Thursday, November 8, 2007

Day Seven: Five Quick Things

1) When you're going to the grocery store, bring a few bags along with you. The cotton tote bags you get free at all kinds of events are perfect for this. But if you don't remember them, don't buy the ones the store sell unless they're cotton -- most of the ones I see are nylon, which not only takes petroleum to produce, it's made from the stuff, too.

2) I go through a lot of tissues: the dry air just gets in my nose. When I looked at a bag of trash I was carrying out and realized it was half tissues by weight, I realized I needed to do something about this. The solution is an old one: handkerchiefs. They're not hemmed yet and they're long and narrow instead of square, but they work just fine.

3) I'm not making a similar recommendation regarding toilet paper. It would make sense, it would be more sustainable, but I'm far too much of a wuss.

4) That said? Pee in the shower. It'll save a little.

5) If you can't talk yourself into not using your dryer at all, think about hanging up a few things from each load and running it a little less. Remember the smell of sheets dried on the line when you were a kid? Wasn't it great?

6) See if you have a local dairy that'll deliver milk once a week. We get fresh, organic, minimally-treated milk delivered every Tuesday (well, it goes to Tim and Ray's and I pick it up, but I'm over there all the time anyway). It tastes a zillion times better (and Tim the milk snob who milked cows for a living agrees). It comes in glass bottles so there's far less waste. Since it only comes once a week you learn something about rationing limited supplies until the next time. And, at least at our local dairy. it's no more expensive than milk from the store. This last part boggles me, but I don't think about it in case it stops working.

7) If you can't do it all, if you forget bits, if you're overwhelmed by all the things you want to change, don't sweat it. Do one thing at a time. Don't kick yourself if you forget. I had two tote bags in the car today and still brought home my groceries in two plastic bags. I'll use them to scoop the litterboxes into. Do what you can.

Missed by seventeen minutes!


Plain Foolish said...

And if you have the skills needed, consider *making* bags - you can recycle materials that might not otherwise get used. For instance, I've been working on a bag crocheted out of strips of old shopping bags - making it is very hard on the hands but it produces incredibly sturdy stuff, and I'm making the handles more comfy to carry than many of the commercial bags I see. Essentially, I'm cutting the bags in a spiral about an inch wide, and using a metal I hook in single stitch for the base, switching to a mesh pattern for the sides, and planning on moving back to single stitch at the top, with built in handles, that I'll be going over to pad.

The excellent part of this is that I get to make the bag a size and shape that *I* like and that works for me.

(Too cool. the word verification included "gaia".)

Wulfila said...

Have you ever considered the Indian (South Asian Indian) method of wiping, which is not to use a handkerchief that you watch, but to have a pitcher of water which you splash around your bottom until you're all clean? You have to wash your hands afterwards, but it's nowhere nearly as ghastly as the handkerchief route.

(I kept thinking I would continue to do this when I got back from India, but strangely it hasn't happened much).

Wulfila said...

Wash, I meant.

Kate said...

Hm. I'd have to learn how to spash the water about so I wasn't splashing it all over the bathroom, but I suppose that's what the shower is for. I'll have to try that -- thanks, Wulfila.