I’ve missed writing this summer, though I used up the summer daylight and sunshine like it was a temporary thing. This being the Northwest, the only thing to do. Waves of house guests, preserving and eating the county’s fresh harvest, and plenty of walks and work outdoors to keep me away from this chair. This 100 things list is getting harder. Here’s the next batch:
51. Green guests. This is not in my control, but cool, nonetheless—just said good-bye to a couple who were here 4 full days. Went to do the laundry. Found they had shared one bath towel. One, that’s all they left for me to launder!
52. Food genetic diversity. When we buy canned peaches, we buy Lady Elberta rather than the ubiquitous Clings. Does that seem like a stretch in a list of green actions? I think of it as part of the greening of our food supply safety net—not putting all our eggs in one basket. Things happen. Plus they taste better. They get harder to find on the grocery shelf among rows of cling peaches, but they are there. Of course right now it’s fresh varieties from eastern Wash. Eye-rollingly good.
53. More food diversity—helps even with minor disturbances in the field. In the news is North Dakota’s wet year: 40% less durum wheat planted. We may eat less pasta this winter, but have discovered teff, bulgar, and black quinoa, for in-between organic spaghetti price specials.
54. Support local farmers. We bought a CSA for the first time this year (what does it stand for?—I think the S is for share, or is it for subscription?). It’s making me try new foods and recipes—baby white turnip salad was good—and just the look of the fresh-picked produce in my every-other-weekly box—gorgeous.
55. Amtrak GuestRewards points. They off
ered that I could redeem a chunk of points for carbonfund.org
, so I did. Of course, the bigger issue is how to stay aware and support Amtrak. Every so often, big money takes a run at destroying Amtrak(because they can’t make money on it?). Currently, they are reviving a bid to carve out lucrative segments to privatize. And so to make it easier to destroy the rest.
56. Foaming hand soap, one more note about that. In the kitchen I even use it for quick clean up of my prep knives. So much more efficient and water-saving than using the gloppy stuff, and it keeps them away from Mr. W’s tendency to sweep everything into the dishwasher.
57. Recipe instructions to “Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.” I’m substituting a plate as a cover.
58. Cloth napkins. I haven’t bought paper ones in months.
59. Another catalog gone. We got on Wilderness Travel’s mailing list somehow (suspect Mr. W), and we just discard their luxury catalog. I just weighed it on the kitchen scale: 1lb. 3 oz. of glossy paper and fancy inks. So I have written them to take us off their mailing list.
60. Hot cereal midweek. Expanding our habit of oats on weekends, so that much less of the boxed and plastic-bagged cold cereals. With blueberries and now nectarines, ahh.
61. Patio furniture. I confess we bought new, but what would be our odds of finding a used table that didn’t wobble and shake on made-in-China legs? And if we had found a set the right size (not so wide that we have to shout across), bet that the chairs wouldn’t be good for our dicey backs. I list this under the category, Durables that will Stay Out of the Landfill. Wrought iron triple powder-coated, German. Making the purchase possible was a steep end-of-season discount.I’m sorry if the recession caused a distress sale, it was discounted that steeply. Already used over 30 times in 15 days!
62. Outdoor furniture cushions. Combine the homely skill of sewing with re-use of cushion foam we had from years ago, and hope that an occasional sponging off will keep them going for years. If I remember to bring them in at night.
63. Letting laundry finish by air-drying in summer. I lost the tree that anchored my clothesline, but I festoon the stairwell railing, shower rods, and a wooden rack. Maybe I can come up with another outdoor set-up.
64. Another used laptop. Does this reduce my carbon footprint, or am I just cheap? My last used laptop lasted about three years, and I only had to put up with a few quirks like the boot up and shut down in Chinese characters. This one is like the other a respected brand, an Acer, so we’ll see what I get out of it, and I recycled the failed one. A quirk of this one is that it came with a newer version of WORD than I had. A feature, not a bug, right? You could have fooled me. But I have finally managed to get my Bookman Oldstyle font as my default. Still struggling with some other previously simple tasks.
65. Donate magazines (in good condition) to the free bins at the public library.
I benefitted for a couple of years from this public sharing. Now that we have caved to get our own subscription to The New Yorker
I am donating back.
66. Support 350.org’s Moving Planet day Sept 24. That turns out to be the day Sis and her husband are in Vancouver, BC for a few hours, so I need to take Mom there to visit and won’t be able to attend an event, but we’ll take train and cab to their downtown hotel rather than drive. It’s self-serving as well as green because the traffic will be “Wow” as Mom would say.
67. Park at one errand and walk to the next. (adding to number 27, combining errands). With an average of five stops for each errand day, there are bound to be two close enough together to making walking work.
68. Got started bicycling
again. First huff and puff up the street didn’t get me any where
nearbeing able to fetch milk by bicycle, but it was a step in the right directionand made me feel a little younger.
69. Mr. W made pickles—a bit less vinegary bite than commercial ones, and very crisp with friends’ grape leaves, and garlicky good. And I made pistou and applesauce for the freezer, nestled in with several flats worth of blueberries. If you are going to have an old freezer, best to fill it.
70. Partner with friends. We just enjoyed the smoked last servings of our 2010 heritage turkeys our friend Mary raised for both families. Organic feed and a high chick price made them expensive. But they were delicious and a good learning experience. File under re-skilling. Cross-file under chicken and turkey feeding stations, (keep separate); defense against neighbor animals, (the turkey-crazed dogs able to break through their invisible fence); and Scotch whiskey, uses of (recommended aid for recovering from dog incidents—for Mary, not the fainted turkey).