Saturday, May 31, 2008

Eco Challenge Throwdown results...

1. No plastic: I joined a CSA and it seems like half the stuff they send me is in plastic bags! Pretty much the only trash I throw in the garbage can this day consists of plastic bags and non-recyclable plastic bits (and cat poop in compostable bags). I did avoid buying things packaged in plastic but have yet to figure out a way around putting bulk flour in plastic bags (pillow cases? what do y'all use for bulk produce?)

2. No paper products: I won't give up TP - I don't go through it very fast. I am very proud to announce that I got people to use cloth napkins and towels at my party - that was about 40 people and they either wiped their hands on their own clothes (drummers) or used cloth napkins/towels (Yes, I have a lot of them). Nary a paper towel or napkin was used at my party.

3. No driving: I think I did pretty well - I only fired up the car once a week to my best recollection. I ought to go fill it up before gas goes up even more than the current $4.30/gal.

4. Local food only: Aside from what was already in my cabinet (mmmmmaple sugar frosting), I bought mostly local food. I confess to buying some spring water (yes, plastic and not local) but did join a CSA. Some friends brought me a big bunch of collards as a table arrangement at my party (I finally ate them last night).

5. No garbage output: Very small - like I noted above, just non-recyclable plastic and the stray plastic bags that now find their way into my home.

6. No excessive water use: I take short showers. I put in a garden and have to water it - but this time am watering directly on each plant instead of running the soaker hose. I might have to get a drip system but that's a TON of plastic and not cheap (thoughts?).

7. No electricity: I did pull out my solar lantern and used that for light a few times. It's light until after 8pm now - I make sure to shut off appliances and computers when I leave the house so my usage is still pretty low. I don't use the electric dryer (ugh) but do use the washing machine - I don't have the time to wash all my clothes by hand.

Overall, this was a good challenge for me because I did think a lot more about what I could do to minimize use and impact in a variety of ways. It's rubbing off on others...

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