Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday and that’s as good a reason as Jan 1st to review how far I’ve come on my sustainable, living local journey.

One thing I’ve learned is that I’m not going to save the world, nor am I going to be perfect in my attempts to live as greenly as possible. I may not join any local green groups. They seem to be all twentysomethings and single and I’m not. My synagogue green team may fizzle, at least for the moment.

Since starting my blog last summer and reading and bookmarking way too many other blogs about the subject, I realized that there are some things I’m just not going to do. Oh well.

I will wear make-up, I won’t stop using shampoo and gel. So far I plan on continuing to dye my hair and those products aren’t the least toxic, I’m sure, and the greener stuff is too expensive. And don’t even bring up the concept of a Diva Cup. The dishwasher and refrigerator stay. Ditto the nasty cleaning solutions, at least for this year. I will never bike anywhere; my balance sucks.

But here’s what I have done:
  1. used cloth napkins
  2. used face towels instead of paper towels for clean-ups
  3. shut off lights
  4. kept the AC and heater off as much as possible
  5. washed clothes with cold water in an energy efficient washer/dryer
  6. rack dried several loads a week
  7. used less soap when I washed clothes
  8. used recycled tissues and toilet paper
  9. used recycled paper towels, but only to wipe off vegetables and fruits
  10. showered in the downstairs bathroom because the water heats up way faster than the upstairs bath
  11. recycled voraciously meaning I pull misplaced cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls from wastebaskets
  12. printed less from the computer
  13. screwed in CFS lights throughout most of the house
  14. took re-useable bags to the market including hemp produce bags
  15. worked from home – both me and my husband
  16. planted a garden (this weekend we went beyond a few pots and the side yard and dug up the backyard, more on that in future posts)
  17. cooked from scratch (new efforts to do it as much as possible means less packaging, less chemicals, less money spent - my personal political statement)
  18. baked bread, cakes, muffins
  19. baked challah every week, almost
  20. cooked fearlessly knowing it’s only food and everything is an experiment
  21. lived more fearlessly, life is an experiment and there’s no constants, only variables
  22. bypassed non-local food when possible which is easy enough in CA
  23. shopped at non-chain stores or at least engaged sales clerks from chain stores in conversation (it’s not their fault they work for The Man)
  24. supported green political measures, helped elect Obama with calls and driving to Nevada to knock on doors
  25. attended local and county-wide meetings on issues
  26. attended city meetings to hear the issues, so what if it’s boring at least someone cares
  27. read my hometown city newsletter website
  28. composted every single onion, carrot and potato peel. I will personally build more topsoil on my little nano acre of California countryside
  29. flushed less, since I live in California, where it never rains, nor pours anymore either
  30. monitored our errands so driving is efficient
  31. carpooled to lectures and theaters
  32. rented movies or used the library stacks
  33. bought books from library sales or borrowed from within the county system
  34. supported bloggers who help get the word out by commenting on their posts
  35. kickboxed at my local, non-chain gym
  36. used re-useable water bottle
  37. took my drive-time coffee in a re-useable mug
  38. shopped from my closet and accessorize from my stash
  39. made some charity donations
  40. put in some volunteer time
  41. read about other cultures
  42. read something besides the LA Times and the NY Times, like the Financial Times, to get another perspective
  43. shot photos of other cultures, buildings, anything
  44. signed up on Facebook, yawn, at least that’s my thought
  45. learned more techie stuff, but there’s always more, more, more
  46. smiled at people, looked them in the eye, listened when they talk
  47. reconnected with lost relatives and friends
  48. and said please
  49. thank you
  50. I’m sorry – lots more

… and that was just ten months. Not that I want to brag – not that I ever do - but that looks pretty damn good when you number it. I’ve boiled my goals down to community and creativity. Oh and earning money too, but that’s only my day job. To which I must now return. But only a half day, as it is my b’day.


Natalie said...

Happy birthday - slightly belated!

Bobbi said...

Thanks, Natalie! And thank you so much for reading me. I'm back into posting mode. You know how that goes.