Once again I’m behind on updating the Green Index for the new season. There’s only a month of Fall left, so I doubt I’ll be switching things up too much for winter.
We did pretty well on our summer goals – especially if I count the last couple months!
- Learn more about green cleaning and disinfecting without bleach. I’ve been using a lot of vinegar (Burningman clean-up got me started on the joys of vinegar, and there’s a great list of “45 Things to Do with Vinegar” on pp 184-185 of How it All Vegan! (a must-have for vegans). We’ve also settled on a reasonably affordable brand of eco-friendly laundry detergent.
- Steam more, fry less. I’m doing this!
- Juice at least once a week. Pretty much.
- Buy less packaged food â€” but also work on keeping more healthy quick foods available, so I donâ€™t skip lunch and we donâ€™t eat out so much. Joining the CSA was great for this. As far as snacks, I’ve developed a fondness for pumpkin butter and Mary’s Be-Gone crackers. And I’ve been overjoyed to learn that I’m not actually allergic to bananas after all — at least not anymore. So along with the old stand-by (peanut butter and apples), I’ve got a pretty good selection of healthy snackfood around all the time. Also, Ben and I have been working on leaving leftovers instead of gobbling down every last morsel of whatever I cook for dinner. That helps ensure that I don’t eat burritos for lunch every day.
- Switch to more efficient lightbulbs. This one’s going to have to stick around for a while. None of our bulbs have burned out in ages, so it seems kind of silly to throw them away and replace them. Even if it would save energy.
I’ve added a couple new goals. One is to take my “recycled christmas” idea up a notch this year — making holiday gifts and using mostly recycled materials. I’ll probably also make some food/drink gifts since those are practical and fun. And we’ve talked about giving donations in the names of people who would appreciate it. We’ll probably buy a few gifts, but only in those cases where I don’t have a decent handmade idea.
The other goal is about charitable giving. I actually don’t like the word “charity.” There’s a wonderful quote somewhere about not believing in charity but in solidarity, but that’s a whole rant that will have to wait til another day. The gist is that we do give to several groups we believe in, but we’ve never sat down and figured out how much of our income we want to give away regularly. That’s something I want to commit to for 2008.