grow. I'll be putting up a list of what's going in the garden (mostly to make my step dad jealous, since he's not putting in a garden this year).
I have two other environmental goals to accomplish this year. Number one, I am starting my own compost pile in a spare garden bed. Compost is expensive! Much better to make your own. The other goal is to reduce my energy consumption, at least during the summer and fall, by putting in a clothesline. I remember as a little kid I used to love running around in the clothesline with the damp sheets hanging down. Ahh, nostalgia. I have no doubt that will fade the first time I go to make my bed and there's a wasp in my sheets.
I have spring fever so bad it's killing me. I've already starting buying the stuff to put in vertical beds and amend my soil. That accomplishes two things - it helps me feel like I'm moving in the right direction and spring is getting closer, and it also prevents having to put out a lump sum of money to get the garden in. Soon, very soon......