Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Challenge: Day 7.

The last item for the Earth Day Challenge is not a big one, but it's one I've been thinking about, in terms of simplifying. I cooked most days at home this last week, from food I had on hand. To me, this is both earth-friendly and emblematic of the kind of simplifying I know is better: better for us nutrition-wise, better in terms of how much we consume and how carefully we use what we buy, better because we don't get in a car and drive to buy food.

I like knowing that there's a Thai place not too far from us that we can go to for really wonderful food when I don't feel like cooking. Sometimes, in the thick of the semester, eating out saves us. But I also like looking at the vegetables and staples I have on hand and making from them a dinner that is (bear with me now) soul-satisfying, in the conception, the making, and the eating. I like using our dishes and cleaning up after ourselves. I like remembering where I bought the elements of the dinner, and in the case of the vegetables, knowing who grew them. Tonight we had linguine with roasted tomatoes I froze last fall, some parmesan cheese, sauteed spinach, and salad (greens courtesy of the magnificent Chad, vegetable impresario).

After dinner tonight, the historian and I went over to the store for dog food, bread, Coke. I whipped out my reusable bag and said to the checker, as she prepared to put the stuff in a plastic bag, "Oh! I have this bag, can we put the food in there? It's Earth Day." And that was good: I am now carrying around two reusable bags (they fold up very compactly) in my purse, which means I'm now doing something I've meant to do for a long time, and I can probably almost completely eschew plastic bags. Like theorris, I think I can do the things I've done this past week more or less permanently. It's been good to have a reason to try to do better. I like the feeling.

More things I'll be doing: planting a garden, getting our composter back in business, simplifying further, giving stuff away. Perhaps I'll report intermittently on these activities. Thanks for the challenge, theorris.



  1. Hooray!

    Actually, I've been thinking a lot about how these Earth Day things are sexist, and how they make women react. Earth Day stuff is definitely domestic because the home is where it is at. That doesn not mean, however, that women should feel inadequate or guilty because their house does not match up.

    I am intrigued, however, that many women seem to react with guilt about Earth Day stuff. Isn't it a tradition to be celebrated to be conservation-minded? Shouldn't we respect our mothers who are so thrifty?

    What I was trying to get across with the Earth Day Challenge was that none of us should feel guilty about our current habits, but we should try to make a difference.

    So many thrifty mothers do that already.

    Guilt has no place in conservation.

    It is about awareness and mindfulness.

  2. Good job with the Earth Day Challenge. I think I'm behind!
    Nice poem too.



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