My Green City Life

The End of Year Wrap-up Post
December 31, 2007, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

On this, the last day of the year, it seems fitting to do a bit of reflection on the year that is about to come to a close. I’ve made quite a few changes this year for the good of the environment. Here are some of the highlights:

  • I rarely use the clothes dryer anymore. I have a drying rack that I rescued from the curb, as well as two clotheslines in my bathroom and one on my balcony.
  • Thanks to Worm Girl, I have a couple pounds of wriggly friends who live in a plastic box and eat my leftovers, thus decreasing the amount of compostable material I throw away. Vermicomposting rules!
  • Taking my cloth grocery bag to the health food store was old hat. Now I tend to bring along lightly used plastic bags for use in the bulk (“scoop your own”) aisle. I’ve discovered that I can buy all kinds of things in bulk that I previously bought in regular containers: olive oil, baking powder, spices, tea, oatmeal, etc. Buying in bulk cuts down on the amount of packaging I consume, and it’s way cheaper this way.
  • This summer I started a little garden on my balcony. I don’t have enough room and sun for much, but I managed to keep a few herbs alive. Nothing tastes better than homegrown food!
  • I’ve learned several new electricty-saving tips and utilized them with very happy results. My latest electricity bill showed we used less than 90kwH per month (the bill comes every other month), which is a 90% reduction of what the average American household uses.

Here’s wishing us all a very green and blessed new year. Be well!


Local news: Eat Local Resource
December 28, 2007, 3:09 pm
Filed under: local news

I just found a cool site that the rest of you Montrealers might enjoy. It’s called SOS Cuisine. I haven’t had a chance to look at everything on it yet, but it looks promising. They have a list of what produce is in season that is updated weekly. Also updated weekly is a list of prices on items at several area grocery stores. It’s color-coded so you can spot which items are the best price in each category, and the origin of each item is also listed. 

I tend to buy a very limited amount of fresh produce in the winter, because I have it in my head that there are very few locally produced vegetables this time of year, and I am too stubborn to buy imported produce. Hopefully this site will help me break my habits so I can have a more varied diet in the winter.

A tip from Mom
December 27, 2007, 12:27 pm
Filed under: your green lifestyle

Here’s a green/thrifty tip from my mom that’s especially handy as we clean up after our holiday celebrations. Iron the tissue paper you receive and use it again. You probably already reuse gift bags and bows, but tissue paper works just as well after a quick run under an iron on very low heat. It loses a bit of crispness, but other than that, it’s good as new. Thanks, mom!

Live like you’re in a drought
December 19, 2007, 1:49 pm
Filed under: your green lifestyle

Conserving water is one of the “green” things that I struggle with. I really like long, hot showers (which use up not just water but energy for heating the water) especially when it’s cold out. And with all the snow on the ground recently, it’s hard to imagine being in a situation where you don’t have a lot of water available.

Georgia is one of the places in the US that is currently facing drought conditions. Athens-Clarke County has compiled a list of 75 ways to conserve water — a must if you’re in the middle of a drought and a very important thing to put into action even if you’re not. Take a look and see what water-saving techniques you can incorporate into your daily routine.

Thanks to David from The Good Human for the link.

Snowed in
December 16, 2007, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

night snowWhere have I been? Snowed in! OK, so that’s not completely true, but there has been a tremendous amount of snow these last couple of weeks. I’d heard that this was supposed to be a colder, snowier than normal winter, but I wasn’t expecting two major snowfalls in just as many weeks!

The first one dumped over a foot (over 30 cm) of snow the first day and didn’t stop snowing for another day and a half. This current snowstorm started while I was sleeping last night and still hasn’t stopped. The craziest thing about this one is that we had a little bit of thundersnow! Have you ever seen lightning and heard thunder during a snowstorm? It’s trippy! My husband has been studying his brains out for a final that covers lots of information about weather, so he was happy to explain in great detail about thundersnow and snowstorms in general.

Got any crazy weather where you are?