Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Earth Day - the end of Our Rubbish Challenge, Rusty, Red and Good Friday

Okay let's get to the final weigh in as part of our Earth Day Challenge we set ourself a year ago. I know Bruce is dying to hear about it! If you remember we wanted to send less than 100lbs of rubbish to land fill so let's see how we did after our final weigh ins :

Weigh in #30 - 11.5oz

Weigh in #31 - 5oz

Weigh in #32 - 12oz.

So our final total, after a year of weighing all our rubbish is :

591oz or 36 lbs and 15oz

So we came in 63lbs and 1oz under our target! So about 66% below what we set ourselves! If the US could cut their deficit by that in one year well..... well.... they probably wouldn't be at war in three countries!

All in all it was an interesting challenge, and one we will continue to live by. I don't mean that I will weigh all our rubbish again, just that we will shop in a way that we buy products that don't include any waste, or it can be truly recycled, so glass instead of plastic, as plastic gets down-cycled.

All our food waste is either going to the worms, our rotating compost bin, or into the city green composting bins, which is a great move for San Mateo county.

Composting is certainly catching on, with Whole Foods now selling compost made from their veggie products that they discard once bruised or past their sell by dates!

"Where's there's muck, there's brass" as they say in Yorkshire.

I'm hoping to try and get work to put compost bins in more places too. All those paper hands towel we dry our hands on can be composted, and all those dirty pastry bags too. They've already transitioned to filtered water stations instead of the coolers with the big plastic bottles.

Remember bottled water is much less regulated than the good old stuff that comes from your taps, sorry fawcet.

Talking of water I got a good tip from John my baseball buddy. So now in the morning when we start to run the water to get it warm for the shower it goes into a bucket which we then use on our plants in the garden. We'd been saving all the water from rinsing vegetables for about a year now, but the water you would normally waste EVERY TIME YOU SHOWER is being put to good use.

I've also finally dismantled our down pipes from the guttering and collecting rain water that way. Even when it drizzles we get about 5 gallons in 30 minutes! Just don't tell the landlord! :-)

Anyway, I digress.....

I think we can feel rightly proud of ourselves with out Earth Day Challenge, and it wasn't really that hard. Hardest thing has been taking the pictures and writing them up!

On a different note I did have to "Break Glass in Case of Emergency" to free up my Plexxi-gone stock certificate :

But it all added up to a Very Good Friday indeed. As well as our windfall from the shares we also bought a wee little MX-5!!!!

It's from 1999 but only has 51K miles on it and was nice and clean inside. Listed price at the dealer was $9665, but I got it for $6800. In truth they had already dropped the list price to $7995 by the time I went to see it, but it's good to feel that you got those car salesman buggers to give you a good deal.

I found some excellent haggling tips at this Art of Manliness website, so check it out. They give a pretty good explanation of how car dealers make their profits.

In some respects I feel a bit silly having two cars now, BUT, we all have summer clothes and winter clothes, so I now have a summer car and a winter car. :-)

Plus my sister in law Nellie sent me an email about a list of regrets people who are dying have. One of them was, and I'm paraphrasing here, was to not have done things you really wanted to, so since I've always wanted a little convertible, I decided to go for it and not regret it!

And on an Earth Day note it get's 32mpg so much better than my SUV!

The final good thing that came into our lives on Good Friday was Eeyore, who we have re-named Rusty:

He's about 8 years old and a cross between a golden retriever and an Austrailan Shepherd. First night was a bit rough with some barking and whining around 1am for half and hour, but Ananda and I held firm and did not respond. He also had two wet accidents in the kitchen but since then he's not made another sound at night and been completely house trained.

He's definitely relaxing a bit now and is happy to go in to his bed in his pen even when the door is open. We just need to get him to eat properly and we'll all be happy.

He was badly treated in the past, so we're hoping to make up for that with a safe and secure home for him. Of course the shelter still need to neuter him, so he might not be our friend for a few days after that. I think I'll let Ananda take him in for that one. It's too much for one male creature to do to another one!

Training him is coming along quite well, especially with his new name. He'll come to you on command now and go to his bed on command as well. Working on sit, which is a bit difficult for him since he has bad hips but we are getting there.

Ananda in her clever-techi-ness set up a live video web stream so we can listen and watch him whilst we are at work to see if he kicks up a fuss when we leave (separation anxiety). So far we see about a minute or two of whining and a little half hearted barking before he settles down and sleeps until we come home at lunch time to walk him.

Okay, time for me to say goodbye for now. This blog will transition to being about the vegetable garden, the fight against the squirrels and Rusty updates and Card family updates from now on.

I hope our Earth Day Challenge has inspired you to at least try something different. When out shopping next, see if you can put your produce (veggies) loose in the cart without using plastic bags for everything, or buying your dry goods in cardboard boxes instead of plastic, milk in glass instead of tetra-packs. And of course I think most people use re-useable bags to bag their groceries in now. A return to old fashioned values eh? Every little will help.

As always thanks for reading!

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