Hooray! I shared my immense excitement over the book “No Impact Man” with the gal who runs the local Purple Dragon Co-op pod and she has become a fan too. I feel even if my spreadin’ the word has changed one habit of one person it is movement in the right direction. You know who you are lady. I am so glad.

I feel good. ūüôā

Hello all. Just had to share the upside of coffee in only a permanent cup as in our own travel mug and/or the “for here” cup in a shop. Out with the gang to check out her new rental digs and surrounding environs. Of course my fella and I are ALWAYS on the look out for some decent espresso post brunch. Well lucky us as we are strolling to check out the riverfront…stroller with whiny 2 year old, 5& 8 year old¬†complaining of the “heat” and fatigue of walking, (Come on! You just inhaled a GIANT chocolate chip pancake in the shape of Mickey’s head with a whipped cream face and oodles of syrup. You should be galloping down the sidewalk!) my sister and her significant other when we SPOT it…a local shop. I quickly mumble to my sister to walk ahead with the gang, stroller and all saying we will catch up. We skip, giddy as school girls into the shop and order our espresso¬†in “for here” cups which let’s face it makes it all the much better in those cute little cups. What my sissy does not realize is this; we do not get our drinks “to go” in paper cups ANYMORE so we have the burden of sitting in complete stillness sans kids to enjoy our coffee and each other’s company and quite frankly no matter how brief those moments are it is¬†pure ecstasy. (Speaking as a SAHM in the throes of week 7 of summer break and all kids all the time.) Did I mention the uninterrupted 15 minutes of conversation my fella and I had? What? Walk and hold each other’s¬†hands instead of dragging two sweaty hand girls along and pushing the behemoth stroller? In a word, lovely.

My sister mumbled herself something about how long it took and then had to have the 10 second briefing on the fact we did not have travel mugs so therefore were FORCED to order in “for here” cups and savor the moment. AH HA and HA, HA! Perhaps payback when we are walking along and her significant other buys a plastic bottle of water. ARRRGH! We were only 15 mins. from her place. Come on, you are killing me here!

One thing is clear, we need a date…that lasts for more than 15 minutes. Right, honey?

Other updates-we missed the boat on two composters¬†on FreeCycle¬†but I am hopeful that we will luck out eventually. My¬†fella is doubtful but I want to hold on for free, free, free. We continue with our¬†carton-less¬†house; juice is fresh and milk continues to be delivered. Shopping bags continue to be banned and we are doing well with our habit breaking. Our garden is producing zucchini at a record rate. We are now sharing our bounty with family. Tomatos are abound We have also decided to join a vegetable/fruit co-op in September¬†as we did when we resided in CA and WA. This one is the Purple Dragon Co-op. Did have to extract a promise from my fella that he too would help me to decipher how to prepare all of those root veggies we know from past experience appear to multiply in one’s produce drawer over night. Purple potato anyone? Leeks? Rutabega? Squash, squash, squash.

That is it for now. Keepin’ the faith.

ps still miss tv and in the spirit of honesty we have been catching one of our fave summer shows, The Closer on the computer. I HAD to have my fix of Brenda and Fitzy.

Just returned from a  LARGE carbon footprint trip to drop off two of my three children in Florida to spend a few days with Grammy and GrandDad. While there we experienced just how hard it can be to travel with no impact, especially around meal times. Without the conveniences of home we resorted to take out food and the requisite styrofoam, plastic, disposable items that accompany those meals. Eating out is an option where permanent plates, etc. are used but who really wants to try and get a two year old to sit in already crowded restaurants where the waits are long, the service is slow and meals turn into two hour long ordeals. I do not.

I have decided to purchase the ecopacks bulk cereal bags for my kids. They do not know this yet. They are not loving the bulk cereals from WF and the two cereals they enjoy are offered box free in ecopack bags which of course are going to cost more but they will be happy and the environment will be happy. Right?

Our garden went into overdrive this past week in our absence. We had a record size zucchini-15 inches long and 13 inches around at its widest point. I want to take a pic but my camera is still at Grammy’s!

Only have my little boy with me these couple of days and he keeps me busy, busy, busy. We went to WF last night for dinner-on plates! As he went into whiny mode I realized I needed a blast of caffeine¬†to power through tubby time and bed time and thankfully this WF has permanent cups for which I am VERY grateful. (they gave me¬† 15 cent discount for using it.) I downed my espresso in record time and I thought of C. Beavan’s wife as I was doing so. CHEERS!

Hey all. We finally had our first true representation of our goal to reduce our recycling this past week without the heft of all those cereal boxes, juice and milk cartons along with shopping bags. We were able to reduce our recycling by 50%. We only used one can this week instead of our usual filled to the brim two containers. We are feeling smug. We are dying to get a composter¬†but so far we have missed out on Craig’s list and Freecycle¬†deals but we keep trying. We think that would have¬† a HUGE impact on our household garbage. We continue to stick to our no¬†tv except for one movie a week rented from our town library for $1 and our coffee cup/water bottle/shopping bag rule. It is amazing how these small steps seem to help. My Mom has now borrowed my copy of “No Impact Man.” She is already a conscientious¬†person with regards to our environment but I think she sees the little things we are doing and realizes it could go a step further without major inconvenience. Another convert? Says the zealot with a smile.

Just have to share…we have been using cloth napkins as much as possible and my oldest noted tonight that she likes that I am no longer buying paper and using cloth instead. I quickly told her Mommy is still buying the paper but trying to use them less . What I did not say…hence Mommy dug out the old cloth napkins pre- YOUR birth which Daddy and I used often for our PEACEFUL dinners pre-kids which included wine, candles, etc. on a more regular basis than now!!!

On a food note, there seems to be a lot of the bulk cereal going into the garbage. A bit worried about the waste/cost. Come on kids, eat up!!! Mommy spent $67 dollars on that.

…i¬†am missing television. Why, why, why? Sometimes I do not want to read! I just want to be a slug on the sofa and watch mindless television. Not every night mind you, but I need a little fix…..this sounds bad, doesn’t it?

On the up side, eating lots and lots of fresh produce thanks to the now abundant farmer’s markets in our area and our own little community garden patch. We are now officially on only fresh squeezed oj/grapefruit juice and our milk delivery. It is kind of nice to not run out for these items constantly. My middle girl who loves oj¬†in the am did not complain about the juice today so Dad must have done a stellar job on reducing the pulp in our little juicer.

Continuing to break old habits. Trying to bring own packaging as much as possible everywhere and no one has given me a hard time. Okay, maybe the bagel shop. Not only do they wrap the food but then they put it in a paper bag and again in a plastic bag. HUH? Why? When I said, “no bag please” for about the third time as they continued to ignore me¬†I got the skink eye and a shrug. Sorry, just trying to make a small difference here, BUDDY!

I did not get my pm coffee fix today but not because I forgot my mug; I had it! BUT, I also had 4 kids ages 10, 8, 5, and 2 (the 10 yr. old was on loan) and the 2 year old refused to get in his stroller and refused to hold a hand on a busy street so I just gave up on my double espresso and went home. BAH! Sometimes, I am too tired to fight it. (really I was just weak from caffeine deprivation)

Staying strong on no tv! Is there rehab in the future for me?

Hello all. Well today we made the full switch to our permanent cereal boxes. Not too many choices other than granola type mixtures @ Whole Foods. The kids and Dad are willing to give it a try and give up their beloved Gorilla Munch, Panda Puffs and Barbara’s Cereals. We have one box left of Panda Puffs. They are at high value right now! My hubby has been making me oatmeal from bulk and I am very happy with that.

The cost of my food bill was astromomical…$67.11 for the 5 containers of cereal. I hope they last a looooooooooooooooooooong time. It is now costing me approximately $10 per week for my fresh grapefruit to make juice for the permanent container. Hard to swallow-not the juice, it is delicious! but the juice in cartons can usually be bought for about $3.59 or so a gallon and sometimes 2 for 6.

Food for five is EXPENSIVE. We are enjoying the first fruits of our community garden which we have participated in for four years and we went to our local Farmer’s Market which opened yesterday. YUM!

Continuing on…

Hello all. We are now officially converted to milk delivery and fresh squeezed juice for me. (grapefruit) We have yet to convert to oj for my middle girl as we are on the last carton. She is not looking forward to the fresh squeezed-HUH? She hates pulp and alas the juicer we have does not have the pulp adjuster the fancy schmancy one on my wish list has. My oldest happily is eating a half of grapefruit each am and my youngest has not yet discovered the am juice habit.

One drawback of all of this conversion is the cost. We are going to be spending approximately 10-15$ more per week although qualitatively and environment wise we are doing better. Or are we? It is all a catch 22…is the carbon foot print of that grapefruit which comes in a plastic bag equal, lesser or more than the carton we would normally purchase? Hard to say since we are not environmental impact experts; just novices trying to make a difference.

The kids and I took several permanent cereal containers to WF and choose some for a taste test. I e-mailed our two favorite box cereal companies and boo hoo for us neither sell what we like in bulk anywhere. All of us are sad but we have all committed to try to convert, try to find something we like, try to make a difference. My favorite, Peanut Butter Puffins is just about to the end. (sniff, sniff)

After a harrowing day of 5 children at my home at one point due to playdates, etc and a traveling spouse I was looking forward to a yummy double espresso @ WF apres dinner. Guess what? I forgot my cup-BAH! They had no permanent cups @ this particular WF. The barista suggested purchasing a permanent cup but I have no need for yet another travel mug. Of course I did not remember one of our many but that is my punishment and I shall guarantee there will be no forgetting in the future.

The composter is my biggest wish. I see how much food garbage is created and I truly believe that would further cut down on our garbage in a positive way. My garden could use it. Speaking of gardens; the community garden we have participated in the past four years is doing well this year. Last year not so good but the promise of many zucchini and cucumbers excites me. Mmmm, that sounds a little perverse, hey?

Keepin’ the faith.

Hello all…two people who have visited my blog…probably my fella and me! So we have been continuing on in our quest to decrease our IMPACT on the environment. I am now reading “No Impact Man” myself and WOW this book really resonates with me. I am getting a bit preachy with my friends but trying hard to restrain myself. None know¬†I am blogging yet. I am not ready yet to expose myself to their commentary.

I have been making a point to walking as much as possible to locales. One of the reasons we chose the location we live in was to be able to walk to a local park with bike/walk paths and a handy downtown which houses all of the necessaries ie cafes, coffee shops, library, bank, post office, church, etc. When the weather is as nice as it is now, what excuse do I have? It is again making the point, taking the time, etc. My fella was inspired by my recent biking to the library which I believe was faster than taking the car but I cannot say for sure. He has taken his bike to be rehabbed at our local bike shop. I can honestly say I enjoy walking a heck of a lot more than driving. Especially since someone rear ended me yesterday as I was on my way to my multiple child pick ups post school. Luckily no one was hurt except my house on wheels. I should have been walking!!! I would have had to allow hours for that.

I ventured to my local Whole Foods last night to ask about having my permanent containers tared so I can use them to fill from the bulk bins. I felt like a freak and a bit embarrassed but the truth, they were as nice as pie and did not blink an eye. They did ask why? I touted “No Impact Man.” (preachy again?) Our goal to cut down on those multiple cereal boxes ASAP.¬† I cannot believe how easy it was and thought, why were we not doing this before? While there I was picking up fruit supplies for us and even though I had already begun placing various items in my permanent bags I could not believe the automatic reflex to grab for a plastic bag for some more items as I was browsing around. I was incredulous! Why? It is crazy how ingrained the habit to use these useless bags is. I had already been placing loose fruit in my bag yet as I passed the plastic bags to choose some more my arm went automatically up. What is wrong with me???

What else to think about? Built in obsolescence¬†of clothing. I bought two new shirts last summer @ Macy’s. Got a bargain, on sale with coupons. Guess what? Not such bargains. One has already disintegrated and unfortunately the other is well on its way. Less than one years use. Really? We are becoming BIG fans of Freecycle. Still on our quest for a used rain barrel and composter.

I thank Colin Beavan for his inspiration on forging a new path for our family. Will I take it as far as he? NO! But his writing has echoed many thoughts I have had over the years but have been too complacent to pursue. These are things that are making me happier. I have always been a gal that finds inaction to be anxiety provoking yet once I tackle the things causing me to stew I find great relief. PROGRESS!

I am missing tv. What have we been doing instead? Reading, walking to see¬†a movie, Sex & the City with my very best friend, talking with my fella and friends, going to sleep a wee bit earlier and of course to quote Colin Beavans..”…improving marital relations!”

Our juice supply is dwindling so my fella is gearing up to utilize our juicer this week. I so hope we can afford the real deal in the fall. More to think about…consumerism. This is always on my mind…want vs. need.

Stay tuned…

Hello all. Of course this is several days post no-tv but bear with me. My middle child, a five year old girl had her pre-school graduation Friday and we had a subsequent celebration and a family weekend in NYC. Dad was able to score two free rooms at Hotel W thanks to the many miles he has logged on work travel air flights. We will not even try to guess how much damage those miles have incurred to our precious planet!

Well, we parked our house on wheels-yes, I drive a minivan…critique me now…after we extracted all of our three children…yes, three children…critique my personal overpopulation…and all of our various accoutrement from the vehicle including our reusable water bottles and coffee cups we got to the room only to realize we left our three reusable shopping bags in the car. !@#$%^&*()_+ My response…no shopping. My fella’s…call down to the front desk. It would have been $60 bucks to retrieve our car to get those three bags. Luckily someone took pity and went to our vehicle but they were only able to locate 1 of the 3. Better than nothing! Of course the $5 tip would have bought me several bags @ WF but oh, well. I guarantee we will not forget again. Did I mention we forgot to bring our water bottles when we went to grab dinner for an al fresco meal with the kids. Rule violation AGAIN! We chose to buy drinks we could not otherwise purchase with a reusable cup-seltzer for me and coconut water for him. We are pathetic.

The good news? We did not use our car the whole weekend. Our kids were troopers. We had a GREAT weekend walking all over the city. Of course they never forgot their bottles but they have always had portable water bottles available to them since they were old enough to have water¬†along with¬†breast milk. We did take them to Dylan’s Candy Bar to check it out and my silly man twice had to go up to the register to return the bags our purchases came in. OLD HABITS, DIE HARD.

Progress…our glass bottle milk delivery begins next Monday. Everyone is very excited. We will be finishing off the last of our already purchased juice cartons and then we will no longer be buying juice. We will use our old electric juicer¬†until we can afford the high powered, high capacity¬†model I have researched which is beaucoup¬†bucks. Anniversary present anyone? My husband and one of my girls enjoy fresh grapefruit so they can break their am juice habit easily I bet. Myself, I need that grapefruit juice fix and my other girl likes orange juice, no pulp so we are going to try juicing small batches 2-3x a week. What else do we have to do @ night? No tv!

We are still on the hunt for a composter¬†and rain barrel. A friend gave us a heads up on a few steals on Craig’s List but we were not quick enough. Currently have a listing on FreeCycle.

Biked today to lunch with a friend and again later to the library. Good for me! I made a different choice even though the habit would have been to drive, drive, drive. Silly, silly, silly. It was a lot of fun and good for me too!

Stay tuned…