I have completed 2/3 of my goal of 2015 which is to make only 6 jars total of trash!
How many gallons of WATER do you see in this photo?
At first glance, you think "none", until you realize that WATER was used to grow each and every ounce of discarded edibles you see. A LOT of water.
I hate cooking. Or I used to.
Enter the GoSun Sport Solar Stove. I have had this thing for less than 48 hours and I am entranced! This unit, designed by Patrick Sherwin, is all that it says: light, portable, easy to set up and use, and everything I have cooked so far has come out sizzling hot and amazing! www.gosunstove.com
Yippee! I made it through another two months of carefully choosing what products to use or not use, buy or not buy, repair or not repair...and I d NOT feel deprived!
Meet Morpheus & Peaches, the actual supervisors of the Deb Goes Green office. They are excellent energy conservationists: sleeping 18 hours a day.
'Nuff said! -Deb
#takeabreak #petyourcat #black #cats #orange #adoptablackcat #kittyharborseattle
I mean, just what IS all this stuff, besides disgusting to look at? And did I *really* need any of it? More importantly, DID THE MANUFACTURERS *REALLY* NEED TO wrap everything in goddamned plastic?
"Road trip!!!!" These two words are as American as apple pie and hot dogs.
Who doesn't dream of free time on the open road? And guess what? You CAN drive long-distance in an Electric Vehicle!!!
WHOOPEE! I have stuffed two months of my trash packed into one 2-quart Mason jar! But Don't be fooled by the grin (as nice as it is ;-))...this was NOT easy. Friggin' plastic dood-dads are friggin' everywhere and so hard to refuse!
Our one big dilemma this year was eggs. In past years we have been able to buy a huge 24-egg cardboard flat of local eggs at Foodland. This year, the only local eggs were, sadly, packaged in styrofoam. The compostable/recyclable cardboard egg cartons were all stamped "mainland". While I appreciated this honesty, it caused a dilemma as there were no eggs to be had at the farmers' market.
What Did I Learn?
My sweetie & I have just returned from our annual ten-day Kauai sojourn. We have brought back tans (or freckles, in my case), experiences (hiking, snorkeling, dancing)...and trash.
Yes. I packed out back a bag of trash for my 2015 One Mason Jar Every Two Months Challenge.
Welcome to something that I think is even better than reusable cloth bags: the humble milk crate! This is what I bring to the grocery store. I like it better than reusable cloth bags for many reasons:
1. It doubles as a shopping basket (the small kind).
2. It has structure: the items within are held firmly in place.
3. This structure also makes it so I don't need to use separate bags to contain the fruits and veggies - I put them directly in: heavy ones on the bottom; lighter ones on top.
4. It holds milk cartons and other square items much more securely.
5. The crate doesn't roll around in my car and topple half the contents out like lumpy bags of any sort tend to do.
6. Easy to wash: just hose it off every so often either outside or in the shower.
7. Doubles as a table or chair on picnics.
8. Holds ice packs nicely for short trips (though not as efficient as an ice chest).
9. You can easily see the contents - I find it quicker to unload the items once I am home.
Since starting to use a crate instead of the reusable bags, I don't forget it, I don't lose it (I love the small, stuff-able Chico reusable bags, but they seem to vanish along with the single socks - go figure).
As to what is actually in my crate today?
-cardboard carton of local northwest eggs (hidden on the bottom)
-locally grown turnips and rutabagas
-local milk in a returnable bottle
-avocados (alas, not local:-( )
-tomatoes (from a British Columbia Hot House - so sorta local)
-a compostable box of fixings from the bulk salad bar, enough to make four lunches worth (also hidden on the bottom)
I could improve this "zero- waste" effort by bringing a large Mason jar to fill from the bulk salad bar (I often bring smaller ones but today I was lazy).
As to WHY the bulk salad bar? I load up on things like sunflower seeds, bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, olives, artichoke hearts, peas, chickpeas, and chicken and ham pieces.
All of these items, if purchased in the aisles separately, would be packaged in plastic that I would have to dispose of.
So them's my apples fer the day! (munch!) Now, if I could just persuade the tomato guys they really don't need to put those stupid stickers on the fruit...
#zerowaste #zerowastehome #bringyourownbags #banthebag #plasticbagssuck #zerowastelifestyle #plasticfree #carbon #footprint #solutions #permaculture #sustainability #leavenoetrace #pacifc #garbage #patch #landfill #landfillsolutions #trash-free #litter #5gyres #2minutebeachclean #cleanup #consumeless #live #more #onejarchallange #BeaJohnson #TrashIsForTossers #we'reinthistogether
Well, well, well! It would seem that dumping my ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) Car and driving 90% electric has made a huge dent, in spite of flying to London and Hawaii this year!
As you can see in the chart below, my overall carbon dip (the black line) parallels the steep decline in gasoline usage (the blue line). However, the fact that the green line (flying) even exists is what keeps the black line positioned high.
Second-Lowest CO2 Output Since 2010: 6694 Lbs.
About That Flying
A "Silver-Medal" Year!
How does one only use 30 gallons of gasoline in a year as a car owner?
By driving electric! This year's acquisition of a Nissan LEAF made my gasoline car, a Honda Insight, uneeded.
You are reading correctly: I only used 30 gallons of gasoline in 2014...and that was for car rentals when traveling. The majority of that was in Hawaii and during he month in between working electric cars.:-) Also, a trip to Eastern WA.
Have I mentioned how much I love my Nissan LEAF?
The purists among you will hammer me for flying at all. And I agree with you: flying (pardon my language) effs-up my carbon output- it is HUGELY carbon intensive and pollutes like a <insert favorite naughty word here>.
But until we can figure out a better way to cross oceans- greener ways- I am kind of stuck. I refuse to stay in the USA all the time- and it is not like I go overseas all the time, either. In fact, my last trip to Europe was in 2007, and before that, China 1983. Both in 2007 and 1983 I "flew long and stayed long"
"Fly long,stay long" means getting as much value for your carbon spewing as possible by making your trip worthwhile- which to me is staying long enough to really practice the language, experience the culture and LEARN SOMETHING that makes me a better person and makes the world a better place.
England in particular this year involved meeting with other electric car advocates, doing some green car journalist and driving electric cars on the other side of the road. Including a TESLA! (See Blog Archives 2014- "UK Electric Highway" and "Driving on the Left...and I'll take a TESLA with That!")
I don't want to not travel. I DO try and do it with a purpose beyond silly tourism.
I REALLY WANT solar planes or, better yet, ship options that do NOT involve luxury cruises, which are even more wasteful and carbon intensive.
I am ALSO stuck being an only child who MUST occasionally show up in person to tend to my elderly & disabled mother- there is only so much I can oversee long-distance (See last chart on this post for more about that)
I ALSO REALLY WANT HIGH SPEED ELECTRIC RAIL IN THE USA, GDLDANGIT! That is one thing that Europe has that we don't and when you start experiencing the ease of that type of travel- in England, Germany, France, Denmark...you fall in love with it. (Note the addition of a train on the chart this year!)
But back to the GOOD STUFF from 2014:
Alas, my natural gas usage was up this year and I am not sure why, except general laziness.
Also, I have yet to cut a cat door in the door leading from the kitchen to their area in the basement, thus that door has been cracked open all year, letting basement drafts into the main floor where we live. That changes on FRI the day after tomorrow! Got the tools, got the kitty door!
(For those new to this blog who are curious as to what I did to drastically reduce my natural gas usage between 2009 and 2010. please visit Blog Archives 2010 "Smashing Gas Flat" :-
Alas, garbage output is a bit up too DESPITE only producing one 2 Quart mason jar a month personally: cat poop. If it weren't for the furry little fuzzballs whose poop must be scooped and disposed of properly, I only would have made seven and a half gallons of my own trash between May-December. Grrr. I welcome suggestions on ways to safely compost cat poop in my yard (if that is even legal)... or maybe I will keep two separate counts...one for me, one for the cats. Heh!
One month of trash...and during the holiday season to boot! This level of trash making- or non-trash making- has been on-going since May. Watch out Bea Johnson...I'll get down to one jar a year eventually! If I only didn't have cats... (I love my cats and they ain't going nowhere, in case anyone wants to know!)
Water usage remained on the lower side for 2014, despite it being the nastiest, driest, hottest Seattle summer since I moved here in 2014. 2010 was bad because my drip hoses sprung a leak that I didn't know about. What do I do?Take quick showers with the water OFF while I soap, use rain barrel watering for houseplants and garden, efficient dishwasher and front-load washing machine, "if it's yellow, let it mellow" , etc.
Lastly, About That Flying...And Mom...
Flying used to be very occasional until 2009 when my father in California became extremely ill in and died. Since then, as an only child, I have had make frequent and often last-minute flights between Seattle and California, to aid my mother, whose health is really bad as well. 2012 was a particular difficult year, both emotionally and logistically re Mom. I only WISH I could say those 2012 flights were all vacations but they weren't.
Electricity in the City Seattle, WA is produced 94% by renewable energy: hydro-electric, wind and solar. In addition, I am a part of the Seattle Community Solar project and my home is partially powered by solar that way as well!
However, I DO share my yearly kWh count... just not until I get my final bill, which doesn't arrive until mid January each year. See you then!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
DEB GOES GREEN!
HOW DEB DOES THE MATH:
(I forget where I got this formula I will update post when I find it again)
Short haul <727.45 miles 0.64 lbs/mile
Med haul <2575 miles 0.44 lbs/mile
Long haul >2575 miles 0.39lbs/mile
1 gallon of gasoline = 19.4 pounds of C02
1 therm= 11.7 pounds of C0
1 kWh in Seattle= 0 pounds of CO2
Merry Christmas from Deb Goes Green!
The cats and I are spending a lovely day on the couch enjoying a good book and not consuming or making trash.
Peace on Earth begins at home...or so we think!
-Deb, Peaches & Morpheus
New York State banned fracking today and I am fracking excited!
READ WHOLE ARTICLE HERE
Yay! The PDF versions of the blogs from the old Deb Goes Green Word Press Version are all up and accessible from the Word Press Archives page! Or get them right here:
Blog Archives 2008-2010
Blog Archives 2011
Blog Archives 2012
Blog Archives 2013
Blog Archives 2014 (last entry October 16)
I hope to have an index of past blog post titles up soon.
But for now, enjoy! I know I am glad to have these posts archived in a more anti-deletion-friendly way!
"Don't tell me what you believe. Show me what you do 24 hours a day and I'll tell you what you believe" (Jerry Rubin)
Electric Cars, Zero-Waste & Eco-Blogger
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