Monday, December 31, 2012

Next Christmas

Wow, what a whirlwind the Christmas season this past year has been. Forgot to mention one of my new year's resolutions which has to do with both my non-environmental and environmental goals: 2013 will be the No Gift Christmas. Not quite sure how I'm going handle this with the family - DH is already grumbling that I won't be able to get away without any presents for the family. I'm going to do it - I'm going to ask for nothing and tell folks what I'm up to. It will be an interesting experiment and a practical one, as well.

I'm already feeling conflicted about it, and I haven't even started blathering to everyone I know about this idea. Part of me says, "well, you could buy second-hand or make things for people." I do this every year, to some extent. This year I started a batch of Kahlua that I have yet to finish and the holidays are already over! My point is to see how far I can go without buying gifts. I've ALWAYS been a gift-giver over the holidays, no matter how poor I've been. This next year I expect to be in better financial shape than ever, so why not splurge? I certainly splurged this past Christmas.

My intention is to point out that Christmas is not about giving or receiving, but enjoying the precious moments with your family and friends. You have a harder time enjoying that time when you are scrabbling for gifts or worrying about how much money you're spending doing it. On the other hand, I might find myself being more uncomfortable if I don't participate in the yearly money-toss at businesses, local or otherwise. I'm not sure what's going to happen.

So, my first accidentally environmental project of the New Year will actually take place a little less than a year from now.

And I have to set guidelines for myself, or I'll be slipping and sliding all over the place.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I go through this every year - I make resolutions to do better, be better, and mostly for the environment. This year, however, I'm making more resolutions to get our home and finances in order. This year I resolve to:

Get our house cleaned out of junk, especially in the workshop so we can turn it into a game room for DJ. Haven't decided whether to have an actual garage sale or lawn happening (where we give everything away).

Get our finances in order - now that we are a two income household again, I want to start saving up for a second house and/or a second car (yes, a second car!). The second house will eventually be for DJ and his eventual family.

Lose weight and start running again. I've already lost a bunch of weight, now I need to lose more and get into a running shape so I can join in the Princess Half-Marathon in 2014.

Okay, those are my non-environmental resolutions. For the environment:

I resolve to ride my bike more.

I resolve to participate in at least one, week-long accidentally environmental project (I think it will have something to do with beer).

And that's pretty much it. Eminently achievable, just have to plan and get serious.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The AE approves

Eating breakfast at DJ's Bagel Cafe and realized that they follow the middle ground I try to walk i.e. they use ceramic plates and foam cups - I also noticed that the cup says it's recyclable in Los Angeles. Hmm, that doesn't help cause we're in Arizona!

Oh yeah, the food is awesome here, too!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Water Conservation, Arizona style

So far, this is the only attempt I've seen at water conservation at our hotel. The place is like Disneyworld in the southwest - a Disney-twist to a desert habitat. Will post more as I see more of it :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How to Take a Shower

Now, I'm the last person to tell ANYBODY how to take a shower. I bathe maybe twice a week, following the gauge, "do I work in a coal mine? No." Or, "do I work on a farm? No." And that helps me determine whether or not I need to bathe daily. See, these are very taxing, sweaty, jobs to have, and unless I come home every day caked in coal dust or earth I don't think I need to take a bath.

But I think we need to start thinking about how we shower in this country, especially in thirsty parts of the country like Florida. That's why I'm advocating not only less frequent showers, but showers in which you leave the water on to get wet, turn off the water, soap up the parts that need to be washed, and then turn on the water again to get rinsed off.

Now I know that less frequent showers evokes an "eww" response in many people (the more people I talk to the more I realize how outlier my bathing habits are) so I'm not saying you HAVE to reduce your showers per week. A blogger I used to follow was part of the 90% Solution movement and only spent 3 minutes a day using water for her daily ablutions. That equates to about 3 gallons of water, depending on your water pressure. You have to go with what you're comfortable with - if you don't like the thought of going without a shower each day, at least consider shortening your showers. I've read in places that you can use a timer, although that seems kind of lame, because what happens if you are in the middle of the most intense part of your shower (hair) and the timer goes off?

Set a limit and stick to it. Whether it's taking a long, hot shower twice a week (which is my current desire) or taking shorter daily showers, find what's comfortable for you and start conserving water. There. I said it. CONSERVE!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Roast beef in a box

I've been asking to have cold cuts put in an old Chinese food container. So far, no one at the deli counter has complained.

Friday, December 14, 2012 Petition

I know, I should be working, but obsessing about Maidenform making their products in the USA again has got me all het-up.  I just filled out a petition about Maidenform on Moveon's sister site,

Make Maidenform an American-made product again

Who doesn't want to buy locally?  Well, what about American, Union-made undergarments?  It is becoming a rarity to see the ILGWU label on any clothing you buy in the store, and that has to change.  Support the Made-in-America movement by pushing for Maidenform to produce their goods back state-side, in union-run factories.  Maidenform is one of the oldest undergarment makers still based in the US, but their products are produced overseas.  This has to change!

Question 2 asked who I direct this to, but I didn't know; the CEO of Maidenform, I guess.

Here's what I wrote for the petition text:

The citizens listed below no longer want to buy garments not produced by union labor in the United States of America.  We are willing to pay for good quality products that help support America's families and communities.  Maidenform, a 90-year old American company, should be producing their undergarments in union-run factories, and not overseas.

Oh, wait.  You can read it yourself by going to the link for the petition.  Thanks in advance for signing it!

Reply from Maidenform

Dear Michele,

Thank you for choosing Maidenform.  The physical address you can mail your letter to is below:

General Inquiries
485 Route 1 South Building F
Iselin, NJ 08830
United States

Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns.

First email to Maidenform

Maidenform doesn't have a physical mailing address on their website, so I sent the following email:

Dear Customer Service,

I would like to write a snail-mail letter to Maidenform and wondered what the physical address is where I can mail this?  Thank you and have a happy holiday season.


Too much? 

Swiped the photo from OHEMV

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I love comments, especially when they're from real people and not people trying to sell something.  Unfortunately, I have been letting my comment moderation go south and I apologize to anyone reading who has posted a nice comment and then waited interminably for it to be published.

Another Impotent Survey Rant to Maidenform

I like that Maidenform has been a long-time US company, but they need to start producing their undergarments back in the states.  I buy American-Made whenever possible (union-made definitely) but there are few options with decent undergarments.  I would even pay more for these same undergarments if they were produced state-side.  Please consider it.

I need to write them a really real letter and stop dickering around with these stupid surveys - I don't, as a principled rule, fill out surveys unless there is a free t-shirt or other perk for giving them all kinds of analytics on my purchasing sensibilities. The only reason I filled out this survey for Maidenform was to have the opportunity to tell them, once again, to start making their dainties back in the US of A.

And, just so this morning/afternoon is not a complete loss, here is one of my favorite songs in the whole world - favorite because it is one of the few songs I know all the words to.