My Green City Life

Recent Scores
June 30, 2008, 8:50 pm
Filed under: in the kitchen

The freecycling/thrifting/curb-shopping gods have been looking favorably in my direction lately. Tomorrow is moving day, and I hope my streak continues! Here are some of my recent fiber-focused scores:

Thrifted yarn: I went to a thrift store I’d never visited before a couple weeks ago. It was a Salvation Army. Nothing special. In fact, it was a pretty lousy thrift experience overall. However, I did manage to score two balls of wool for $1.68. I’ve already knit one of them into a wool soaker for le bebe.

Freecycled flannel: The thrift store also yielded a nice big beach towel that I bought to cut up and make into flannel/terry baby wipes, but for that I needed flannel, which the thrift store was lacking. I was very close to purchasing a brand new flannel blanket at Zeller’s. It was in my hand. I was headed to the cashier. Then I thought, you know, I should really try Freecycle first. Friends, those freecyclers came through for me! One person gave me a queen set of never used (though somewhat musty smelling) flannel sheets, complete with two pillowcases. A quick run through the wash, and it was good as new. And that’s a lot of flannel!

Rescued from the curb bedding: Matt’s employer is to thank for this one. She found a stash of baby bedding on the curb and picked it up for us. We got four flannel receiving blankets (yay! more flannel!), a cute fitted sheet with whales on it, a soft warm blanket, and a top quilt bedspread thingy featuring two rabbits and a duck. All from the trash. Crazy people throwing out perfectly good stuff!

Have you found any treasures for cheap or free lately?


The Saddest Day of the Year
June 22, 2008, 9:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

According to me, June 21st is the summer solstice, the first day of summer, and the happiest/saddest day of the year. Happiest because it’s the longest day of the year and saddest because you can only go downhill from there. Today, the second longest day of the year (tied, I suppose, with the day before yesterday), it is dreary and rainy as though the earth is crying because it knows that for the next six months the days will be getting shorter and shorter. I always find it odd that come June 21st I feel that warm weather has just begun but we’ve already peaked on sunny hours. Conversely, on December 21st we’re just starting the long haul of winter, but already the days are starting to get longer.

Market Report from Soup Nancy
June 13, 2008, 9:30 am
Filed under: market report

Soup Nancy has a detailed post about her favorite vendors at the Jean Talon market. Thanks, Soup Nancy! Anything that helps me weed through the overwhelming amount of sellers is always appreciated.

June 12, 2008, 11:40 am
Filed under: your outdoor space

I went to Kansas City this weekend for some family fun, and one of my first questions was if the peonies were in bloom. Sadly, they had all bloomed out. Today, back in Montreal, I went out to do some errands and saw many a fully bloomed peony where before my trip out of town there had only been peony buds. Most of them seemed to be on their last legs, but I did spot some that were still perky. The only bad part about peonies being open and lovely is that the lilacs are all gone. Mmmmm, peonies and lilacs!

Photo by un flaneur

Market Report : 3 June 2008
June 4, 2008, 7:10 pm
Filed under: market report

I went to the market with M yesterday. It was gray and chilly. On the drive over, I saw a lot of pedestrians and bikers wearing jackets. In June. JUNE! Where is the warm weather???

Because I am going out of town tomorrow, I didn’t buy much at the market. Despite this, I did try to look at everything to see what was in season locally. As predicted, there was a lot more rhubarb than last time. M bought a bunch along with some apples to make a crumble. Mmmmm! Speaking of mmmmm, I saw a sign that said, “Mmmmm, asperge fraiche!” and there was plenty of asparagus to get me “mmmm”-ing. M snatched some of that up too. I saw one lonely container of fiddleheads and was sad that I couldn’t buy them. Next year!

Also appearing from local sources were hothouse tomatoes (“Wow! Vraiment bonne! Sans pesticides!”), a few greens, and radishes. I saw a lot of berries from non-local sources, so I am betting that those will start coming in soon. I know that early- to mid-June is when blueberries start showing up down in the midwest, so I’m expecting to see them within a few weeks. Also, our strawberry jam making extravaganza was in mid-July last year, and I remember that it was towards the end of strawberry season. So it appears that an explosion of deliciousness is just around the corner. I can’t wait!

Local news: Quebec and Ontario workin’ together… dig it.
June 2, 2008, 5:44 pm
Filed under: local news

The Premiers of Quebec and Ontario met in Quebec City and have unveiled a new “cap-and-trade” plan for carbon emissions in the two provinces as well as hopeful words for a high-speed train line between the two provinces. Apparently, the Premiers want to move ahead with these environmental initiatives even as the federal government drags its feet. More here.

As a side note, the good folks at the CBC spelled Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s name wrong.

Riot for Austerity future goals
June 2, 2008, 12:42 pm
Filed under: your green lifestyle

The Riot for Austerity started a year ago, which means I should do a wrap-up post, but in the spirit of putting the cart before the horse, I’d like to first do a looking ahead post. One of the areas of reduction I could have done a better job of tracking is water. We don’t pay for our water usage, and as such, we don’t know exactly how much water we use. However, I could have done some estimations; I just didn’t. I also didn’t work very diligently to decrease our household’s water usage. The water-saving measures we took were passive (old, water guzzling toilet broke so we got a new one) or for other reasons (got a portable washing machine that uses less water than the ancient communal coin-operated machines downstairs).

One water-saving measure I’d like to adopt is taking shorter showers. I don’t think I take really long showers, but they could be quicker. I’d like to at least time a shower and calculate how much water it used. I think it will be an eye-opening experiment that I should have performed a long time ago.

This one has to do more with consumer goods than water, but I’d also like to experiment with going no ‘poo — as in using baking soda and/or apple cider vinegar instead of shampoo. Will this affect my shower water usage? I don’t know. We’ll find out. But at least I’ll be purchasing less, trashing/recycling less, and putting fewer chemicals down the drain.