Monday, February 23, 2009

Sonoma County - holier than you

I love Sonoma County. Great Bike Riding , great wine and very Progressive thinkers.

Someday we might move there - we already have established a beachhead. For now we just dabble. A couple of Sonoma County snippets.

1) SMART is prepping up to buy their railcars (via SF streetsblog )

2) I subscribe to a mailing list called "CafeSonoma" which is affiliated loosely with Freecycle up there. Someone started a discussion there on "Extreme Recycling". Understatement. This really got into hippiedom with talk of making paper from dryer lint - I think you can probably find better use of your time, and dryer lint is compostable. "Anastasia Nicole" had a post that I just had to reprint...

The best way to deal with reducing your plastic trash is to find
alternatives to each product you are buying in plastic. I bought a
yogurt maker and make a quart of yogurt a week, so I have reduced our
plastic container waste by 52 plastic quarts/lids per year. Although I
love Trader Joe's prices, I try to buy all my produce elsewhere to avoid
the packaging issue. That said, I too, get my avocados in those little
mesh bags, and that is one of my few pieces of trash.

Pati - thanks much for the tip on wrapper recycling. I didn't know
anyone recycled those - good to know!.

For a reusable sandwich mat, check out the "wrap-n-mat" - a reusable
sandwich wrap that doubles as a nice placemat for your sandwich when you
open it up. I was using waxed-paper sandwich bags, because I could
compost them, but this handy item only needs to be purchased once, and
can be used over and over.

Part of any discussion about recycling is that recycling should be way
down on your list of activities, after "reduce and reuse." The point is
not only to get your trash down to zero, but reduce your recycling as
well. The less packaging you have to purchase, even if it is
recyclable, the more trees, energy, water, pollution, global warming CO2
emissions, etc. you will save.

I have been experimenting with making my own snack bars,as the cost per
unit is actually quite high. I can make a pretty good BumbleBar, at a
fraction of the cost, and it's 100% organic. Each batch cuts out all
those little wrappers. And most snack bars are no more nutritious, or
filling, than a good trail mix. A little ziplock of home-mixed trailmix
in my bag (with a few chocolate chips) is as good as a snack bar, and
just as nutritious, and lots cheaper. I also think a good, homemade
cookie - oatmeal raisin or some other nutritious alternative, stacks up
pretty well against most snack bars, which tend to be very high in sugar.

Anastasia Nicole

I know a few people who make their own yogurt actually, and their own power bars.
I take my lunch in tupperware now that nVidia cut out our $5 lunch subsidy (and being a proper whack-job I cannot heat my lunch in the tupperware and leach cancer causing chemicals into my food - so I put it on a ceramic plate that I keep in the office. Which I also used to use for lunch meetings where the company would bring in buffet style food, to the amusement of my co-workers. But I digress...)

So this was pretty solid "I am an enviro-nut stuff" but not way out there on the cutting edge of tree-huggerdom. Then I asked for permission to reprint it...

You are welcome to post my stuff. I have to work really hard at not
coming off with a "holier than thou" attitude, because I'm one of those
zero-waste fanatics who put my own solar system on my house and turned
the hot tub into a greywater pond. Then we moved to Santa Rosa, because
we wanted to live in Cohousing, for an even smaller eco-footprint, and
more community face-time with real living, breathing people.

Unfortunately, that meant my commute changed from a 20-minute bike ride
to an hour-long drive. I'm trying to find a freeway-safe electric car,
so I can charge it off solar. Either that, or find another job.

Anyway - where is your place in Sonoma? We live at Yulupa Cohousing,
off highway 12 in east Santa Rosa.
I'll start saving wrappers. My husband is going back to school, so he
occasionally buys Cliff Builder Bars or TJ's bars.

I like your blog. When I'm in the City, I always stop at Rainbow.
There's stuff there you can get in bulk that you just can't find
anywhere. Like Borax for ant killer. I only need a tablespoon in the
spring, and I hate to pay for packaging and buying more than I need.

Anyway - gotta go post some stuff on Freecycle. I'm the designated
Freecycler for our 29-household community, 'cause I just couldn't stand
to see what people were throwing away, but I got tired of rooting
through the dumpster. Now people just leave junk in my parking space,
and I find a home for it.


Turning the hot tub into a grey-water pond, moving into co-housing, and buying ant-killer by the teaspoon from the bulk section. Now that's more like it! Hopefully someday she'll be able to take her bike on SMART!


Yokota Fritz said...

That reminds me -- I thinking of how to setup a small apartment compost bin. Not sure it's practical but I'll try. I've already started a patio food garden.

murphstahoe said...

One thing with your level of need is that you can pick the "good stuff" from your food scraps. Of course you have to determine what exactly the "good stuff" is first - therein lies the rub.