Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

June 7, 2007

Low Impact Reflections III

Well today is the last day of Low Impact Week. Crunchy Chicken posted a Wrap-up post with a poll question (She is fond of those isn't she?) and I see that I fall into the greater bulk of people out there that were participating.

~I'm really happy with what I accomplished even though I didn't get everything done that I wanted.

I shouldn't even say that I did't get done everything, because to some degree I did, as least on the majority of my goals. I guess more than anything I just didn't get them done as well as I had hoped.
Let's run down the list shall we?

Unplugging appliances when not in use. TVs, Computer, Radios, Printer.
This one was my major busts. I didn't have the time or $$ to get the power strips that I had wanted too. Since all of my major appliances are very difficult to get to the plugs on. I am deferring on this till a later date. It is still very much something I want to focus on.

I will decide to not watch television for that week. I certainly have enough reading to catch up on.
I did my best on this one. I did not sit down to watch any shows, and when others in the house were, I occupied myself otherwise. This in particular made me realize just how conditioned I am to veg out. I mean I really had to make a concerted effort to not look. It shouldn't be that hard should it? As a family we did make some decisions that will impact this area for the foreseeable future though. We reduced by 1/3 our televisions, and reduced by 2/3 our TV service. (We wanted to cancel it completely, and just have the local channels, but I agreed to use the service for two years, and that time is not up yet. NEVER agree to any service lengths, I have learned my lesson. If they want my $$ it's on my terms!) We also spent a lot more time in the yard together, playing games or whatever. I am going to make a concerted effort to continue this.

Turn off water when brushing teeth, and/or shaving.
I did 100% on this one. I had begun to do this prior to LIW and will continue this forever.

No take out food, and no restaurants.
Did fairly well on this on, although when the wife got sick, and I worked later than expected, I did pick up some takeout once. Not much more to say about that.

I will eat as much as possible from my home grown foods, and choose locally produced foods whenever available.
I wasn't able to get anything from farmers markets or even the local private owned grocery that was local. Although, I did some serious research on the topic and was able to find a CSA that I plan to buy a share in next spring, as well as a local grass-fed cattle operation that I want to visit and will probably begin to buy from. I was able to eat something from my garden almost every day, and even managed to forage some wild asparagus one day for an extra special treat.

I will use a washable towel for hand washing and cleaning both at home and at work.
I did do this. It was not 100%, but was darn close. I found that I actually liked useing a cloth towel much more than a paper one anyway; they dry so much better. I am going to work at increasing my collection of cloths for this purpose and see if I can convert my kids to it as well, they are my big paper towel junkies. I do have to say with great pride though that the little guys have been very dilligent in making sure that all the paper towels that they do use, have been getting into the special bag for the compost pile "browns".

I will not drive to work. (This is my biggie.) I will instead use pedal power.
I did this, 4 of 7 days. Not bad, but not 100% either. The weather turned bad this week, and when it turns bad here in the spring it ain't light showers, it's thunder and 60mph sustained winds. I know I know what a wuss huh? I have to say that I really grew to like riding to work; I really began to feel more tied to the community. As a side note to this, the family and I began a routine of riding every night together. We were able to find some new parks that we hadn't been to, talked to some neighbors, and had a great time together. We also got a hold of a second hand bike trailer that will shortly be converted to a grocery getter / picnic gear toter. This will be the summer of the bike for us for sure!

I have a compost bin, but I will make a bigger one from recyled materials, and will compost as much of my household waste as possible.
I got the composter built, but have not migrated my compost over to it yet; again, weather impeded. I did however as mentioned above with the p-towels collect as much of our compostable household items as possible and integrate them into my composter. I actually expanded on this by collecting coffee grounds, filters, banana peels, paper towels, etc from my office as well. The compost is cooking along well, and I hope to have a finished batch very soon.

I will use organic and/or homemade cleaners to do all of my household cleaning and washing. (This is a change that our household plans to make on a permanent basis.)
I did use homemade household cleaners, and my wife A~ began to use organic soaps in the laundry as well. I loved the feeling of knowing my family and I could breath the cleaners and not get sick from them, and A~ actually told me she was swearing off bleach after seeing how well the A&H Super Washing Powder worked. We made cleaners from vinegar and lemon juice with a couple of drops of citrus essence for scent and added a couple of drops of teatree oil as an antiseptic and were very happy with it. This is definitely a change that is here to stay.

I guess I would have to say that over all Low Impact week was a success for me. I feel like it really gave me a chance to think and re-evaluate the way that I do things on a day to day basis. I have to say thank you to Crunchy Chicken for the idea, and to everyone else that was participating. I agree with CC that we should continue the dialogue and fellowship that we've built through this project. I didn't have a lot of comments, though the ones I had were great and much appreciated; I did notice a lot of new visitors lurking about though and would like to welcome them and invite them to get involved, post a question or comment, and give some of the things that we have all been talking about a try.
Namaste all.


Oldnovice said...

I'm probably one of the lurkers you noticed. I thought your blog worthy enough to bookmark and your posts elsewhere good enuf to remember your moniker. Hope to read more of your stuff as time goes on.

P~ said...

Thank you for the compliment, and I'm glad to see you out of lurker land. I've seen you posting around a bit as well. I'm glad to hear from you, and hope I will continue to have something worth while to offer.

Phelan said...

I probably only have 1/8th of my readers respond. But that's ok {some days though I really wish they would say hi}

Even if you didn't reach your goals, you began to touch them. I don't expect anyone to be completely low impact in a week, it takes time and thought.

oh, and I have called you out as white trash. :D

P~ said...

Oh I know, people like to be anonymous. But I sure do love to hear from them. I guess I'm just such a chatter box that I just assume everyone is.

I agree with you, I did begin to touch them. In actuality the "Impact" is not my primary concern as much as the sustainability and simplicity of it. The LIW challenge was a wonderful vehicle to experiment and experience a lot of things that I have mulled over in my head and never gotten around to trying.

Oh, and I prefer "New-Purchase Impaired" rather than W.T. thank you very much. :)

Crunchy Chicken said...

You got a problem with my poll addiction? Everyone has to have at least one vice.

Oh by the way, I think you did a fabulous job for Low Impact Week. Outstanding even. Above and beyond.

Biking to work 4 out of the days is phenomenal.

P~ said...

CC~ No I don't have a problem with your addiction, just ribbing you a little. It's always fun to see where I fall with everyone else.

Thanks for the kind words, I'm not sure it was outstanding but I did learn some things.


Phelan said...

~giggle~ so many of you have different names for it. It's ll so PC1 ~throws hands in air~ I am white trash, and I am proud. :D