Monday, June 30, 2008

The Three Rs

Cloth shopping bags vs plastic ones
Water bottles vs bottled water
Resealable bags (I'm bad about this one) rather than use and dispose
Washable dishes vs disposables (yes I hear about people using disposables at home instead of regular dishes)
Travel coffee mug vs paper cups
Real camera vs disposable ones
Tupperware or Rubbermaid vs plastic wrap, tin foil, or resealable bags
Fabric hankies for everyday use vs facial tissue
Cut up old t-shirts vs paper towels for dirty jobs
Dish towel instead of disposable wipes or paper towels

Plastics of all sorts
Electronics such as computers, phones, PDAs...
Donate old clothes and shoes, old toys, bicycles, etc to charity

REDUCE (what doesn't fall under Recycling and Reusing)
Use soap vs shaving cream: less packaging and lasts longer.
Sign up to get your junk mail reduced.
Buy what you will eat, not what you might want.
Eat before going to the grocery store.
Fabric shower curtain vs plastic one. It will last for years, doesn't get nasty like plastic, and can be washed in the wash machine when needed.
Use insulated curtains to reduce heating and cooling costs.
Turn the lights off in unoccupied rooms.
Unplug electronics not in use in order to reduce phantom power usage.
Compost food scraps and yard waste to reduce trash.
Buy bulk rather than single serving.
Take cloth shopping bags everywhere, not just the grocery store.

For cat litter and dog poop: use paper bags instead of plastic.

Friday, June 20, 2008

One more way to reduce plastic consumption

It occurred to me the other day, as I was getting in the shower, that I unintentionally figured out how to reduce my plastic consumption several years ago.

I hate cleaning the bathroom, especially the shower. The shower curtain was always a major point of frustration because I could never get it clean without a lot of labor and harsh chemicals. I would end up just throwing away the plastic shower curtain and buying another.

Then we went on vacation and, as I was getting in the shower, I realized that the curtain was cotton instead of plastic. I took my shower and then checked things out. The curtain was saturated, but there was no water on the floor. Huh!

So I went out and bought a 100% cotton shower curtain. It gets saturated with water, but none goes on the floor. When it needs cleaning, I throw it in the washing machine then hang it up wet. I haven't bought a plastic shower curtain in 7 years!

Here's where you can get one.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cost of Food

If you've been paying attention, you may know that there is a Global Food Crisis going on. If you Google it, you'll get no shortage of articles on it and reasons why it's happening.

What most don't seem to be dealing with is the affect it's having on people. It's hard to relate to numbers and a co-worker of mine has managed to put it in terms that makes sense to those of us in the West.

How do you relate to someone who only makes $1 a day? How do you understand that food costs them at least 80¢ a day and what that means? That is so out of our realm that it's hard. Try this:

The median salary in the United States is apparently $48,0000. (Not me, but I won't go into that.) That person makes about $132 a day. Imagine spending $105 on food every day of the week for 2 adults plus children. And that's not full meals consisting of a meat and 2 sides with pop to drink. That's just for a little rice, oil, and bread.

That only leaves $27 for health, car, and home insurance, clothing, gas, the house payment, the car payment....never mind the Starbucks, movies, televisions, gym fees...

Does that help clarify things? Do you want to help? There are a lot of organizations trying to collect donations so that they can help? You can contribute. If you need direction to a great organization that is helping the poorest of the poor, go here. Our spare change can feed the poor for a very long time.

Monday, June 09, 2008

From Beaded Yarn to Art

I've taken the beaded yarn I spun and turned it into a work of art. Here's the beginning. I'll take more pictures and add them later.

It's a "book" and it's entitled "Only the Moon and the Stars to Illumine the Grass."

Here's the yarn and frames ready to start.

Here's the first frame finished with the base layer.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I spent Saturday cleaning up my front yard garden. Due to weather, weddings, and surgery I haven't had the chance to do it until now and it REALLY needed work.

I set to work with the gloves and snippers on the dead stems and branches. I also spent a lot of time pulling and digging up weeds. Because of my delay getting to the task, the debris had accumulated to an excessive degree.

As I was going about it, the thought occurred to me that we must often do the same thing in our creative endeavors. As we are carried along in our creative fervor, it is easy to loose site of the whole as we focus on the details.

When we finally step back from our work it is often hard to be objective in assessing our work. However, it is critical that we do so and take care of what needs to be cut out or changed.

The result is hopefully the same as what is happening in my garden. The clutter is removed leaving only beauty.