Thursday, October 18, 2007

Even More Progress Reporting

Days 61 - 80

Thanks to everyone for leaving me comments on how you're all doing! I love to hear how you all are making changes too! Sometimes you get to thinking you're fighting an uphill battle and that everyone else out there is drinking from styrofoam cups and then tossing them out the car window. The comments remind me that there are lots of everyday people going about their normal lives who are trying, like I am, to be a little nicer to the Earth. Thank you.

61. Buying in Bulk - I have my Costco ID card in my wallet -- it's really nice to get "carded" when I go somewhere again! Makes me feel young. I am amazed at the size of some of the items you can buy there. Once we're finished eating all the pickles, I am going to attach jar to the side of the house to be used as a solarium.

62. Throwing an Eco-Friendly Labor Day Party - We would have done this, if we had friends, but we don't, so we didn't.

63. Finding My Inspiration - Don't have to look to far for this, since one is usually on my hip and the other is riding circles around me on his tricycle.

64. Using Laundry Balls in Lieu of Fabric Softener - I gave this one a try, but honestly, the clothes were just so scratchy I couldn't stand it! When Ethan was asked about it, he told me his underwear was "pointy". Yikes. Who wants pointy underwear? I continue to use the 'balls, though, since I do think they cut down on drying time.

65. Start a Compost Pile - To paraphrase Groucho Marx, "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a compost bin". This is one change that I like and don't like, all at the same time. I went to turn the compost this week and there were HUGE maggots in it! GROSS OUT! I checked online, though, and from what I read, I think they are the larvae of "compost-dwelling soldier flies". 100% beneficial to the composting process and do not bite or grow into biters. But still, eeeewwwwwwww. I will continue to compost, but am already fearing the day next spring when I will be removing my black gold, for fear that it will be filled with critters.

66. Buying Local Seafood - This is one of my favorite changes. I LOVE the fresh fish each week and hubby does too! It's not as healthy as it should be, since my favorite recipe involves loads of butter and parmesan cheese, but ooohhhh, it's so good!

67. Giving Up Plug-In Air Fresheners - Sometimes I really miss these suckers. Mostly in the bathrooms. My candles are an ok substitute, but since they don't have the chemicals that dull your senses, they obviously don't suppress the underlying odors. *shrug* I guess that's why we don't have company over often. Well, that and the whole "no friends" thing.

68. Tell Manufacturers What You Want - I am now on three different "survey" lists for companies who want my opinions. Can you believe that? They are literally asking for it! And you know I'm not shy about giving it!

69. Forgiving Myself for Transgressions - Yeah, I definitely have a handle on this one. Maybe too good a handle as some weeks I find myself slipping up on simple things that I shouldn't be slipping up on anymore.

70. Stop Pre-Rinsing Before Loading the Dishwasher - I can deal with overflowing toilets and poop-filled gDiapers, I can ignore the fruit flies under my kitchen sink, I can even handle maggots in my compost bin. But for whatever reason, wiping food remnants off plates makes me dry-heave. -- every single time. I tried, I really did, but after two weeks of nearly delivering my own partially-digested dinner back to the sink I gave up. I use as little water as I possibly can to get the gunk off, but I definitely screamed "uncle" on this one.

71. Turning Off the Laptop During the Day - I cheat. A lot. I would say the laptop is off maybe just 50% of the time it should be. In my defense (if I'm allowed one) I only turn it on when the kids have already made their intent to ignore me clear. Only if they have decided to play with one another, are engrossed in animal rescues with Diego or are chasing the dog with wind up toys do I flick it on. It's a tough habit to break.

72. Donating To and Buying From the Habitat ReStore - Still afraid of downtown. Still have a pile of used building materials in my garage waiting to go to the ReStore. I will get there, eventually. Just give me some time to build up my courage.

73. Heating Water In the Microwave Instead of Running the Tap - Love this change! Daphne gets her cocoa at the perfect temperature every single time and I don't waste a single drop of water.

74. Taking on the 90% Challenge -It's not quite been a month yet, so I don't have the invoices from the power company and such to measure my success. I'll have to give you an update on this one later.

75. Closing the Drain Before Starting the Bathwater - Another super-easy change that doesn't even get noticed here, but still saves a goodly amount of water.

76. Repurposing All Our Stale Water - Oreo is the most eco-conscious doggy around! She is such a good girl, drinking all that stale water! Now if I could just get her to crap in the designated "poop zone", we'd be all set.

77. Re-evaluating the Products I Put on My Face - THANK YOU CAROLINE! My friend Caroline gave me a huge tip on ecologically friendly beauty products by recommending the Burt's Bees product line. I know sport their chapstick, two lip shades, shampoo and kids' baby wash. I love them all! In addition to changing my 'stick, I picked up an all-natural mascara that -- surprise, surprise -- doesn't make my eyes water like every other mascara I've ever owned. I've also invested in Bioelements, a naturally-derived foundation / blush kit (yeah, it's a kit -- lots of wands, brushes and containers... makes me feel like a mad scientist with all that stuff). I don't know if it has the same coverage and shine control, but it's ok. I don't have blush or eyeshadow yet, but I'll find them!

78. Using a Coffee Carafe to Keep My Java Hot - Lovin' this change too. I no longer have to choke down that last bit of burnt-flavored coffee at 10 am. My coffee truly is good to the last drop now.

79. Live Simply so Others Can Simply Live (Crunchy Chicken Solidarity) - I am happy to report that Mr. Crunchy Chicken is now home from the hospital and is doing much better. Mrs. Crunchy Chicken is back to posting and you can check her out here.

80. Update My Voter Registration - I'm ready to vote next month! Well, I will be once I finish educating myself about the candidates. I have been trying to keep up with the local politics here but I really need to just take the time, sit down and read through their stances on all the issues that are important to me. Can you guess what they are?

As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, I'll be taking some time off now to go see my family in New York. I'll be offline until Monday, hope you all have a great one!

- Erin


Jennifer said...

Hope you enjoyed your trip north. I'm already yearning for spring and the first trip back to open up Camp.

Thanks for the FYI on the dryer balls. I was wondering...


leslie said...

Erin, #69 is the biggie!
You are doing such a good job. If half the people did half of what you're doing... OK. You do the math.

Heather said...

Dude - Biolelements - that's the product I tried to GIVE YOU a few months ago and you said no!