Monday, July 20, 2009

This could be harder than I thought...

While compiling my list of changes that I plan on making over the next while, I came to the realization that I'm already sorta friendly with the planet, and have made some changes already which is great, but only means that my future changes are going to be that much more difficult.

For example:

1. I already use a biodegradable, natural, flushable cat litter called World's Best Cat Litter. Honestly, I was skeptical when I tried it, but seriously, the odor control is amazing, and while it does track onto the floor a little, it's not nearly as bad as conventional brands. Plus, being flushable means that I'm not bagging dirty litter in a plastic bag and putting down the garbage chute.

2. I produce more recycling per week than actual garbage. I produce one kitchen-sized bag of garbage every 1.5 weeks, whereas I empty my recycling bin sometimes twice a week.

3. I drink tap water, unfiltered, in a Dasani bottle that I purchased months ago and just wash out and refill. I bring my water everywhere, so I never have to buy water or another beverage. I don't drink canned or bottled beverages (unless you count wine), and I think I was 10 the last time I had a juice box.

4. When I was growing up, my parents were sticklers for turning off all lights when not in use. Now, it's just second nature, and people who don't turn off lights annoy me.

5. I use reusable tote bags, specifically the big blue bag from Ikea. Yes, it's made of plastic, but I'm going to use that thing until it gives out. Which it may never do, because let me tell you that thing is strong. I carry home loads of groceries in it, and while the strap cuts my shoulder, it shows no signs of breaking. All those plastic shopping bags got really annoying and started piling up, especially after switching to the flushable litter. Now I'll just bundle them together and recycle them. Also, I sew, meaning if I want something smaller and more stylish than the blue behemoth, I can make a bag with materials I already own, in the span of a few hours.

6. I am a huge fan of the public library system. The first thing I do upon moving to a new city is to get a library card. Sure, I buy books every now and then, but they are mostly cookbooks, which I justify as being reference materials. When I want to read an actual book, I borrow.

7. I own one aerosol can, and it's my hairspray. When it's gone, I'm replacing it with an all-natural, non-aerosol variety. If there is such a thing. If not...maybe I can live without hairspray? I already use all natural bar soap, and have given up nail polish.

8. I can't remember the last time I bought a CD. All of my music is downloaded.

9. The cats are on a prescription diet, and to vary from that diet would mean illness, expensive vet bills, possibly an operation and perhaps even death for one of the cats. Whatever it is they are eating, I'm going to stick with, because it works.

10. I've pretty well already given up my vacuum cleaner. That happened back in January when the laminate floors went down. Now I sweep daily and mop once or twice a week. I might as well give the vacuum to Freecycle. Being that I'm a neat freak, I do whatever I can to keep this place tidy.

11. All laundry is done in cold water. I've shrunk enough things to be permanently paranoid about hot water washing.

12. I buy spices in bulk, because it's cheaper, and I love Bulk Barn. I store my spices in a set of drawers purchased at Canadian Tire that are originally meant for keeping your screws, bolts, nuts, etc. organized. That way, they are stored in the dark, and each drawer is labeled. I buy whatever I can in bulk, including flour, sugar, nuts, etc. Now I just have to figure out what to do with those plastic bags that the food comes in...

13. I donate my used clothing to Goodwill, but more often than not, I tear it apart and make something new out of it.

14. I have houseplants, not only for their aesthetic appeal, but also in an effort to clean the air. It is a sad circumstance that I live with my terrace door open, and the neighbor sits on her terrace and chain smokes.

15. I groom my cats, to prevent hairballs and shedding. Not only that, I have long-haired cats. If I don't groom them, they get matted fur, which is unpleasant for both human and feline.

16. I gave up my birth control pill over a month ago, before I even knew of the trace amounts of estrogen going into the water system. I was just tired of putting a chemical into my body. Sure, the regularity and nice skin was great, but really, I'm just going to let my body do it's own thing. I've been on the pill for 10 years, and it's time to get off it.

17. I eat my ice cream in a cone, because I like portable food. Although I have to wonder what that cone is made out of...

18. I rarely, and I do mean rarely watch tv. I could get rid of cable and sell off the equipment, but I'd be killed first by my boyfriend. I have never owned a tv, and have no desire to, should I ever live alone.

19. I use only wood hangers (they are pretty), and I recycle the wire ones from the dry cleaner. I also make sure my shower curtain drys properly to prevent mold.

20. I already know not to pour grease down the drain (thanks Mom), and I share my living space with other living things.

21. I don't use the bathroom fan (much to the dismay of my boyfriend), and I keep the dryer lint trap very clean, so as to prevent fires (thanks again Mom). I don't buy magazines or newspapers, and I make my own soup stock and bread.

22. I have a GPS, which I use when driving and riding the Harley. It rarely steers me wrong, so I get to my destinations without wasting gas driving around in circles.

Wow. So there you have it. I'm already kinda green. Which is great. But that only means that I'm going to have to work that much harder to come up with challenges that actually make a difference. Delightful.


Eco Yogini said...

Hi Little Green Penguin!
I just discovered your blog through a comment at Green As A Thistle :)

Isn'T it nice to see all the wonderful green things we're already doing? Congrats!
I agree though, the more you delve into greening your life, the more complicated it can get.
After visiting Fake Plastic Fish, and her adament proponent of 'recycling isn't enough' I suddenly didn't feel as great about all the recycling I was producing. Now I have to reduce.... or buy glass. that has been difficult!
I look forward to reading more of your blog!
Blessings :)

Brandislee said...

Congrats- I have to share a few things though. First, don't reuse plastic water bottles. Reusing them makes them break down and leech chemicals into the water, and then into you. Invest in an Aluminum (not stainless steel!) one.

Yes, they make natural and non-aerosol hairspray, although my husband swears it attracts bugs. Or, you can make it, look it up on

There was something else too, but I forgot:)

Despairing said...

I was going to make the point that Brandislee has already made, that reusing plastic water bottles for any length of time can make the chemicals in the plastic break down and leech into your drinking water.

There are alternatives. Sigg seems to be the most popular amongst the green community.

Welcome to the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm assuming your shower curtain is plastic since you're worried about mold. I bought a fabric one about 2 years ago and it works great. No water gets through and it doesn't get moldy. If it get scummy from soap I wash it in the washing machine and hang it back up to dry. I think I got the idea from Crunchy Chicken, where I heard about you. I live in Alberta. Go Canada!

Johanna said...

I've been using bags from Kootsac for my bulk food buys--no, they're not cheap, but hopefully they will last me for years! After I get home & transfer the bulk stuff into jars I can then just turn the bags inside out & throw them in the wash. And hey, they're made in Canada by an independent crafter!