Thursday, July 28, 2011

eco papi: part 2

My last post about my hubbie depicted him to be not so interested in the environmental movement and doing things half-heartedly just so I don't nag him to death about it.  But lately he's surprised me with his enthusiasm to contribute.  And he even told me to post a few things about his efforts.  

So here's what he's been up to lately:
He's a yard guy, and loves to take care of and then show off his green lawn.  Thanks to a treatment he did in the fall, we had a green lawn for most of the fall, winter, spring and summer.  With these extreme temps though, he's been having to tackle the dry spots.  So he mentioned filling up a bucket in our shower (while we're waiting for the water to get hot) and using that bucket to pour on the dry spots.  And he came up with that on his own!!

Also, he reiterated that we need to use the leftover water from water bottles, especially from the big jugs the kids use for soccer camps, and use that to water our plants and mini-garden.  That was a previous eco-tip of mine but I'll give that one to him since he's actually listening to me.

Finally, he repositioned the sprinkler heads in order to get the maximum coverage on our lawn.  That way, we aren't watering the sidewalk or driveway instead of the grass and shrubs that so desperately need it.

I am so proud that he's getting the message.  In comparison to some of my neighbors, our energy bill isn't nearly as high since we're doing things like putting the thermostat to 77-78 during the day and 73 at night, and also by using less water.  My dream is to get solar panels, rain barrels (or even a cistern), and a tankless water heater.  But that won't happen for a while so I'll take what I can get.

Don't get me wrong, there is still a lot that can be done, but as I always say, "Baby Steps".  At least he's headed in the direction.  We still battle over the thermostat in the house (as he likes it MUCH colder than I do), and he still recycles EVERYthing, but he's making progress, and I'm very proud of him for that.  Looks like he's turning out to be a true eco-papi after all.  :)

Here's a link for more tips on eco-friendly lawn care:

Friday, July 22, 2011

CSA: not for me

I just read back on my previous post about trying out the CSA and regret that I have to eat my words now.  1 1/2 months after trying it for the first time, it's lost it's charm on me.  It's still exciting to see what goodies are coming in my basket every week, however, it comes with a little dread that I'll get yet another bag of lettuce that won't get eaten.

I was game for trying the new vegetables, like kale and swiss chard, and was thrilled to find the staples in our diet, like squash, zucchini, and peaches.  But I had my fill of green onions, red lettuce, bib lettuce, and beets.  The beets have been sitting in my fridge for weeks now because I'm not quite sure how to cook them.  I don't even know if they're any good at this point.  And I LOVE beets, just never made them myself.

Washing all of this produce is another pain in the butt and finding little critters in your food wasn't my favorite either.  I was very excited when we started getting cherries in our deliveries until I opened one up and found a worm in it.  Not appetizing at all.  Makes me very leery to shuck corn or dig through the box of mystery vegetables.

On a more positive note, one of the advantages of being a member of a CSA is you get to go to the farm to pick your own fruits and veggies that don't normally come in your weekly box.  But I've been pretty pregnant since the farm opened to members, and have had absolutely no desire to bend down and pick anything off the ground, even if it IS edible.  So the moral of the story is:  I'm not getting my money's worth.  I'd rather go to the farmer's market and pick what I know I'll eat without wasting my money while still supporting my local farms.

There is a terrific movement in Northern Virginia this month that is promoting local farms and their wares at local restaurants.  It's called Farm to Fork and it features participating eateries that will be serving locally produced wine, beef, and produce from July 21-31.  I LOVE this idea and hope that more local restaurants will do this on a regular basis.

So whether it's from your local farm, local farmer's market, or your very own backyard garden, as long as it's local it's good for the earth.  You pick what's best for your lifestyle. I just thought I'd give my two cents with full disclosure.  I guess I should've tried it longer than a week before I started tooting their horn.  Lesson learned.