Archive for the ‘Green’ Category

Thanking The Sky For Rain

July 12, 2007

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about people who decided to try to go back to a more natural way of eating, both for their personal betterment and to opt out of the huge, oil-fed industrial food chain. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is one I recommend. the No Impact Man blog is another. I suspect, too, that Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, which I just started reading yesterday, will get my recommendation too. This summer in good part because of these people’s writing, I’ve been trying to do the same thing for myself. The garden is one step in that. Abstaining from junk food has been another (and a successful one; previously, we went to Burger King twice a week or so, but this entire summer I have only gone twice). Still, I’ve wondered from time to time if I’m capable of taking it as far as I want.

It’s hard to, in our world, after all.  Kingsolver writes beautifully in the first chapter about the amazing levels of ignorance in America about food. A lot of people don’t know that vegetables and fruits grow out of the dirt. Many can’t imagine something like a potato or a peanut being connected to a plant. She recounts how, as she and her family were leaving Tuscon to move to Virginia (where they could eat locally), the cashier at the local gas station hoped it wouldn’t rain  – despite being in a desert going through a draught – because she wanted to wash her car that day.

I freely admit, I don’t know much about the local growing seasons. I’m not sure which veggies to expect at a farmer’s market (or even where the farmer’s market is)this time of year, or even what veggies are able to be grown locally. I was starting to feel ignorant, and it made me really sad.

Until last night. For the past week, the weather has been sweltering. Despite the humidity, it’s been too hot for the plants, and definitely too hot for us. Bust last night it rained, and Moi and I ran out and danced in it. We were happy for us, for our plants, and for the land.

There’s hope for us yet.

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Dirty Clothes

July 3, 2007

You know, I’ve seen it said various places that a simple way to be good to the environment -not to mention your wallet – is to wear clothes more then once before washing. You save on water (and detergent and electricity) and your clothes wear out more slowly.

Now, I do this with pants, largely because they don’t typically get that dirty and because they take up a lot of space. To wit, I have easily three times as many shirts as pants (including shorts), yet my shirts and pants take up the same amount of space. So I’ve found that usually it makes no difference to anyone if I wear pants two days straight.

However, people who are hardcore about this would encourage you to go further. Pants, I imagine, are good for a few days. Shirts a few. Underwear a couple. Actually, underwear is why I was thinking about this today. Yesterday, Moi and I were joking that her little sister, who has yet to learn to do laundry, would have to take 15 pairs of panties to school and come back every month to do laundry at home. To make up the difference, we said she could wear them inside out.

As i was doing laundry today though, and looking at my boxers, I started wondering if maybe there was something to it. Call me crazy, but most of them don’t look dirty.  Sure, there were a few days I was working outside and they got sweaty. Ew. But I usually try to wear dirty clothes if I’m going to be doing that anyway. So what about everything else?

I’m not quite sure why there is the cultural stigma against it. Honestly, I find it hard to believe that my boxers from yesterday are dirtier then my butt (and yours – if you genuinely believe toilet paper makes your butt that clean you are either delusional or a better wiper then I). Or maybe my unbelievably poor sense of smell means I am missing a few big dirtiness clues everyone else is getting. Or maybe we should all follow the rule that if it look clean, feels clean, smells clean, it’s as good as clean. I’m sure it would be the same as taking several million cars of the road, or some other helpful carbon-emissions metaphor.

Still, I’m not quite sure I’m ready for it. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick to keeping my showers on low, which saves water and is more like what I got used to at college anyway.