22 August 2007

Little things

I walked into Kroger in Sterling, Illinois the other day and there, hanging off of hook on a large sign that said something like, "Be responsible, moron" was a bunch of reuseable grocery bags for sale.
It was kind of a slap upside the head to me (hence the "moron"). If a grocery store in rural northwestern Illinois is promoting environmental stewardship, the time has long come for me to get on board.
So. I've got canvas. And I've got this pattern. And I think I've got the opportunity to put the kids to bed a little early tonight while Dennis is at school and sew. I think. (Edited to add: I also found this cool pattern and then there's this one for the knitters out there and this uber-simple one that might be put into use here.) (Edited again to add: Check out this cool link about how to fuse plastic bags into a workable "cloth"!)
Also, I was reading this article in Time magazine about the environmental impact of using bottled water. I have heard about this before and also heard a report on Living on Earth a couple of years ago that talked about the level of spring water now underground in relation to the increased demand for bottled spring water. It wasn't a positive report. Every time I think about it, I think that it is time to give up the bottled water crutch. I believe I have been properly convicted thanks to the Time article. Dennis installed a reverse osmosis system in our house last year. The only reason to not carry water with me from home is laziness and, well, that's not a good excuse.
While on this topic, I remind myself -- I have found that it is not too big of a deal to make changes that are more responsible in terms of stewardship of resources. We began recycling a couple of years ago and are doing well with it. In fact, we recycle far more than our bin can handle every week. We have tried to combine trips out and about with other errands. If Dennis can stop and get something on his way home instead of me making a separate trip, we try to be mindful of that. We don't dry most of our clothes and have three lines strung in the basement for that purpose. I'd like to try to get a compost heap constructed this fall and begin using the stuff we send down the garbage disposal for a higher purpose, too.
So... these are not big things, obviously. And though little and really quite painless, they make a difference. And they move us from where we have been one step closer to where we need to be. One little step, but one step nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

We just made the switch, although we bought the bags. We bought enough to have a set in both our cars so that whoever goes shopping has a set, and no having to remember to pick them up on the way out of the house (I have no ability to remember stuff like that).

jake said...

being 99.9% green myself, I feel compelled to give you a hippie high five. I have also been trying to become more ecologically sensitive when it comes to the little things. For example, while changing the oil in my jeep I like to add a little of my own earwax... I can save approximately 1qt of oil by doing so. If its been a particuallarly "good" day I may be able to leave out a quart and a half. It's all in the luck of the...draw. might want to pass that along to Dennis.

April said...

I appreciate this wisdom. Especially coming from you, Jake, because I know that the .01% that isn't green is actually an olive-color.

And hey, don't you further recycle that oil for use in anointings? Less nard, more 'tard, but every little bit helps, right?

Cara said...

Hey there, I think you may have given *me* the final nudge to use cloth. With the sling or Ergo everyone in my town already knows that I'm different, so this shouldn't surprise them :) I checked out the pattern, that's how I'd do my bags also. I'm going to check out the $1 rack next time I go to the store and see what they have, and then I'll just double it up. I think I'll make my handles go all the way down and around, so that's not the weak point :) Maybe I should head back over to my own blog and think out loud over there. Teehee.


Kalin said...

I've cut the number of whales I poach in half by fueling my lamps with river otter blubber.

geoff said...

Global Warming is a Myth.

Amy said...

Way to go, April.

I've been trying to walk to places more (there's no reason to drive when the grocery store is only a few blocks away), and I bought a bike so I can ride back and forth to school.

Plus, we've recently started practicing sabbath, and in doing that have been trying to go "off grid" for the day. We don't use technology (well, we use electricity and the car, but not computers or TV) and we don't shop. So, we've become more aware that way that if we would just make a cup of coffee at home rather than buy it, we'd be much better off--financially and environmentally.