Tag Archives: sustainable
We made good work on Saturday getting in a bit of yard work before dark by blowing and mulching the leaves in the yard. I mowed part of the lawn and added the bagged cuttings to the garden coffin that has become the compost coffin until spring. I am hoping the leaves will help the composting process over the winter.
Hubby got the blower and corralled another heaping pile that he ran over with the mower and added them to my flower beds. To think that last year I did not even consider the leaves as a garden commodity. We ran them over and left them to fertilize the grass, what a waste! This year I am putting my new-found knowledge to use by utilizing every last leave to help in the effort of amending the icky dirt we have in our yard.
Putting the leaves to work in you garden is an easy project. You can just add them to your compost pile, whole or shredded. Shredding leaves helps them to break down faster. You can make leaf mold by packing the leaves in plastic bags and letting the leaves break down for 6 months to a year. The leaf mold mixed with the garden soil helps amend the soil and aids in water retention. Read more on how to use leaves in the garden here.
Yes, they think I am crazy. I am not buying paper napkins again. I have decided that there is way to much waste going on here. Not really but there is always room for improvement and this is a good product to eliminate.
I have been cleaning out the house looking for items to reuse, recycle, repurpose etc. I have used old t/shirts for the obvious dust rags, cleaning rags, even a dog toy from a knotted one. This time I cut them into squares for cloth napkins. Wa la soft , reusable napkins. The husband and son refuse to use them. Husband likes his sleeve better, he told me. Son, well he is just plain ornery at times.
They are soft and they smell nice and fresh, I still use fabric softeners. Can’t make all the sacrafices at once you know. I did try to buy some real but basic cloth napkins at my local thift store but they must have thought they were made from a fancy cloth of gold threads, because the price was higher than buying them in Walmart NEW. Plus I had just bought 15 branded sweat shirts and other assorted warm weather “I am not turning on the heat” clothes, from their bargain bin @25 cents a piece. Even scored a brand new nike golf polo for my son.
So you can imagine my distain when ten 8×8 cloth napkins we going to cost me 50 cents a piece. Nope forget the fancy ones…I like my soft old t/shirt napkins. I still may be able to change hubby’s mind too! After all it is one of his old shirts, just not the sleeve!
My oh my do we ever rely on gas, electricity, oil, etc. I have yet in my 50+ years to experience having my utility lifeline severed. I do though have complete sympathy for those who have been forced due to the weather, to live without power. I truly believe that from here on in we are going to live at the “mercy of the weather”.
I feel the dramatic changes we have seen in the weather are here to stay. It is understood that societies’ reliance on utilities has caused many of us to become complacent. If you have never had to go without, how can you know what it’s going to be like? Even the choice to live a greener or more sustainable life will not have most of us looking to live such a primitive life.
Being born and raised in the north I have many friends and family who have seen their share of catastrophic weather this year. From a tornado in the summer to the snowtober event of last week they have had to endure considerable amounts of time without electricity. Keeping tabs on many of them has forced me to think about the real effect this loss of power can have on a household.
While my elderly father has a wood stove, I forgot he had a well and septic, this means no water because the pump runs by electricity. He is forced to truck by pail snow up to bathroom tub so they can have water to flush. Just a simple flush becomes a problem. The old rule of letting the yellow mellow is being observed, you can not go weeks without flushing. A basic routine for most of us.
Living without lights for a few days is survivable, but thinking about all the other so called necessities we now use to get through the day makes one realize that preparing for these events takes strong will. Being prepared to live without our cell phones that need charging, the refrigerators that need to stay cold, the generators that should be the saving grace, even needs gas to run….and if you can’t get the gas from the service station because the power is out well then you are the SOL.
It is times like these that push some of us to consider what we can do to make life a bit less inconvenient when we lose our power source. It has been done many many years before us and can be done again with a little old thing call ingenuity. A basic move is to have foods that do not need so much preparation. More fruits and vegetables that do not need to be kept in the fridge would help in a situation like this and would even slim a few waistlines!
Another simple a tip I found online, if you use solar lights in your yard they can be a source of safe indoor light when it gets dark. I know it is just a matter of time before I get to experience life without power, hopefully it will not impact me as much since I am working to live a simpler life. I will be jonesing on the loss of the net though!
Got any other great ideas? Let me know.
Try homesteading. To boost their populations, some rural communities in Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa provide free land to build a home, often with tax incentives. Do a Web search for “free land” or contact the Center for Rural Affairs for details.