Thursday, October 18, 2007

More Progress Report

Days 41 - 60

It's funny. When I started on this new progress report, I thought about all the failures I have had along the way and was almost certain my misses would outnumber my hits. However, I am surprisingly pleased to see that, upon further inspection, most of my changes are actually sticking. Furthermore, the majority of them don't even feel wierd to me anymore. This must be what it feels like to "get crunchy". ;-)

41. No More ATM or Gas Reciepts - I keep saying "no" to every ATM or gas pump that asks. It's like dating again, but with kiosks. The only thing to watch out for is the "fast cash" option on the ATM. It never gives you a prompt for the reciept -- it just automatically spits one out. Don't fall for the fast cash!

42. Teach My Kids About The Environment - This is going so well! I think it's because the kids are like sponges and whatever you do, they want to do too. Ethan loves to be on "light patrol", and they both love to go on nature walks and watch the recycle truck in action. Ethan has gone so far as to tell me that a lot of his toys are plastic and that plastic is bad. ;-) Cute. We'll see how he feels come Christmas time, though!

43. Participate in Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup - This has been a very dry summer/fall in Central Virginia. Except, of course, for the weekend of September 15th when it rained like a bastard! We did have reservations to stay at our favorite state park, situated on the Chesapeake Bay, but we just couldn't bear the thought of trying to camp with the kids in the rain. :-( Instead, we went on a nature walk that Sunday and Mommy picked up trash near the shoreline of our reservoir.

44. Don't Buy Anything New for a Year (or Month) - This is The Compact that I speak of so often and it's hard as hell. I have GREAT respect for the compactors out there who are making this work. I was able to do it for one month, but fell off the wagon hard and have not gotten back on yet. I'm thinking I'll try in January as a New Year's Resolution. After all, our American Super-Consumeristic Attitude is one of the biggest contributors to global pollution.

45. Change My Fabric Softener - I thought I would miss that Downy Fresh Smell more than I do. Now my clothes just smell like clothes. I occasionally will pull out a garment I haven't worn in months and the perfumey aroma almost bowls me over. Strange how quickly we adjust.

46. Dropping Cotton Balls From My Daily Routine - Did I ever tell you what I ended up using as a substitute? Cut up cotton diapers! It's true. I had a bunch leftover from the kids (they're super-absorbent and we used them as spit-up cloths) and I cut one diaper up into about 20 cotton squares. I serged the edges and voila! Face swabs. I can use one for a couple days running and then they just get tossed in the dirty laundry pile. Love em!

47. Stop Driving Like a Maniac - I behave myself behind the wheel about 85% of the time now. You may scoff, but that is actually a HUGE improvement! I think it has lowered my blood pressure as well.

48. Replace My Dead Washer with an Energy Efficient Front Loader - Yeah. Probably shouldn't tell you that the kids still like to sit in front of the damn thing and watch the clothes go around. Also shouldn't tell you I do too.

49. Reducing the Amount of Beef We Eat - We've only eaten beef once since this post. It was a moment of weakness... I had forgotten to thaw out dinner and Five Guys Burgers is too close and too good to pass up. Besides, they let you eat all the peanuts you want and have the best fries on the planet. I'd say our trip was well worth the wait and we'll be going back in another couple of months.

50. Being Good Campers - We have had so much fun camping this summer! I thought camping with the kids would be a lot of work, but they actually bring a lot to the table. They get you to look at and notice things that you take for granted - "Mommy look at this rock! It is rrreeeeaaaaalllllly sparkley! I think it the most sparkliest rock EVER.".

51. Combine Errands to Save Gas - Anytime I have errands to run that take me off the main road between home and preschool, I map it out to ensure I am taking the shortest route. Works like a charm and keeps me extra-super organized. *cough*GEEK*cough*

52. Switch From Disposable Diapers to gDiapers - NONE OF THIS MATTERS BECAUSE MY GIRL "BOOPIES" IN THE POTTY NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!! But in case you were wondering, I clogged the toilet three times with poopy gDiapers. Once in front of the babysitter who almost puked when it happened.

53. Turn Off the Car When Idling - This one irks the kids a little bit (it makes their DVD player skip a beat when I turn the car back on) but other than that, it's a very simple change.

54. Convince Others to Conserve - Perhaps one of the more challenging items on my list. I don't ever want to come off as "preachy" or "pushy" and I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable. My biggest effort on this front is actually this here blog, so you tell me -- am I convincing?

55. Skipping One Shower Each Week - To Hell With Personal Hygeine Day is such a huge success, I'm thinking about making it a weeklong celebration! Just kidding. That's one change that even hubby would notice! I hope.

56. Brushing My Teeth With Less Water Waste - Use a Cup! It saves so much water! But none of those disposable dixie cups... that's a bit self-defeating. My new anal tooth brushing technique (hmmm, poor phrasing on that one) is working well and I've adjusted easily to the change.

57. Convince A Pharmacy to Reuse My Prescription Bottles - Convinced? Yes. Taken Them Up on the Offer? No. I keep forgetting that the pharmacy at Kroger isn't open when I go grocery shopping early Sunday mornings and then I end up calling the scrip in to Walgreens. I'll try my best to remember next time I need a refill!

58. Switching to Recycled Toilet Paper - Not much to say, really. The paper is definitely not as soft as Mr. Whipple's, but hey, it's a pretty small sacrifice to make and my ass is happy to do its part for the environment.

59. Packing Nuts Rant - I have decided to do what one of my fellow eco-bloggers, Beth, does and send unwanted packaging back to the source with a note telling them to ease up. BTW, if you haven't checked out her site in my links, be sure to drop by. She does excellent, level-headed posts about plastic!

60. Packing Nuts Rant, Part Deux - I am doing my best to avoid being a packing nut. I save all my boxes and reuse them for my garment shipments. Not a single customer has complained about recieving their beautiful renaissance garb in an old Amazon box. I love our customers! :-)


Mary Elizabeth said...

OT but posted here 'cause I figure you can appreciate...

I've been worrying about whether or not envelopes with windows are mixed paper friendly. Google had mixed reviews, but more in favor of them being okay than not. So now I can throw my junk envelopes (you know, after I call and get off their list) in my mixed paper recycling without trying to tear out the window (which is difficult if you've ever tried);)

leslie said...

You MUST copy/paste this and go look. Really dig into this story. This man is doing an amazing thing. I want to be him when I grow up.