Monday, April 27, 2009

I Forgot Them In My Car...

How many times have you uttered these words?

"My underwear? Uh, I forgot them in my car..."

"Come on honey, just the tip, pleeeeaasssse?! I do have protection, but I forgot them in my car..."

"Where are Johnny and Susie, hmmmm? Oh that's right, I forgot them in my car..."

Underwear left in the car leads to unprotected sex due to forgetting condoms in the car which leads to distracted/stressed parents leaving their children in the car.

Forgetting stuff in the car is a slippery slope indeed!

The "them" I am referring to are reusable bags and totes.

I have LOTS of canvas reusable bags and totes.

I have 4 from South Coast Organic Farms, 1 really cool Feed 100 bag, a couple from Farm to Market, some from La Cense Grass Fed Beef and several really lovely market baskets and a few others that escape me now.

I would put these in my car and then load my basket up at Mother's and - ooops, "I forgot them in my car..." This happened over and over and over.

And over.

I tried all kinds of tricks to help me remember. I would remember sometimes but more often then not, "I forgot them in my car..." Over and over.

I realized that positive reinforcement, peaceful thoughts and forgiving myself was not going to work. I was going to have to play dirty.

I decided that if "I forgot them in the car...", I was going to punish myself. Don't worry - this isn't going anywhere weird!

If I forgot them I would have to figure out how to get my goods from the store to the trunk (or sometimes home because I would even forget to put them IN the car!), without the use of any bags from the store.

This was a pain in the bum. A big pain in the bum. A big pain in the big bum.

I got really weird looks, even from the enlightened crew at Mother's. I struggled with the items, I dropped things, people begged me to just take a bag already. I stood firm. I created this and I was going to have to fix it - without the use of new bag.

Guess what?! I remembered really quickly to bring my bags in with me!

Sometimes I still forget but I "punish" myself and mostly refuse a bag (I have folded once or twice but not often).

How do you remember?






Sunday, April 26, 2009

And The Winner Is...



Earth Day is in quotes because it wasn't what I would call an Earth Day or green event.

There were just a few booths there besides Honda. Glaring absences? Green companies!

THE GOOD:

Oggi's Pizza gave away free pizza on paper plates, not styrofoam ones.
Togo's Sandwiches gave away small sandwiches simply wrapped in paper with a piece of tape.
Recycling bins for bottles and cans.
Honda gave away reusable bags to everyone that entered.
Honda gave away 100% organic cotton caps to everyone that test drove a car.
No utensils needed for the food served (at least what I saw).

THE BAD:

Serving water in plastic bottles. Enough already people! The alternatives are readily available: biocompostable cups and water stations (see page 13).
The OC Register gave away plastic travel water bottles. Who really needs one of these? The Earth certainly doesn't!
No recycling bins for the paper plates, napkins, paper wrapping, etc.
No compost collection bins for food being thrown out.

THE UGLY:

Plastic wristbands for people test driving the insight. On Earth Day no less! How about paper wristbands, a stamp on the hand, using a pen to make a mark on hands or Tyvek and then set up a recycling station for them?
The reusable bags and hats were made in and shipped from China.
The reusable bag appears to be made of some sort of plastic material.

THE REALLY UGLY:

I didn't win the Insight!

Just kidding, well no I'm not kidding about not being the winner!

You can read about the winner, Mr. Richard Wada. You will see in the comments section that Honda is paying for license and state tax - way to go Honda!







Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sweating Bullets

Could it be more cliche to talk about the weather with strangers?

Probably not, but I don't care!

Spring 2008 my air conditioning unit died. As an environmentalist you would think I would happily figure out a way to remove the unit using a company that operates their fleet on recycled vegetable oil, wears organic cotton uniforms, promises to recycle every bit right here in the US and rejoice in more space to plant green things.

If you thought that you would be wrong - very wrong. So wrong in fact that you couldn't be more wrong!

Not that I would not like to be that person but the cold hard reality is that I am not. I am miserable when I am hot (anything above 74) or when I'm cold (anything less than 67). Go ahead - call me a pain in the bum.

I ended up having some unexpected expenses and had to choose. I, unhappily, chose to go without a/c. I did not rejoice. I did not recycle the unit - don't fear, it still sits in all of its useless glory outside taking up space.

I confess, I do turn on the a/c every once in a while to see if Cinderella's army of fairy mice have come in the cover of night and magically fixed it. Sadly, they must not know that this damsel is in distress. Either that or they lost my address.

I came up with some very economical and effective solutions which I will write about another time. I got through the summer of 2008 with a total of about two weeks that were miserable. It was hard but livable. I thought I was ready to do it again.

With the 2 heat waves we have had in 2009 my resolve is being tested. Go ahead, call me a wimp.

Is there such a thing a eco-friendly a/c unit?




Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth Day



Earth Day is almost upon us (April 22nd).

Does Earth Day matter? Is it pointless? Is it just a "feel good" political opportunity?

According to the OC Register it's at least a paler shade of green this year and a cursory review of the comments is certainly distressing.

What should Earth Day be about?

To me, Earth Day is about trying to be more aware, appreciation, learn something new, having fun while doing something green, a time for renewal, a chance to commit to making a change.

If you are looking for a community event of some sort, here are a few ideas for Wednesday:

The Road Less Traveled store is going to have a "Creating Natural Spa Goodies" class.

At the Environmental Nature Center, there will be a "Little Naturalist" event for young children and a "Yoga In The Green" for kids 6-12, and later a lecture titled, "Endangered Around Us".

How about tasting some organic, biodynamic wines?! Check out Yves in Anaheim for a fun way to celebrate and learn at the same time.

Whole Foods in Tustin has various events throughout the day.

At the Honda Event Center the Insight will makes it debut with a chance to win one and other green activities.

What does Earth Day mean to you?

What are your plans?




Sunday, April 19, 2009

BioDynamic Pest Control


I used to kill ALL spiders, bugs, pests and icky things lurking in my house.

My brilliant sister then shared with me how stupid I was to kill Daddy Long Legs (hereinafter referred to as DDLs), since their menu consists of spiders, bugs, pests and, most importantly, icky things.

The last DDLs massacre was about 11 years ago.

I have since left them alone and I no longer see icky things! Those DDLs sure to earn their keep.

I provide a roof (and apparently and abundance of icky things to eat) and DDLs provide me with free, green pest control. I don't have to be afraid of icky things I can see (bugs, pests, spiders), or of icky things I can't see (toxic chemicals, hormone disrupters).

I have noticed that they like the bathroom (even before the massacre). I only see one now and I like to assume that it somehow escaped my (misguided) final mass slaughter of them.

I have named this sole survivor, Phil. Phil typically keeps to himself except when I take a bath. If I get in the shower and he's in there, he skedattles, but when I take a bath he can't stay away!

He walks the shower wall and boy let me tell you, it's precarious. I have one of those awful shower liner things and so there isn't real grout for him to hang on to - it's very slippery. Phil is a daredevil.

He gets all settled in one area and then like a kid who you've asked to keep a secret, can't help but blurt it out for all the world to hear and then looks at you with a simultaneously evil and sweet glint in their eyes, well that's Phil on the shower wall - he can't help but move and struggle to keep himself out of the water.

He seems to enjoy this - I think it's like bungee jumping to him, exhilarating and cheating death all at the same time.

Almost without fail, Phil falls in. I wonder if he really falls in or if he's a drama queen?

Anyway, I always fish him out with a comb and set him somewhere to dry out. I check later to make sure he's okay.

He always is!