Monday, August 26, 2013

Laundry Experiment: Results (almost)

I finished the laundry experiment on Sunday night by weighing the two behemoth bags of laundry that I saved for ONLY FOUR DAYS.  I managed to collect almost 30 pounds of laundry.  I have all the notes back at home so will update when those are in front of me.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Gatorland Laundromat

So I dug out my laundry card for the Gatorland Laundromat - I think I've got some bucks on here but I'll have to wait until I actually go to the laundromat to find out - this laundromat is nice, it's close to the house, and I found out the last wash is at 9pm.  With my current work hours I don't think I can hack this last wash time during the week, so I think what I'm going to do is stop the laundry saving tonight, weigh everything (yes, using the oh-so-scientific home weight scale) and then take it to the laundromat.  So I'll update after I've weighed everything and then start getting ready for laundry day!

Saving your Laundry

The one nice thing about this laundry experiment is that I haven't had to do laundry the past couple of days and it's been pretty groovy.  I actually got around to some ironing today instead of putting it off to fold or wash another load.

I'm still trying to decide whether to haul the laundry to the laundromat or just weigh it at home (using the oh-so-scientific home weight scale), and figure out the price per pound if we were to do it at the laundromat or have a wash and dry concern take care of it.

Got the photo with the bitchin' washing set up from Wikimedia Commons.

Almost two bags

I've almost saved up to two duffle bag's worth of laundry and I only started this thing on Tuesday - I might have to rethink this...

More later.

Laundry experiment

More on it, later, but the gist of it is an analysis of how much laundry we do in a week.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why, Corelle, why?

I'm wondering why Corning is being so greedy that they've outsourced making the stoneware to China?  I have no problem with China making money but what really irks me is that with all the US cup manufacturers on the east coast, you'd think one if them could offer a fair price - not necessarily a competitive price, which I think is impossible to do these days without the use of child labor.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wigwam work socks

Just bought the old man some new socks and decided that, for the value, wigwam socks are worth the buy, AND they are made in the USA.  Good, comfortable socks!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Okabashi 2013

A picture of my feet wearing the old euro trash okabashis, because the Photo-of-Your-Feet meme should never have become passé, and I'm feeling nostalgic.  Read my other posts about Okabashis here, here and here - totally need to get new ones for me and DJ - these are just too comfortable!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Naked Bikeriding: Not just for nudists

I don't see helmets!
Yesterday was the 6th Annual Naked Bike Ride in Thessaloniki, Greece.  The bike ride, held in 70 cities worldwide, seeks to promote the use of alternative fuels and the joy of bike riding.  I don't think Gainesville does the World Naked Bike Ride, but if it did I would be either fully-clothed sober or at least commando with a couple of beers in me.  In case you were wondering.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Fat Tire coming to Florida

Just had to report on a great discovery this morning - New Belgium Brewing Company is set to start distributing their beer in Florida (I think the closest they would get was somewhere in Georgia.  I've been following this brewery for awhile, mostly because I've been fascinated with their sustainable brewing practices, and the fact that they like bicycling and bicycles, both things I can certainly get behind.  I had the pleasure of drinking some of this stuff while visiting family in Arizona this past December, and was simply enchanted with it.  Now they are finally coming to Florida!  Hooray!

Here's the only other post where I talk about NBBC.

Swiped the photo of my favorite beer from NBBC.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Sierra Club posts about Barefoot College

Solar oven
If you don't know anything about this project, please read this article on Bunker Roy's Barefoot College in the latest issue of Sierra Club's online home.  I talked briefly about this project in 2009, and am so glad to see that it is still going strong and still inspiring to witness.  Women in third world countries are given a 6-month course in how to build solar grids in their communities and it is just beautiful to think about these strong women more empowered in the task of helping their families and friends construct infrastructures that will inevitably help them as we deal with a changing world, both economically and weather-wise.

Here is a pull-out from the article:
Since 2004, the Barefoot College, in Tilonia, India, has trained about 250 illiterate and semiliterate women from rural, unelectrified villages in 41 countries to be solar engineers. After six months of training, these women have provided more than 15,500 houses with solar electricity in their home countries. The government of India covers all expenses—245,000 rupees (about $4,400) per woman, plus airfare. The college has trained an additional 700 men and women from rural India, including Moceiwasa's teachers.
Is that freaking amazing, or what?!  Imagine spending just 4400-dollars on each person in the US who wanted to learn how to build solar grids for their communities.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to Make Seed Bombs

Via Instructables.
Got the cool picture (taken in CA, natch) from Sideshow By the Seashore blog

Bike to work week, y'all!

I totally just biked in to work today. Pro-tip: have moist wipes on hand because your body will be sweaty and your face covered with fine particulates of dirt (you're gonna get dusty, is what I'm trying to say).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fixing clothes

The underwire in my bra tore through the fabric casing and I was just about to toss it when I decided to give fixing it a try. You might not be able to see in this picture but I did a little weaving with needle and thread, making the closure stronger (hopefully).

If it works I saved roughly 50 dollars on a new bra.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What we can learn from preppers

There's a growing awareness of a sector of the citizenry who believes the country/world is about to go belly-up and be ready for the coming food riots and what-not.  This involves things like canning tons of food and buying toilet paper in bulk, but it also involves things like arming oneself heavily and being ready to fight off home invasions by food rioters or whatever.  I'm sure there are lots of grays in there, but when you prepare yourself in such a way for any catastrophic event, economically or otherwise, you have a pretty fucked-up worldview.

I don't consider myself a commie for saying that the "I got mine" mentality doesn't fit the American ideal of working together as a nation for the common good, and I believe, fundamentally, that most people will work together if faced with a disaster.  The most recent example of this is that, right after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, the runners went right to the blood donation tents to help out.  That's not a small thing.  That's a small fraction of our country's population engaging in civic ideals that we invite all Americans to participate in.

But, back to the preppers, the reason why I've become aware of them is actually through my curiosity with low-tech/no-tech ways of doing things, like just today I was wondering if it would be possible to get a washing tub with a wringer attachment, like my paternal grandmother had (hers was electric, though, so extra fancy), and I found this YouTube video by LDS Prepper on the setup they made from a washtub, an agitating tool (The blue plunger-looking thing) and a wringer they purchased from an automotive shop.  It looks like it would all work, but the video itself is kind of boring.

Watch this video at your own peril:

Preppers, in all their misguided attempts to prepare for cataclysmic events, are going to show the rest of us that we can live more simply and with less electricity by using more primitive power.  I can get behind this - why do I ride a bicycle?  It's people-powered and I'm independent of the gas and oil industry when I ride my bike.  It's also pretty fun.   My work with the 1870's Living History Farm showed me that it's a lot of people-energy, but cooking and cleaning without electricity is possible.  So, we can take a lesson out of the playbook of the rapture-ready preppers in that living without electricity is not the end of the world.  Oh, wait.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grist experiment: Vegan for a month

Just finished Elizabeth Kwak-Hefferan's insightful piece, "What I learned from a month of eating vegan."  Her analysis can be summed up as, "I didn't transform into a vegan at the end of one month, but I am more vegan than I was to begin with."  I think that astutely vibes my own experience with veganism, which me and the Old Man tried back in the wild and wacky Aughts, when our son, Dude Junior (DJ), was about 6 months old.  I was all caught up in a frenzy of ethical eating and thought it would help me and the OM improve our health and possibly drop some pounds.  There was one problem; my father-in-law, God love him, doesn't cotton to hippy-dippy stuff like veganism and neither of us had the reproductive organs to tell the g-rents we were keeping vegan.  So, we ended up being weekend carnivores, where we would be vegan during the week and then eat delicious, delicious meat at Sunday dinners at their house.  Not really a recipe for conscious eating (haha, I made a food joke).

I'm glad we tried it and now I know the basics of cooking and baking for vegans (although, some vegans will not even eat "vegan" food at potlucks because they are very strict, and need to make sure all of the ingredients are ethically made).  I also have a problem with cheese, like, I cannot stop eating it.

Ideologically, I also have problems with the wool/leather conundrum.  If you do not want to wear leather and wool because it exploits animals for their pelts, that's fine, but I think it's okay to wear leather and wool purchased second-hand.  And, as Ms. Kwak-Hefferan pointed out (and I will point out that I have not made fun of her name ONCE), is getting eggs from your neighbor's yard-cooped chickens such an exploitation?  If you decide not to try veganism for a month like the author of the Grist piece, or five minutes like I did, at least think about where your meat is coming from.

Got the photo from Sandra, "Vegetable Monster."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Repurpose Project

 The Repurpose Project hasn't been around for very long, but it's apparently a very popular place, and it's getting ready to move because the fire station needs to expand.  I need to find out how long they've been around and where they are going to move.

Soup vs. Sammiches

So, over the weekend I recorded the first AE podcast with my friend and bicycle mechanic, David G., and we talked about how he has been ranked #1 on GRU's energy reports at least three separate times, and how David saves a lot of scratch by running his water heater for only 40 minutes a day.  There is also a Banjo Break, graciously donated by Brenda W., plus the old man performs the theme song, The Eco Blues. At the end there's a plea to listeners to weigh in on the controversy of which is better, soup or sandwiches?  I say both are equally great, but I've already stepped aside on this issue.  

Next week I think we're going to talk about the Repurpose Project.  I don't have the podcast live for downloading because it's not a great effort, but it'll get better, and maybe I'll start making them available after I get a couple more under my belt.  The first podcast came out to about 7.5 minutes, but I'd like it to eventually be 15 minutes in total.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Enviro Rage

Folks, I've been really angry lately about the state of our country and the shape of its environment.  Mostly, I'm starting to agree with the preppers!  That's how angry I am.  But I don't believe in the dismal, fucked-up worldview most preppers have; I believe that in the most dire of circumstances people come together to help one another.

But that doesn't excuse or ignore the fact that a lot of people are going to freak-the-fuck-out when gas prices go up with this summer.  Don't know by how much, but you can be damn sure believe that people will be crying over how we have to pay x-amount more, even when the US pays the lowest gas prices in the world, second only to Canada.

I may joke about how irresponsible a steward I am of my environment, the small plot I call the homesphere, but there are a lot of people who do not give a shit about the environment, all they want is their cheap gas and cheap electricity.  Meanwhile, old people are freezing to death in Britain and Ireland has to ration water supplies. Oh yeah, we're dealing with our own environmental disasters, like an underground pipeline spill in Arkansas.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bulk soaps and lotions at the Citizen's Co-op

Just wanted to show that I am still supporting the co-op by buying their bulk soaps and lotions. They have Dr.Bronner's which is a childhood favorite so I stocked up on that for our hand soap; got some of the liquid Charlie's laundry soap (good thing I stocked up on fragrance) and some lavender hand and body lotion and some lavender flowers, all using already-bought containers.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Liebster Award!

What the heck is this?!  I've been nominated for a Liebster award, for small blogs with less than 200 followers (yeah, I've plateaued at somewhere around 150), by Miriam of My Adventures with My 2 Kids blog (Thanks, Miriam!).  So, in order to pass this nomination on to other blogs deserving of a little recognition (can I get a little recognition, please?!) I have to do some stuff which I will now copy and paste from Miriam's blog:

The rules for the Liebster Award are:
1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.
4. Go to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.

No tag backs might be hard because I am so indebted to Miriam that I might just tag her back because she is so wonderful!

Here are 11 random facts about myself:

1. I am a Duncan Yo-Yo Champion after winning a city-wide competition in Central Park back when I was 10 years old.

2.  I love the color purple even though I don't own anything that is purple.

3.  I am the first in my family to finish college

4.  I was born on the Epiphany

5.  My favorite movie used to be My Favorite Year but now it is Escape from New York.

6.  I was born and raised in New York City but now I call Florida my home.

7.  I ate Ben & Jerry's Phish Food every night throughout my pregnancy.

8.  I can make one eye wander on command

9.  My alter ego is Mocha La Rouge

10.  The furthest west I've ever been is to Arizona

11.  I am of Hungarian and French descent.

Here are the 11 questions from My Adventures with My 2 Kids:

1. How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging on The Accidental Environmentalist for 7 years this October (!).

2. If you could turn back time would you and why?

I wouldn't turn back time because even though things have not been totally awesome with the world, it is what it is.  Maybe I would turn back time to put women in charge.

3. What's your favorite time of the year.

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year and I have a whole playlist of songs in my head during this season which include:

California Dreamin' by the Mamas & Papas
Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkle
Turn! Turn! Turn!  (There is a Season) by the Byrds

4. What is your favorite part of being a mom?

Getting to see my son learn about the world and generate some pretty astute observations about it.

5. If you could have any car in the world what kind would it be?

The Old Man would not agree, my friend Xendawg would be mortified, and every environmental fibre of my being is repulsed by this, but I really, really want a Jeep Wrangler.
6. What would be or would of been your dream job?

Well, my first career goal was Fairy Princess but since that fell through I've settled on being an awesome librarian.

7. Would you prefer Tea or Coffee?

I like both - don't make me choose!

8. What's your favorite TV show?

Star Trek TOS

9. If you could change anything on your appearance what would it be?

I hate to say this, but I would have smaller breasts.

10. If you had one chance to move out of state where would it be?

I would move to the Pacific Northwest.

11. What year was the best time of your life?

I think 2012 was an awesome year for me because I got this great job, my family is doing well, and I have great friends and co-workers.

Now I have to come up with 11 new questions and nominate 11 other blogs with under 200 followers.

Here are my 11 questions for you:

1.  How long have you been blogging?

2.  If we had a third party in the United States, which would it be?

3.  Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb?

4.  What is your favorite bird?

5.  What sport do you watch or participate in most regularly?

6.  When you decide to splurge, what do you spend money on?

7.  What is your favorite junk food?

8.  What was your favorite vacation spot ever?

9.  What is your favorite amusement park ride?

10. Do you have pets and if so, what pets do you have?

11.  What era of U.S. history would you most want to be a part?

Here are the blogs I am nominating:

Wow!  What a pain in the butt!  But this was kind of fun, too.  And I got an award!  Yippee!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Cider vinegar and baking soda for hair

Courtney Cox is my besty.
So, I've been doing a baking soda wash on my scalp, followed by a cider vinegar rinse of my hair, pretty consistently for about a year or two, now. (No, I don't use them at the same time!).  The only times I don't use this washing method is when I'm on vacation and use whatever they have at the hotel, or when I'm at Nancy my stylist's (and yes, even an irascible hippie like me goes to a hair stylist every 5 weeks or so), and she washes my hair.

Have you ever had someone wash your hair for you?  My mom always said it was the height of luxury to have someone else wash your hair, and she's pretty much on the mark.  I love it when I get my hair washed; unfortunately my hair is not as happy.  It literally freaks out for three days after I visit my stylist.  After washing it with baking soda and vinegar a couple of times and I can wash out the hair product, it seems to return to it's normal state.

I like my hair, and it has been good to me.  Sometimes, when I see the college girls walking on campus with their super-shiny hair, though, I get a little wistful for shiny hair; my hair is relatively shiny, but not as eye- blindingly shiny if I were using a commercial shampoo.

It's tempting, sometimes, though, to want to use shampoo that will make my hair shiny, like Courtney Cox's.  That's why when I got this ad in the email today I actually clicked through to see if there were any coupons - since Courtney Cox is going to all the trouble to tell me about this fabulous new addition to the shampoo world, and I see how shiny her hair is, I think "maybe I'll give it a try!"

But then I stop myself and click away (especially when I don't see any coupons), and realize that that's just making a whole mess of trouble for my hair.  It's so used to the baking soda scalp wash and cider vinegar hair rinse that I think all my hair would fall out from the frustration of having to adjust.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's all small potatoes.

That was the title of my Facebook status update. We're out in the woods behind the cemetery (Evergreen) and things have been so successful with these annual air potato round ups (we've been doing this for awhile) that now the parks department are focusing on this plant (see photo), the name of which currently escapes me. And me, I'm just blogging I'm the woods when I should be picking air potatoes!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starbucks Reusable Cup

Starbucks is a necessary evil for me, especially on a day where I forgot my coffee cup and need something to make instant coffee in later in the day.  Starbucks just introduced their 1-dollar, reusable cup in a grande size.  Of course I didn't see it until after paying for my soy latte and coffee cake, so I bought it on the side and threw out the cardboard cup when I got my order.  So wasteful!

The cup is also #5 plastic so if you have that recycling in your area it can go in the recycling bin when it gets too skanky to keep using.

P.S. - for some reason this picture will not stay rotated 90-degrees so don't hurt your necks!