About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

All Kinds Of Random

The job search continues ... nothing back from the most promising leads yet, but I refuse to give up!  Sooner or later something will happen for me, even if it's only something to pay me a living wage while I look for something better.

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I'm happy to report that the food waste for the last two weeks consisted of one-half a baked potato skin  -  we were just too full to stuff & eat the last one  -  and the skin off my share of last weekend's barbecued salmon.  And even that wasn't really wasted, since Big Guy ended up giving it to the Dog.  I don't count the few wilted veggies from the back of the fridge, since the guinea pigs happily gobble those up.

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It rained for a few days, so I spent a lot of time catching up on my blog reading, and following links from old favourites to a number of new favourites.  Isn't that always the way?  One link leads to another ... and another ... and another ... and before you know it, there goes the weekend!

Funny thing, though.  There are a gazillion "green" blogs, and a gazillion "frugal" blogs, but surprisingly few that put the two things together other than in an incidental "oh-by-the-way-this-might-save-money-too" kind of way.

Why is that?  Yes, I know that organic is more expensive than non-organic, and truly green cleaning products and recycled paper products are too.  But isn't there some way to do as much as we can afford to?  Do we have to choose either green or frugal?

Granted, with both of us unemployed, Big Guy and I just can't afford to go all-organic/all-natural/all-recycled in the grocery store... but we still manage to combine green and frugal in lots of ways:

Bar soap  -  we buy whatever non-scented, non-added-to soap is on sale ... and when the pieces get really small, I collect them and tie them into one of those mesh bags our fresh garlic came in, and hang it by the basement sink for grimy-from-the-workshop-or-garden hand washing.

Paper towels  -  are only used for draining bacon.  Which we buy in bulk slabs and slice ourselves, for about half the price of sliced bacon.

Pest control  -  we put out cat chow for the local skunk, so we don't have rats or mice.  We encourage ladybugs in the garden.  We scatter coffee grounds around the base of the rhubarb and tomato plants, so we don't have much snail/slug damage.  Fruit trees are patrolled by the cats. so the birds and squirrels are (slowly, I admit) learning to leave the fruit alone.  And I plant marigolds between the veggies to deter other bugs.

Laundry  -  we've never used fabric softener because of Big Guy's allergies.  Everything gets washed in cold water and whatever enviro-friendly detergent was on sale  -  and a lot less of it than the "recommended" amount!  -  and hung up to dry; towels do go in the dryer once they're dry, but just a few minutes on the no-heat "fluff" cycle to beat the stiffness out of them.  Because if I don't do that ... well, next time you shower, dry yourself off with a cedar shingle and you'll know exactly why I do that!

Groceries  -  we do buy in bulk and stock up at case lot sales, but I won't let him put anything in the cart unless all of the packaging is recyclable.  And I always have our reusable canvas bags handy  -  no plastic bags, thank you!

I guess my bottom line is that life is full of compromises, and I have to find the best compromise I can between what's completely "green" and what we can afford to do.

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It looks as though I'm going to have to bite the bullet and either a) leave my herb garden until next year, or b) break down and buy bedding plants instead of starting from seeds.  Sigh.  If I can find the bedding plants, I'll probably get them; I don't want to wait another whole year and a half for my own homegrown mint tea.  (There are times when I think the universe just doesn't want me to have a garden ...)

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A couple of weeks ago, Big Guy scattered a whole bunch of lime on the front so-called lawn, trying to kill the moss.  Well, as of today the moss is still there, but instead of greener grass in most of the yard, we have a beautiful lush cover of new clover!  I wonder if I can persuade him that the entire lawn should be clover, not grass?  More clover means more honeybees, which means more fruits and vegetables get pollinated ... plus it wouldn't need to be mowed nearly as often, and the cuttings make great guinea pig fodder ... hmmm.  I'll work on that!

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