Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Independence Days Weeks #20 and #21

I missed the update last week, so this update represents two weeks worth of activities. Really, I ought to also include a 'Dependence Days' category and confess some of the high impact, wasteful things I've done.

For instance I drank bottled water in the back of stretch limo! Oh gods of depleting resources have mercy upon me. I was at a friend's wedding and the limo was a complimentary shuttle taking guests from the reception back to the hotel. The bottled water was complimentary as well, and well, I had a bit too much wine at the reception, and really needed some water. I've never been in a limo before, and I never need to be another one again, but I have to say, it was a fun indulgence!

I drank non-fair trade coffee, including some that came in a single use, plastic package that comes with the hotel room, and even though I did reduce some waste by bringing my own travel mug, utensils, napkin and reusable containers and used them whenever I could, there was still some more single use item waste.

Sadly, I didn't plan ahead and bring my own recycled wrapping paper and homemade card, so the ADGMD went out and bought tissue paper, bags and cards. (Yes, plural. He wasn't sure what was appropriate, so bought a few items to choose from. Well, I guess now I've got gift wrap supplies for a few more occasions!)

On the food waste front, I had to compost some cucumbers yesterday because I left them a day or two too long before I turned them into pickles and they went mouldy. I managed to salvage enough for a small batch of pickles, so it wasn't a total loss, but I was disappointed no less. I hate to waste food.

It all just goes to show how easy it is to be more wasteful and impactful when you're out of your usual routine, unprepared or pressed for time. I'm chalking it up as lessons learned and am resolved to do better in similar future situations.

So, onto what I did do for the challenge.

Harvest something:
- 1.5lbs cucumbers, 5lbs tomatoes, 1.5lbs pole beans, chard, purslane, chamomile, thyme, oregano

Preserve something:

- canned plums
- drying herbs
- blanched and froze dandelion, tomatoes
- shelled dry beans

Waste not:

- gave consignment store gift to a 4yr old boy, (grocery store attachment for his wooden train set) wrapped in a silk scarf that had stars and planets on it (will reuse the scarf)
- carpooled to out of town wedding with friends
- brought own food for car trip to avoid having to buy processed, packaged, fast food
- tired to reduce single use item waste as much as possible by bringing own cutlery, containers, travel mug etc. on trip
- rehung towels for reuse in the hotel room

Want not:
- wore second hand dress (gorgeous, $8 dress that got compliments!) and shoes to wedding
- garden neighbour gave me a big bunch of Lebanese dandelion
- another garden neighbour gave me two and half pounds of potatoes
- my herbal teacher gave me a pizza tray
- I picked up a fancy glass jar at a consignment store that I'll use for an herbal vinegar gift
- I bought new underwear! I've been making do with the underwear I've had since, oh geez, before my nothing new year started. Most things held up considerably well, but enough unmentionables were getting ratty enough that it was time to break down and make the new purchase. I found a reasonably priced, good quality, made in Canada brand that carries a line of gitch made from bamboo. I bought two pairs of nickers and a bra. Woo hoo!

Preparation and storage:

- bought beets for pickling and I'll be doing that this week

Build community food systems:
- the usual local food from the farmer's markets

Eat the food:

- cucumber salad
- salsa
- roasted potatoes
- roasted tomatoes
- chard


Chile said...

You are so right about it being harder to be mindful of everything we do when rushed or off our regular routine. I still battle the temptations of convenience when my time is crunched and half the time I don't know why my time is so crunched in the first place. I'd say more, but I'm late to go feed a friend's kitties. ;-)

Amber said...

Hi Chile. Yep, convenience is seductive temptation no doubt, especially when society pushes convenience as a virtue.