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.