Monday, April 28, 2008


The wormies have been banished to the front porch. I found some fruit flies in there this morning. Amidst cries of, "oh hell no!" I rushed the whole production outside where it shall remain through the Spring and Summer. Before it gets cold again I can sift through, save the wormies, and reset the whole bin. Until then, banishment. I don't do flying bugs. The worms themselves were a stretch...

More professional worm keepers do things like catch the flies on sticky tape or purchase carnivorous plants. I'm afraid of venus fly traps (anyone see Little Shop of Horrors?) and fly tape is the ultimate yuck festival in my mind, so that's not happening until I can rally some courage.

In other news, I LOVE the smell of my compost bin. Is this strange? It's earthy and wonderful like fresh potting soil or wet concrete. I guess it is a little bizarre considering how yucky the decomposing veggies look in there. But actually, that's rather fascinating as my Kindergarten science project where I watched how fast apples would brown under different conditions.

A Constant Pull!

I purchased quite a few things last weekend. The light-less existence since Earth day has been easy as pie. Not buying fun Spring wardrobe staples isn't so easy. I LOOOOOOOVE clothes and I'm sick of all of mine. I think I am going to have to Buffalo Exchange some soon and pick up a few things at the Vintage Stores around town before I hyperventilate. I'm trying though...

Here's the list of latest purchases.

At Pharmaca (like a natural drug store):
~Almond Lotion
~Mineral Sunscreen
~Un-Waxed Unbleached Floss
~Natural Mouthwash
~Tea Tree Oil
~Three Magazines

Most of those are necessities, so I'll not apologize for them... although I wish they weren't so packaged. I KNOW that I'm supposed to give up print media and only deal with digital. I'm down with that most of the time; I love blogs and news feeds and mp3s more than anyone. However, sometimes all I want is to lounge on the couch with a mojito and a glossy mag. I didn't let myself buy any fashion books because they fuel the consumerist fire in me. Instead, I bought Bust, Gourmet, and Domino (which had the same consumerist effect because there's a bunch of stuff inside I'm coveting for the apartment.)

At the Fabric Store:
~Calico to make super cute napkins out of (it was less than a dollar and since I cut out paper towels I've been using washcloths... which are a little rough)
~Ready made sundress material to make one of those long gorgeous flowy dresses I'm sweating right now (like 17 bucks worth)
~Two yard of gorgeous patterned fabric that i'll be making into something fab ... pillows? art for the walls? a muumuu? who knows.
~BRILLIANT sheer floral print fabric to be turned into curtains next weekend. It set me back 30 bucks, but that's cheaper than ready made curtains and it's so Betsey Johnson/Old Cat Lady! I love gawdy prints right now.

As per usual, the server is sucking and I can't upload the pics. I've been trying for over a week. Will try again tomorrow from my office, where things work more often.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NEW PROJECT RULE! ... and some Youtube for good measure.

Today being Earthday, I didn't allow myself any electricity (baring the computer charger. I NEEEEEEEED it. It is essential. There is a reason I'm not Amish.)

But anyway: I realized that for most of the day using the lights is completely unnecessary! My apartment is extremely well lit. It's sunny and delightful. However, I augment this pleasant natural glow with those horrible compact fluorescent lights most of the time I'm home. Why???? {Ok Ok, I know they're better for planet earth, but they take forever to warm up and make everyone look as though they're about to be incarcerated.}

This seems silly and wasteful. I have friends who refuse overhead lighting on principle and go about setting mood lighting in their homes through the use of many expensive floor lamps and track lighting. I could just NOT do that, not use lights anymore during the day, and achieve the same fabulous ambience! I could also outfit my tiny reading lamp with a better bulb and use it to light things in the evening (when, lets face it, all I need light for is reading.) I know that candles emit more greenhouse gases than using electricity to light your home, but once in a while some candle light wouldn't hurt in the evenings.

So there we have it, RULE # 3:


Also: In honor of earthday I want to link to one of my fav Youtube videos, starring Clea Duvall and Leisha Hadley:

Happy Earth Day!

Although I sort of feel like every day has been earth day for me lately, I think I need to do extra stuff today:

1) No mass transit - even though it rocks, it still emits greenhouse gas
2) No turning the lights on today. My only light tonight will be from the incredibly well-lit alley behind the house.
3) No heating food. Only salads and uncooked stuff today so I don't use any gas to warm my tasty vittles.
4) I will wear natural deodorant - which in my experience is a lot like not wearing any at all... which is why I can only do it a day at a time.
5) I will tend to my seedlings o' shame (have I blogged about this yet? Whenever I use disposable cups, I take them home and use them as containers for my indoor seedlings) and plant some more seeds so the little plants will be ready to move outdoors in mid May.
6) I will reaffirm my environmental commitments and make sure I don't lose momentum.
7) Along that vein, I want to adopt a new rule, but I don't know what it should be. Ideas?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

MY ORGAN!!!! (as in music, not kidneys)

It's finally arrived!!! My secret item five from the consumerist binge! Oh how I love it so. It was 45 bucks, and has all these sweet percussion beats (Marumba anyone?) as well as a ton of different insturments it can imitate. It reminds me of my house when I was a kid, which I think is really why I love it. Also: the switches are RAINBOW COLORED! Was there ever a better reason to purchase something? I feel like Salvation Army acquired this at a hippie's estate sale or from a travelling circus troop.

It will brilliantly accompany my genius bass guitar stylings... if only I could play them both at the same time.

My dear friend Angie sacrificed her right knee to help me lug this puppy up the stairs and into my house, which I feel needs mentioning here.

Also: I can't forget to unplug it when not in use! No vampire electronics, especially such a huge one, for this girl!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wormy Worms

My free worms arrived about a week ago. There are A LOT more of them than I thought there'd be. Hot damn. I put them into their little worm home and then went to a friend's house to watch the office. When I came back I took the lid off and checked things out. Some were trying to escape (they do that for the first few days) but most were down in their dirty food home.

Here are some pics of the worm apartment construction:

Step 1) Hole Drilling

Step 2) Laying cardboard bedding
Step 3) Cover that with food matter (no dairy or animal products and very little onions or citrus!)
Step 4) Another Carboard Layer
Step 5) Another food layer
Step 6) Spray the top until it's moist with a water bottle

Step 7) Add the wormies

If you want to know exactly how I did it, check out this guy's wormy blog. There's a video and everything:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Today I broke the no-purchasing streak.....AND HOW!

However, I'm pumped about everything and can justify everything (sort of.) So here goes, as per the project rules:

Item 1 = two rubbermaid plastic tubs to house my wormies : The nice man from Nederland is delivering the FREE red wrigler worms for my composting adventures later this week and they needed a home! It only cost 11 bucks for both of them, and that's considerably cheaper than those fancy-pants worm apartments you can buy online. I know plastic is bad news, but I can't get over the perceived impermeability of plastic. If I'm to have worms in my home, the container is going to be escape-proof!

Item 2 = Rechargable batteries. I bought the kind that allegedly last forever. I have no need of batteries except for the digital camera, and it eats through the regular kind. Hopefully this cuts down on my toxic waste considerably. Also: the 4 batteries and the charger weren't any more expensive than regular Duracells! Why is this? Why doesn't everyone use them? Why are normal batteries even legal?

Item 3 = Two cool vintage books from the salvation army. They cost less than two bucks each, and they're AWESOME. One's a chemistry textbook from the 1950s. The pictures are neat. I don't feel bad about this. It already existed! The other is one volume from a set of Woman's Encyclopedia. Entries include things like "Prostitution" and "Body Types." I haven't a clue what year it's from because the front 10 pages are missing, but it's a goldmine of pre-feminism bigotry and backwardness. (here's an excerpt: "some medical men are even beginning to say that morning sickness does not appear when the woman loves her husband and desires her baby.") As a rhetorician, the chance to engage this piece of the not-so-far-past proved too tempting.

Item 4 = Many many seed packets for this Spring's veggie extravaganza. They include but are not limited to: Edamame, Swiss Chard, Purple Carrots, Heirloom Tomatoes, Mesclun Salad Mix, Sugar Snap Peas, and Cantalope. 20 bucks worth will let me feast all Summer! Not apologizing for this one either.

Item 5 is a secret. It's so brilliant that it requires a picture, but it's also large, and I had to leave it at the store until a friend can help me transport the sucker home. I was so excited I did a leaping/wriggling/infinitely toolish dance at the Salvation Army when I saw it and decided to purchase. I landed in a rack of men's shirts and tried to play it off like nothing happened. [SIDEBAR: who knew there was a 25% off discount for students on Wednesdays at Salvation Army? Massive.]

Anyway: I spent less than 100 bucks and bought cool, useful, or ridiculously weird (the final purchase) things either second hand, or utilized for an environmentally friendly purpose. My conscious is clear... ish.

I'll publish the other pics of stuff a bit later. My computer is being a complete git.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hair Processes

I've had two friends donate hair care products to my no shampooing cause. My older sister called worriedly this week to ask if my head smelled. I feel the time has come to deal with the hair issue in complete candor:

I shower everyday. I didn't use to before this no-shampooing thing, but I feel like I need to now keep things copesetic. This doesn't mean I use more water. Before, I showered every other day for 10 minutes. Now it's every day for less than 5. For 6 Days of the week, I wet my hair, massage my scalp, clean my body, and get the hell out. If things are looking too greasy, I use this crazy Mexican method of oil re-distribution where I brush my hair from roots to tips with a washcloth while it's still wet. The excess oil is distributed throughout, making it so I don't really need conditioner and so that the roots aren't a yuck-fest.

On the 7th day (it used to be every 3 or so, but the more I use this method, the longer I can go) I lather up with this awesome Squeaky Green solid shampoo bar a friend gifted me from Lush. It's Sodium Laurel Sulfate free and smells AMAZINGLY herbal. I want to bite in, but I refrain. I shampoo, rinse, and have done with it. It doesn't over-dry my hair so no conditioner is necessary. This has NEVER been the case before: my hair is a wavy, tangly mess! I used to use the baking soda/apple cidar vinegar method on hair washing day, and still do sometimes (apple cidar vinegar makes your hair SOOOOO soft) but I'm currently obsessed with the yummy smell of the shampoo bar, so baking soda's taken a back burner.

Sure, some days I feel like a grossen. But mostly it rocks. And I think it'll only get better.

In other showering news: a friend gave me Pangea Organic Body Wash. It's amazing! And it's produced here in Boulder. I want to guzzle it, but settle for rubbing it all over. Even after I'm out of the shower, I can still smell the yumminess on my skin. I catch myself sniffing myself kind of often....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Greenmarket Annoyance!

Yesterday was the first day of spring that our local Boulder Green Market was open! I was pumped. I love green markets and it's been closed since November. I have a lot of residual guilt about my organic produce delivery because of the many miles the food has to travel in the Winter months, so the onset of Spring and the arrival of local veggies makes me giddy.

Boulder has pretty serious regulations on its green market. For example, all the food and goods sold there must have grown/been made in Boulder County. That's intense! But what it also means is that the food is expensive as HELL! I'd gladly buy food from a farm 50 miles away! It's better than Mexico. And larger farms produce more, which means they can keep their prices down. Some of the vendors grown their wares in backyards! Seriously! This means a lot of work for little product, and therefore high prices. Don't get me wrong: I advocate this kind of argiculture! I have big plans for a friend's backyard this Spring and Summer to do some victory gardening of my own. Still: when the green market, seemingly cutting out the middle man, is more expensive then the grocery store, I've got problems. In NYC is was MUCH cheaper and the produce was better. Here, it's way more expensive and the produce is the same or smaller and more sickly looking.

Bottom line: I;m glad we have one, but think it's too regulated to be economically viable for those of us who aren't so solvent.

March's Financial Breakdown

Uggh! Again, I have been absent far too long. Jury duty, a sprained wrist, and thesis corrections are all to blame. Also: laziness. This post was supposed to be up on the 31st, but better a week late than never, right?

The following is my month of savings in spreadsheet form:

I also have a breakdown of what I've spent on what. I don't know if anyone cares, but I do. I spent a ton. I need to stop going out...

Rent/Utilities = $700

Phone Bill = 62$

Dining out/Coffee at environmentally responsible establishments (organic, local, no waste, etc.) = $200.34

Dining Out/Coffee at conventional restaurants = $69.13

Delivery/Takeout Food (stuff that required packaging...although all these were sandwiches wrapped in paper, so that's not tooooo bad) = $57.38

Alcoholic Beverages that were local/organic/unpackaged/etc = $72.32

Alcoholic Beverages that were not (I really like Stoli... and it's from Russia...) = $58.50

Buying nonessential goods = $0 !!!!! Woohoo

Buying personal care/essential items = 11$ (mostly toothpaste supplies and baking soda in bulk)

Groceries = $144.71

Gifts = 26$ from American Apparel

Electronic Media = $14.01

TOTAL = 1404.39$

Money left over for debt reduction = 146$..... not great. Must do better in April.

*A note about calcuations: I let myself off the hook if it was a party/at another person's house/someone treated me. Because I have no idea how much that stuff cost or where they got it.