Like most people, I have been reading a fair bit lately about how to become more environmentally conscious. Personally, I think peak oil is going to have a far greater effect on how we live and consume resources than any environment campaign. We can talk all we want about reducing emissions, plastic bags in landfills etc but until it hits us in our wallets we are not going to pay enough attention to make any substantive changes.
I have been reading a couple of green blogs on a daily basis to try and make some changes in our house. We have been using CFL bulbs for a long time and my latest project is to always try and remember to bring the cloth grocery bags. We are batting about 80% right now which is way better than it was for sure. One blog I read is called Our Green Year. At first I really enjoyed this blog. But now it is just getting funny. The things that Craig and Layla are doing, for the sake of the environment, are getting a little ridiculous. Everyday there is a new post and they almost always have the line: “Layla and I _____ (fill in the blank with environmentally pure behaviour).
Here are some examples of things that Craig and Layla have committed to doing:
Day 2: They joined the Green Party
Day 4: The started to store snow.
Day 9: they made milk jug flower pots
Day 14: Sees Craig and Layla washing their windows with socks and vinegar.
Day 17: Now we are getting a solar bbq
Day 26: they began to limit their showers to 5 minutes.
Day 32: they are now bringing their own takeout containers to restaurants.
Day 34: Sees the Bairds giving up their dryer.
Day 45: The Bairds tackle the pesky problem of those paper receipts you get in your cloth bags.
Day 49: Now, they are baking their own bread.
Day 49: The Bairds discover recyclable pens (can you contain your excitement??). Here is a quote from the blog entry for that day: “They are made from corn, and are completely environmentally friendly, so this is big for Layla and I because now we can make notes on our recycled paper with biodegradable pens and be completely net-zero in our writing lives.”
Day 57: Getting rid of pop cans and making their own soda!
Day 58: The Bairds are now making their own butter.
Day 75: Craig and Layla commit to only using one tank of gas per month.
Day 80: They start the global warming diet.
Day 82: Now the Bairds are going to wash their clothes by hand. But, go figure, they are having trouble locating a washboard.
Day 86: In an effort to conserve paper, the Bairds commit to: “We will write small on our paper pads and we will use both sides.”
Day 92: Craig and Layla are now going to collect the water that is run in the shower while getting the temperature correct. They will use this to water their gardens.
Day 96: My favourite day! On this day, the Bairds commit to trying to reduce their possessions to one hundred items. I tried to have a discussion with them about how one would do this (see the comments for that day) but I did not get very far. And, yes, for the record I was freaked out by that thought. We have multiple dogs, dog stuff alone would add up to 100 items: bowls, leashes, collars, brushes, combs etc.
Day 98: Crafting with old cds!
Day 115: Craig and Layla have a new toilet rule. Check it out to see.
Day 122: The Bairds commit to learning to like cold food to save energy.
Day 136: Craig and Layla have assured us that should they feel the need to buy jewelry it will be second hand jewelry.
Honestly, I don’t know how they can manage to do all of this and they are only at Day 138. I mean, seriously, when do they find time to sleep between making their own bread and butter, washing and drying their clothes by hand and sourcing second hand jewelry?
All of this has led Deb to take a fearless inventory of how we could do better on the environmental front:
Christine and I have decided to reduce our Carbon Handprints (anyone can reduce a footprint, it’s so passé).
From now on we’ll be going to the ocean when we need salt. We’ll boil seawater over an open fire in the back yard.
We are going to connect a treadmill to a generator to create electrical power. We will use dog power on the treadmill, hanging a bone from the handle and putting a bowl of water just out of reach.
Our guests will be directed to the closest Gas Station should they need to make use of washroom facilities. Christine and I will train our bladders to fill completely before requiring emptying.
In order to save trees, Christine and I will only purchase one book at a time, which we will both read at the same time. Our bookmarks will be made out of tree bark indigenous to the area.
Again, in order to save trees, we will suspend our subscription to our daily newspapers, and steal those of our neighbor.
In order to save on fossil fuel purchases, we will learn to siphon.
In the winter months, should we have snow, we will assemble our dogs into a sled team, with Clio and Mollie in the lead positions. We will travel only in large clockwise circles.
We will decrease our dependency upon processed food by making our own bread, and baking it in an outdoor brick oven, made with bricks from our neighbors’ deck.
Christine and I will reduce our dependence on ink by filling her fountain pen with the blood we drain from the body of the next Terasen Gas goon that knocks on our door to sell us utilities we already have.
We will recycle by collecting, carding and using all the dog hair in our home to knit an extra blanket to give to Craig and Layla for those nights that they turn their furnace way down.
We will lessen our trips to the Landfill by keeping only one filled garbage bag per week in our bear-resistant container, and adding one bag per house on our street for private pick-up.