Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lower Impact

Today's green smoothie: baby spinach, fresh pineapple, banana, bit o'avocado, water.

Jim is currently reading a very interesting book called No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, about a New Yorker seeing if he can live without having any impact on the environment. The author is challenged from the get-go by trying to eat local & seasonal, eliminating all trash, and using foot power in biking & walking as transportation, all with a high maintenance wife & baby in the largest city in the U.S. Jim has been reading snippets that he finds interesting to me and we’re starting to incorporate some of the ideas into our own life.

But I’ve already changed so many things just in the last several years on my own. We have been using cloth napkins for years, we buy all our clothes used, I make most of my own personal care products (body lotion, facial cleanser, shampoo, toner, mouthwash) I've used cloth feminine products from Glad Rags & Rawganique for over two years now, a good friend of mine knitted me some bath cloths for my last birthday which I now use exclusively in the shower, and now I just purchased several handkerchiefs from a Grosse Pointe resale shop to use in place of disposable tissue. I realized the prominent trash I throw out every week is tissue! So I bought twelve to use; they were between 50 cents & $2 each. I plan to also ask my parents if they have any men’s handkerchiefs that Jim can use, as he is also interested. (My parents have a lot of stuff around the house, most of which they never use. I think my father has an entire box of brand new ones sitting in his dresser drawer).

I also plan to eliminate all paper towel from my kitchen as soon as I use up these last two rolls of recycled paper towels I bought from Trader Joe’s. I bought their reusable kitchen cloths instead. I only use paper towels for cleaning and it won’t be any more work than washing all the other things I already wash (napkins, feminine care products, bath cloths, handkerchiefs). I think we’ll see a huge reduction in our trash.

Do you have any low/no impact tips that you do that you can share with me? I’d love to hear about them.

**I grew up dancing ballet, from age 4 to 16. My part in the Nutcracker was one of Russian dancers. And, for many years, I always asked for a recording of Tchaikovsky's famous holiday ballet, but year after year well-meaning family members always gave me "highlights" when I wanted the complete ballet. Finally, during one post-holiday season, I exchanged one CD for the correct CD at Harmony House in downtown Birmingham (remember Harmony House?) and all was right with the world. I never, ever tire of listening to this during the holidays. In fact, my dream is to hear the Detroit Symphony Orchestra perform the complete Nutcracker ballet in a holiday concert. You never see that; it is always accompanied by the ballet performance. But if you listen closely, there's so much going on with all the instruments that, as a flute player, I would find fascinating to see. I might suggest this to the DSO, not that they would pay any attention. But I think it would be a fabulous holiday concert.

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