Saturday, October 16, 2010


My friend Leah posted a Facebook status update that said:

"Enviro-bragging: bc of composting, gardening/csa, recyling, and general consciousness, we've switched to the tiny can as the trash can. Feels good!"

Say what??? I recycle and buy tomatoes at the Farmer's Market. But this post made me think, what else should I be doing? What's CSA? How tiny is that trash can? Why am I single handedly destroying the planet with every bottle of water I purchase? I promptly emailed Leah for a crash course in composting, worms that eat your leftovers, and conserving electricity without adopting an Amish lifestyle.

Leah shared these awesome tips: 
Composting: We have a regular big old compost bin (which requires a little yard space) as well as a vermiculture bin (worms) which is really small and you can even make yourself and keep under then sink or in an out of the way cool/dark corner. All of our non-processed, non-protein food waste goes to one or the other of those (there are some more restrictions for the wormies).

Garden: This is where the compost eventually goes. We use the "worm tea" as a fertilizer, along with marigolds as a pesticide. I need to try some more natural pesticides though because we got a little crushed by all of the crazy bug plagues this summer.

Recycling: We're pretty religious about this, and while I am subconsciously convinced that DC has some dark pit that they throw all of our recycling in, I still keep at it. I also cracked down on my office because they weren't recycling, which is something other people might want to do too (although they should expect some level of harassment...) 

Stay away from packaged food/veggies. They're little salt bomb/nast-traps anyway.

Don't use a plastic bag for everything you buy in produce. I just put things loose, except maybe the lettuce, in my cart or basket, and then they all go in the same (reuseable) bag at the end. If you need to separate them in your fridge, just use the plastic bags that you have diligently been saving from other uses. Unless it is a funk factory, we use every plastic bag that goes through the house like 80 times. I also wash them, and at places like Greater Goods they have little sandwich bag bamboo dryers. I love that store, btw. 

Bikes: We both use bikes, the bus, and a bus/bike/metro combo as primary transportation.

Turn off your effing lights/TV/AC when you really don't use them. This is a big one. Our electric bills are about as low as you can go when it's not July. This can also mean wearing the occasional sweater inside in the winter and having underpants parties in the summer : ) 

Don't leave the water running if some part of you isn't under it. We also go a little further with this and catch the water that would normally be wasted when you're waiting for the shower to heat up (5 gal bucket) and then use that to flush the toilet. Seriously. For your female readers, it's a little workout too!

Buy local, at independent stores if possible.

Bee keeping: This is one of the most environmentally conscious things you can do. Bees are crucial to every ecological system out there, and populations are being decimated by disease and other things like cell phones. We want to start a hive, but it requires a flat room or way cooler housemates than we have. One day!

Solar: obvi.

No car.

Bringing to-go containers to restaurants. This is my fiance's fantasy, but I always conveniently forget in the interest of preserving my "image".

Leah, thanks for being my first guest "green" blogger! Not sure I'm ready for "worm tea", but I think we can all incorporate some of this advice. Leave a comment below and share your tips!  

PS - If you're not a Savvy Mrs. Facebook fan -- I highly recommend becoming one, it's one more thing to distract you at work. The fan box is on the blog, to the right. "Like" it, kiddos. 

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