Feeling Green

Introduction (Look at the length of this post! You need section titles!)

Just as a side note before I begin because my brain never stays on one topic for too long. It’s noon and I’m feeling green from not eating! What am I doing instead of eating? Let’s show you a screen shot of what’s on my “screen plate”.

It's noon.  What are you doing at noon?

As of 12:09 pm, CST, I have four tabs open in Firefox. That may change at any time, should I suddenly receive note of a new mail message or be struck by a whim to search for Lord of the Rings fanfic (related to watching Doom the other night when bored, following links to IMDB and YouTube, and other general nonsense related to the strange progression of my brain). First, I have Ravelry open, which typically remains open any time that I am sitting at the computer. Today, I acted on a whim to remove myself from a few groups that I’ve never posted in, not really interested in at this time, or just felt a whim to remove myself from. Now, I’m browsing groups sorted by number of members for new groups to join. It’s an addiction. There are 177 pages of groups. This could take me awhile.

Second, I have open a tab for my Google Reader subscriptions. I love handy dandy “next..” bookmarklet. I was a loyal Bloglines subscriber since I first heard of RSS feeds and the like, but I love my bookmarklet more, so it’s with Google Reader I stay. Should Bloglines ever gain such a handy bookmarklet, I may return. Right now, I think I’m on one of Kari’s posts.

In the third tab, we have instructions from Lily on how to make their String Bag. I planned on starting it this afternoon while browsing through Ravelry and my feeds, but had to deal with the distraction of feeling the need to post to my own blog. I will probably start this after lunch, posting, and finishing up item number five (not on a tab!).

In the fourth tab, we have this window in which I’m posting to my wonderful WordPress blog. I’ve come to love WP 2.5. Anyone else feel the same way? Thanks to the upgrade, I’ve finally discovered how to incorporate the WordPress stats plugin to work for my non-wordpress.com blog. Whew. Feeling like a techie while I know whole-heartedly that I am not a tech in any sense of the word.

And finally, I will briefly mention the fifth thing I am currently working on. You will learn more about this in the true post that will begin below my amazingly long tangent. Influenced by the Crochet Biffer Shrug (Rav link), and this knit version (Rav link), I made the Swiffer Cardi last night and am working on the pattern in Word at the moment. Please see my note at the end of this post if you would like to test this pattern for me before I upload it to Ravelry.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming after I eat lunch. If you are so inclined and suddenly think I’m nutty (if you’ve ever met me, you know that I am very inclined to be this nutty and wordy if given the time and opportunity to be myself), you can blame this pre-post entirely on a small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats (with almonds!), one cup of coffee with some kind of hazelnut sugary syrup, and a large glass of sugar-laced iced tea.

Ah, one tasty Lean Cuisine, one load of laundry, one load of dishes, and 40 minutes later….

Back to your regularly scheduled post reading…

Today is Earth Day so I thought I would post links to a few of the changes that I’ve made, or have plans to make in the near future as I work to lead my family into a greener (and thriftier) life. This list is by no means impressive, nor all-inclusive of what has been, can be, or will be done by me, my family, or others out there in the world. It is just my list.

Steps to be Greener (taken)

  • My family’s largest contribution has been to embrace the city of Ft. Worth’s recycling program. Since moving here last August, we have decreased our weekly garbage down to, on average, one tall garbage bag plus two plastic grocery bags of cat litter a week for our family of four (+2 cats). If we have visitors for the weekend, we can usually count on a minimum of one extra bag. I don’t know why, but it happens. Our previous city only offered neighborhood bins for recycling. I know I should have used these, but it was never easy to make it a permanent part of my life. Now, I cannot imagine not having a sink full of washed recyclables ready for the bin.
  • Slowly, we are increasing the amount of reusable grocery and shopping bags and decreasing the amount of plastic bags that we use regularly. It’s easy to forget to grab my bag of bags, but we are working on this. If you have a Kroger grocery store near by, they are currently holding a contest to design a reusable bag. If you join and connect your shopping card, you will receive a free bag on your next trip to the store.
  • Although it is starting to get warm, we keep our central air and heating set at a minimum of 78 during the summer and 68 during the winter. It has helped our electricity bill immensely, although at times, like today, it can be warm, the idea of the AC unit running not stop in the summer gives me chills.
  • Utilizing our local library for books and DVD’s. We go weekly, stack up on books and movies, and enjoy the rest of the week. It has decreased the size of my personal library by an untold number, particularly because I also destash monthly at my local Half-Price Books.
  • Using the car wash instead of washing the car at the house. Plus, they have free vacuum use!
  • Using up all my disposable swiffer sheets and using crocheted covers. I’ve made the swiffer shrug and now came up with the swiffer cardi. I needed something to hold the cover on a little more securely. I will be taking it on a test run this afternoon in the afternoon, but for now, here’s a quick photo:
  • Swiffer cardi
  • Consolidating all errands into as few trips as possible. I do this within the house to conserve my own energy too.😉
  • No more printing out patterns! Some times this is difficult, but I can’t stand paper. My house is already full of paper that I don’t need and will recycle or trash as soon as I can. It’s just as easy to work on some patterns by sitting at the computer. Some, not all patterns, mind you, so this is more of a work in progress.
  • Shopping at thrift stores. It’s not a regular habit, but the more I can reuse someone else’s items, the more I can release unused items of my own for others to find the value in.

Steps to be Greener (to be taken)

  • Reusing glass (and some plastic) containers. We used to go through tons of spaghetti sauce and I love the jars, particularly Classico’s jars. Now, we mainly make our own sauce so my stash isn’t growing as quickly as it used to, but I have now moved on to plastic peanut butter jars. My plans include making various covers for the jars out of crocheted thread, ribbon, or fabric and putting the jars to use throughout the house.
  • Make fabric napkins. I have the fabric, I am just having trouble finding a pattern that fits my sewing inexperience.
  • Make crocheted sponges. I have plenty of crocheted dishcloths and facecloths. I’m curious about the effectiveness of the sponge for the jobs that just need a sponge.
  • Yarn stash. I need to destash. Badly. I also need some sort of income for the summer. It’s going to involve my yarn stash and Etsy. I just don’t know how yet.
  • Walking the kids to school. On the days that I’m not working, there is no need for me to drive the two miles around to the girls’ school. It would be easier to talk the one mile each morning. It would only take waking up an extra 15 minutes earlier.
  • Switching the rest of my bills to online statements and remove myself from junk mail lists.. I thought that I had covered all of the bills, but I seemed to have missed some. I can’t stand the paper waste in my house, mostly due to mail.
  • Make my own household cleaners. I can’t bring myself to do this until I run out of the cleaners currently in my collection, so for now I’m just stocking up on recipes.
  • A few other things that my brain has currently forgotten.

Other Earth Day lists that I’ve come across today:

If you are still reading!

If you are still reading and have made it this far, please leave a comment if you would like to test out my swiffer cover. I made it late last night and my notes have been pretty sketchy. I should have the pattern finished shortly and would love to have a few testers.

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3 thoughts on “Feeling Green

  1. HR April 23, 2008 at 7:43 pm Reply

    I would love to test out your swiffer cover. I’ve already made two of the other ones that I saw on your blog, and I LOVE them. Sometimes the “green” things just don’t work as well as the not “green” ones (sorry), but the Swiffer thingys are wayyy better than the disposables.

  2. Sleepycat April 23, 2008 at 9:17 pm Reply

    I saw your link and stopped by to say Hi!

    One suggestion on the “green” front – we also have 2 cats and have been using the “Swheatscoop” (http://www.swheatscoop.com/) litter for several years. It’s made of wheat and is completely flushable and biodegradable. Scoop and flush the poop and clumps and just add some more litter on top. We change the liner every other week or so but never put litter out for the trash. I’ve heard of another brand that is basically the same thing made from corn. We buy ours at Petsmart but I’ve seen it in smaller containers at Target.

    Off to go make some swiffer covers🙂

  3. Sleepycat April 23, 2008 at 9:20 pm Reply

    Okay just re-read and realized you pattern isn’t on Ravelry yet. I’ll be happy to pattern test for you if you want to email me.

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