Catching Up

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged–most of our girl’s life, in fact. That life has been eventful for all of us, which is why blogging is one of many things that have fallen by the wayside.

Unfortunately a lot of our green habits have fallen by the wayside as well. We still have grand plans for solar, but no time line. So what have we been able to maintain?

We have low-water major appliances, and low-flow (but high aerating) faucets.
We use Seventh Generation Free and Clear laundry detergent.
Our main cleaning products are Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, and Honest Company, with a little bit of Method Home.
I still shop at our local farmers’ market, although often the only thing I buy is eggs. (Berries are in season, though, so I’ll be getting some of those tomorrow as well.)

Sadly, neither of us commutes by bus anymore. Our schedules have required some drastic changes over the past couple of years, which means that we’re driving to work–and even more than that, we’re driving separately. Hopefully we’ll be able to change that to some degree once this school year starts–but we won’t know for sure until we’re there.

So what would I like to change? Transportation isn’t going to change in the immediate future, but one thing we could do is buy less. I think my two main green goals for the rest of the year are to buy less, and to cut down on food waste. We’re doing better there than we used to, but we can pay more attention and shop more consciously.

Let’s see what happens.

Pike Place Farmers Market Express, July 16

Photo by Seattle City Council. Public Domain.

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Car-Free Blog Challenge, Day Three

So far I haven’t run into profound changes. I had been riding my bike to the bus in the past, but haven’t lately–largely due to the aforementioned difficulty in getting moving in the morning.

And I didn’t go to the store for ice cream. I’ve got one more day’s worth, and then tomorrow I’m going to the farm market at Pierce College. It’s a significantly longer trip than I make to the market I go to on Sundays, and I can bike it or take the Orange Line. Either way, tonight I need to get my pannier bags set up so that I don’t have to swing by the house solely for that purpose. Maybe I’ll find better dessert inspiration there.

Happy New Year!

Ready or not, it’s 2009. Seems like a good time to set some goals.

I’m not a big fan of resolutions. Among other things, I never keep them. But I do like goals. You don’t keep a goal, you meet it.

1) Power: We want to install solar panels. Our largest expanse of south-facing roof is on the garage, which needs to be re-roofed. Right now we are entering our rainy season, so this goal will have to wait for five or six months.

2) Water: We want to collect runoff. Right now we are entering our rainy season (that sounds familiar), so there’s no time like the present.

3) Food: We want to garden. First we have to move the spa that’s in the way of the future garden. In the meantime, though, I can go through my new seed catalog and pick out what we want to order.

That seems like a decent start. Each of these items is achievable in 2009 and will lower our bills (admittedly, there are up-front costs for solar installation). And there’s nothing wrong with lowering bills, particularly in a recession.

Fresh and Easy

Yesterday I made my first trip to Fresh and Easy. This is a U.S. branch of Tesco supermarkets, from the UK, and appears to be aimed at the Trader Joe’s segment of the market.

I like the idea, and the layout–not to mention the prices. But I’m not sure yet about the actual food. There are a lot of organic options, and the labeling clearly states when foods do not contain extraneous hormones or antibiotics, which is good. But the vanilla pudding and coconut flan both had odd flavors in the background.

Those may not be representative, however. We’ll see how things go as I cook; today I’m making beef stew, and tomorrow I’m making pepperoni pizza, because they had bags of pizza dough for sale and I couldn’t resist. (Hey, now that we have a real kitchen AND have found the pizza stone, I pretty much have to make pizza.)

I have one relative who loves Fresh and Easy and another who was underwhelmed, for what that’s worth. And I’ve read warnings from the UK that Tesco is a monster that will eat everything in its path. But considering how much people here love Trader Joe’s, I think Fresh and Easy will need to settle for its own share of the market, lest it find itself biting off more than it can chew.