Success and Failure

May 8, 2007 at 1:33 am 7 comments

Environmental dialogues with a catClick to see full size.

I just couldn’t resist posting this strip from Get Fuzzy, my favorite comic strip. It describes my kitty dialogues very accurately.

It’s now been more than one month since I started this blog, and taking all things environmental a little more seriously… So I guess it’s about time to have a little recap on our “struggle”. I know this is kind of a random time for a recap, but please, be patient with me. Take into consideration that this is the blog of a highly UNorganized person, who probably qualifies as Attention Defective. Such is my condition, condemned to starting blogs on ordinary days, and having random unannounced recaps. And I am a little short on time and blogging topics, and it finally seems like I have enough to recap about.

Bad news first:

  • This week, the kitty-litter experiment has been officially declared a failure. Kitten fought the system and won. I tried to make him realize that it was better for the environment and for his kitty health but he would not have it. Believe me, he made it verrrry clear. “Oh Boo Hoo! Every time a microwave dings an angelfish looses it’s reef”
  • That means, back to the nasty clumping litter, and back to the ‘scooping plastic bags’. No kitty litter composting 😦
  • I still can’t stand tofu… My taste buds reject it like my cat rejects eco-litter. Lucky I didn’t leave any surprises around the house like some orange citizen I know (who will remain anonymous to preserve his dignity).
  • I keep getting a load of free newspapers, in dutch, despite the ‘No unaddressed advertising’ sticker on the mailbox. Talk about waste of paper. They sit in the mailbox till it’s recycle day. Grrrrr…
  • I kinda dropped the ball on monitoring my utility bills… I have no idea how much money, if any, I am saving. I know this sounds strange but we’ve had this arrangement 1,5 years now. The bills are included in the rent and we are adjusting it when we move out.

And now for the good stuff…

  • The freezer is unplugged! Hoorray!
  • Bringing Your Own Bags is old news here, everyone does it (plastic bags are a expensive commodity here, you know). So I took it to the next level, where I am viciously storing and reusing EVERY single bag I already have. This includes stuffing my totes with paper bags for fruit and veggies on the verge of disintegration, piles of price stickers on top of each other. I am also religiously reusing egg cartons. If the eggs are not packed yet I just put them in My Own Carton. At one organic stand at the market, I ‘exchange’ my empty cartons for a full carton, their cartons are all reused as well.
  • We are now unplugging all our electrics from the socket. Except the microwave… I use it as a watch in the kitchen. Being disorganized also means having improvised watches, like the cell phone, the microwave and the church tower.
  • I recently discovered that we are actually using green electricity here. I would never suspected that of my landlords, judging by the stashes of disposable plates, cups and utensils we inherited. Oddly, I found out because it says so on the mailbox sticker. Awsome!
  • I am growing herbs on the balcony, which are just starting to be big enough to use. We are also growing arugula and spinach (even though I’m pretty sure I’m messing up the spinach).
  • We are buying organic veggies exclusively (unless there is dinner emergency), and buying as local as possible. And strangely, I don’t think I am spending much more money than before. At least not enough to notice.
  • What I am noticing is that we are buying less quantities of veggies, and using them. Because organic stuff is so expensive, we really cut down on food waste. When we were buying the cheapest, we would often get a bunch of stuff and let it go bad.
  • We stopped relying on meat for every meal. Now we have an agreement on once-a-week meat, but ironically, we forgot to honour it this week. Our tasty organic steak this week was, sadly, replaced by some crappy supermarket salami.
  • And finally, a very satisfying change is that I don’t buy my stuff at the supermarket anymore. Now I just go there on emergencies, like the above mentioned dinner, as well as breakfast and litter emergencies. That means that I am also avoiding the plastic invasion of my kitchen by the packaging army.
  • Oh, and I almost forgot! I got the Diva Cup, no more disposables for this gal!

I’ts looking good, everyone! I don’t think that any of the changes I made are very hard to do, but it does take a lot more ‘thinking investment’ into my daily life. And it requires me to be constantly on the look out for the packaging scum of the Earth trying to infiltrate my home. I know that supposedly I am spending more money on food, but somehow I am not noticing any cash flow shortages. And I do think what we’ve been doing has the potential of saving me more money than what I am spending. So in the end, it’s all peaches and cream. As long as they are organic of course 😉

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Entry filed under: Diva cup, energy, environment, food, organic, reuse, waste. Tags: , , .

Girl Stuff Wageningen’s Buy Nothing Day 2006

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. vera8181  |  May 9, 2007 at 4:24 am

    Congrats! I love that comic strip you attached. It reminds me exactly of what goes on in my household!

    One thing I think we need to start focusing on is eating less meat…we pretty much have it everyday for dinner.

  • 2. Lynn  |  May 9, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Congratulations on your efforts! I think you’re doing pretty well! 🙂 I probably should give up meat from time to time, but I’m too much of a carnivore, sadly.

  • 3. Aimee  |  May 10, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Just found your blog – sounds like we’re having similar experiences – I’m in the middle of my own local food adventure – growing and buying (yea! spring is here and the farmer’s market has opened!), vigorously recycling or reusing ever item I can, bugging the DH about a “solar/wind powered clothes dryer”, etc. Enjoy your blog emensely so far -will visit often! 🙂

  • 4. Sandy  |  May 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Love what you are doing! I’m pretty much in the same place so I thank you for taking the time to comment on your adventures.

  • 5. Alina  |  May 11, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone. And for the inveterate meat-eaters, I know how you feel, I was like that too. And my boyfriend couldn’t imagine a meal without meat. But it’s not so bad, after we got used to it. You have to consider that it’s not good for your health to eat meat everyday, especially red meat. That’s what did the trick for me to convince Bryce 😉

  • 6. carissa  |  May 13, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    The strip was great! So are your efforts.

    A note on the kitty litter: I convinced my parents to switch away from the clumping stuff… what I read about it said to try to ease your cat into it, by putting a little of the new stuff at the bottom of the litter box, and covering it with what you normally used, and then gradually change the proportions each time you change the litter. Maybe you already tried that or maybe it still wouldn’t work with your cat, don’t know. Just trying to be helpful.

  • 7. carissa  |  May 13, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Um, I should have read your archives first. I guess you already did that. Sorry.

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