September 7, 2007
The original plan for this challenge was to be all about the small changes. There are plenty of other green bloggers going to extremes, like No Impact Man or EnviroWoman, but the whole point of my project is that it’s geared towards the average person, not the Dalai Lama (but hey, D-to-the-L, if you’re reading this — rock on!).
That said, thinking up 365 ways to lessen my ecological footprint isn’t exactly easy, and at this point I’ve already resorted to fairly drastic measures — unplugging the fridge, not using my oven, chopping off my hair, constructing a compost bin from scratch, etc.
So after emailing Colin incessantly, convincing him to reveal to me the all-too-personal details of his TP-free lifestyle, then stumbling upon Crunchy’s cloth-wipe challenge, I’ve decided today’s move will be more like a half-step towards something bigger: I’m going to eliminate toilet paper.
For now, it’ll be for #1, as I can’t quite handle doing it for #2 (especially not as I’m going to be interviewing Jake Gyllenhaal and shaking his Oscar-worthy hand today), but it’ll happen a little further down the road.
In place of toilet paper, I’ll be using a squirty water bottle, doing a quick rinse and then, well, pretty much shaking my booty dry. Maybe I’ll even bring a boombox into the bathroom and play some Rihanna tunes so it could be like a mini dance party!
Or… um… not.
Image of recycled TP roll courtesy of Grassroots
August 24, 2007
The other night, my friend Meghan and I went to an opening party for the Bicycle Film Festival at the Gladstone (which, on a side note, has stopped offering water in plastic bottles — hoorah!). We didn’t have tickets for the screenings on Friday yet, so while I frantically threw on some deodorant and eyeshadow, she went online and got that sorted out.
Well, turns out, they were being provided by this cool company called Brown Paper Tickets, the “first and only fair-trade ticketing service,” wherein you get an electronic ticket rather than a real one (which saves paper) and a portion of every purchase goes to charity (Meg said she chose the Animal Welfare Institute because she knew I liked small furry things).
They have a Ticketing Bill of Rights, too, which explains their mandate, where the money goes, and how the whole system works.
Finally, a green alternative to all those corporate ticketing agencies with their processing fees, shipping and handling crap, and glossy, laser-printed ticket stubs. From now on, I’ll be looking for options like this whenever I plan on going to an event.
August 13, 2007
OK, I realize a photo of the inside of my toilet tank is probably not what most of you want to be looking at first thing in the morning (assuming you check this blog first thing in the morning, which I know you do). But here’s the thing: As my green change today, I’m going to be keeping a plastic bottle filled with water in my tank so it uses less water every time I flush and saves me money; however, I’m not sure I did this right.
Doesn’t it look a little… well… wrong somehow? I tested it out and it seemed to work fine, and I definitely don’t want to put a brick in there or anything (apparently it deteriorates over time and clogs up the plumbing), but I don’t know. Something just looks a bit funny.
Then again, the idea of a water bottle in a toilet tank is, in itself, pretty ridonkulous. I suppose I’ll just keep checking up on it to make sure it’s not interfering with anything or breaking down. Of course, all this could have been prevented had we Canadians thought like the Europeans and manufactured dual-flush toilets to begin with. Although it’s possible for me to buy one, it’s not really so possible for my wallet.
August 8, 2007
So I figure, if my underwear is going to put up with cold water, so should I, and it all starts with my shower. All right, truth be told, I’m not about to crank the nozzle all the way to freezing cold just yet — but I have decided to turn the temperature down to a more lukewarm level.
This is a big deal.
You see, I’ve always loved scalding hot showers. On Treehugger‘s list of How to Green Your Sex Life, they suggest showering together, but that’s really never been an option for me because chances are the other person will consider my optimal shower temperature somewhere between boiling and Oh-dear-lord-I’m-getting-second-degree-burns.
Even in the summer, I may start off with a cooler temperature, but after a few minutes I want to feel that almost painful heat on my head. It’s a little weird, I know, which is why I’ve decided to try and adjust to a more practical and ethically responsible shower temperature. I don’t have an actual thermometer or anything, but I’m going to keep the dial in the middle of the hot-to-cold spectrum, which is at least … well … an inch cooler than normal.
Photo of an icy shower in Stanley Park courtesy of Mark Goodwin on Flickr
August 6, 2007
For years now I’ve washed most of my clothes in cold water, but if I was ever cleaning something really icky — like the bath mat Sophie just pooped on, for instance — I would often use hot water. Somehow, it just got into my head that a hotter temperature would kill off more germs. As well, for whatever reason, the “delicates” cycle on my machine uses lukewarm water instead of cold, perhaps because it’s thought to be more gentle on finicky fabrics like silk.
But enough of this — cold water is just fine, especially seeing as it has plenty of detergent swirling around in it anyway. My precious unmentionables can suck it up and go in a regular cycle (at low water level, of course) with the rest of my clothes and warm up on the drying rack later. And the bath mat? Well, I’ll just have to convince myself it’ll get as clean as it did before… maybe I’ll throw Sophie in there with it.
July 23, 2007
Sigh. A true sign that things over here at Thistle headquarters are getting a little desperate: I find myself eating dinner and thinking, yeah, plates are so overrated. Who needs plates? They just mean one more thing to clean, which means all the more water and soap being used.
So my green move today is to make like a university student/camping enthusiast and eat straight out of the frying pan (or the pot, depending on what I’m cooking). I suppose if I invested in a nice cast-iron skillet, it would make for a better culinary canvas. But still, something about eating out of the pot just screams “lazy,” “uncivilized” and “pathetic”.
Photo courtesy of Jasmic on Flickr.
July 3, 2007
The light in my bathroom went out this morning — it’s one of the few halogens that I unfortunately can’t switch to a CFL — and I didn’t have time to get a new bulb. So instead, I just brushed my teeth and took a shower with it off. I felt a bit silly at first, but because the sun had already come up, I could see well enough to get all my ablutions done without a problem. Then I thought, “Why not do this for the rest of the year?”
I’m not going to put my makeup on without some decent lighting so I’ll switch it on for that, and when the days get shorter in the Winter I might need to turn it on at some point so I don’t start washing my face with conditioner and brushing my teeth with moisturizer. But for now, I’ll be using a little less power for my shower.