Aquilegia formosa

today’s report January 11, 2010

Filed under: Food,Sustainable — aquilegiaformosa @ 9:06 pm
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There’s not too much to report here; today was my first day of classes for the semester. It’s going to be a busy one, I’ve got a 3 day/week practicum, in an elder care facility (called a “Life Enrichment Centre”), plus two days of on-campus classes, and my research assistant job. Also, the kids, the hubs and the sister/roommate to feed, etc.

I’ve been talking about my new adventure, hoping to spark some brainstorming and to give me some new ideas. So far, I’ve talked with my sister about coming up with alternatives to plastic produce bags to keep my lettuce and celery crisp in the vegetable drawer of the fridge. She suggested things like root cellars, or burying root veggies in plastic totes with sand or straw. Not quite what I was going for , but definitely on the right track. Her boyfriend, however, didn’t really get why I’m doing this. I mentioned it was partially about wanting to shop less, and he suggested he could shop for me, which was very thoughtful, and somewhat cute, but also beside the point. I’m thinking I’m going to try experimenting with dampened tea towels.

Today the kids and I popped into the grocery store to pick up some milk and some chicken for dinner. Shrimp and ham were on sale, so I grabbed a package of each. My first thought on looking at the shrimp was that, despite being only $10, a savings of $8, they still cost a lot – they are from Asia!! They are freshwater prawns from Bangladesh! I’m glad this is a journey comprised of teeny, tiny baby steps. If it weren’t, I don’t know that I’d know what or how to feed my family.

At the checkout, the cashier gave me a new cloth bag, which was, she informed me, for spending over $25 today. Chalk up one point for sustainability?! Then we walked across the parking lot to the produce store, and we placed a few veggies into recycled plastic produce bags! That’s right, not only did I remember to take my cloth bags out of the trunk and use them, but I rinsed out, dried, folded, put in the trunk and reused some of those plastic produce bags!

I’m gonna call that a win.


this is how I roll, yo January 9, 2010

Filed under: Sustainable — aquilegiaformosa @ 1:15 pm
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y’know, because I’m so ghetto, with loads of street cred. Na, really, I’m white, white, white. Dude, I’m whiter than white – I’m Anglo-Canadian. And us whitey’s, we know how to consume. We buy so much sh!t. Plastic, plastic, everywhere!!

I didn’t mind so much in the past, probably because I didn’t really notice it, because I could throw so much of it into the blue box (curbside recycling bin). Like, all those grocery store plastic bags – into the bin to be carted away every week. But last January, my city changed recycling service providers, and now they don’t take plastic bags. Before, we sorted out our recycling. Newspapers went in a blue bag, cardboard went in a yellow bag, everything else went in the blue box. Now, we have “single stream” recycling – they dump it all out onto a mechanized assembly line and pay people (probably immigrants making minimum wage) to sort it out. And the plastic bags are a hazard – they can get caught in the mechanism, and possibly start fires.

So the city publishes a garbage/recycling calendar every year, and the January page listed all these details. I didn’t read it until July, of course! I couldn’t figure out why they kept taking my blue and yellow bags away! I was pissed 🙂

But now those plastic bags pile up in my house until I take them with me to the grocery store – they’ve got a bin there to recycle them. This makes our plastic consumption a bit more obvious. One of my New Years goals is to never use another plastic bag again, i.e. to remember to get those cloth bags out of the trunk whenever I go into a store.

So, hubby and I went shopping yesterday. My mom gave us gift cards to the mall for our Christmas presents. Hubby was looking for new clothes. We, of course, left the cloth bags in the trunk. Then we went grocery shopping. It’s pizza-movie night around the ol’ homestead. Also, we were out of milk and eggs. (oh, for the days when we’ll live on a real homestead, and we’ll have our own source of eggs and milk!) It was raining. (I mean pouring buckets, like it can in the Pacific Northwest. This is a rainforest, yo!) We ran into the store, not remembering the cloth bags until we got to the til.


This isn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped.