Greening Our Home

Here are things we want to do to reduce the environmental impact of whatever house we wind up buying.

  • Add solar panels
  • Plant a vegetable garden and fruit trees
  • Insulate, insulate, insulate
  • Install weatherstripping
  • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Set up cisterns for water catchment
  • Put in an attic fan
  • Build a windmill (okay, a turbine) (J is Dutch) (half Dutch)
  • Set up some sort of gray-water system
  • Cover the windows with triple-cell honeycomb blinds
  • Buy a front-loading washer
  • Use a clothesline (we air-dry a lot now, but it takes up a lot of floor space inside)
  • Build a water-permeable driveway

Hmm. It seems like we have more goals than that. But it’s a start.

Air Conditioning and Refrigerator Maintenance

I could have studied this in high school, but I did not. Perhaps that’s why I’m not entirely sure how to get at my refrigerator coils. However, I’m going to overcome that lack of knowledge, as I have accepted another Carbonrally challenge: the Air-out Your Fridge challenge. I’m not sure why it’s hyphenated, but it seems like a good idea. Look out, refrigerator. Sometime this week, I’m coming for you.

The air conditioner is working fine, although I probably need to clean out the filter there as well. Mostly, though, I wish we had air conditioning throughout the apartment, and not just in the bedroom. Where’s my June gloom?

And while I’m asking unanswerable questions, when did Dana Carvey become a low-rent Robin Williams? Low-rent Robin Williams. Now there’s a depressing thought.

Meatless? Aimless?

So today was the first of my two meatless days for the week. Here’s what I ate:

  • instant oatmeal
  • boiled egg
  • cheese
  • macaroni with alfredo sauce (from Whole Foods, in a box)
  • pecans
  • raisins
  • yogurt
  • Cheerios with milk (the dinner of champions)
  • a whole lot of ice cream

Does it necessarily count as vegetarian, though? Or is it just a random collection of foods which does not happen to include meat? I’m not even sure if it’s healthy.

Right Now, Less Cow

I wasn’t that successful at the 29-Day Giving Challenge. In fact, I’m not even sure if the original 29 days have passed.

However, I like the idea of a challenge, and stretching myself in new ways. So I’ve just signed up for the Right Now, Less Cow Challenge offered by Carbonrally. They have quite a few challenges, and many of them are things that interest me–but either we’re already doing them (replacing old lightbulbs with CFLs, air-drying some of our laundry) or they aren’t practical until we have a house (composting).

Two meatless days a week, though, sounds like a good way to start. Apparently I’m not starting until tomorrow, though; if I’d found the challenge (and, indeed, Carbonrally) earlier, I wouldn’t have had that hamburger for lunch.

Guilty Conscience

I wound up driving to work today so that I could get the smog test done on the way home. And it turns out that the shops I’m most likely to go to are in the neighborhood where we live. So I could have taken the bus and then just driven to the smog test location. On the other hand, I’m more confident that I’ll get there before they close if I drive straight there, instead of timing my departure from work to the bus schedule.

But still.

Earth Day

Does it make me a bad person if I don’t do anything? I mean, I’ll do the usual things. For example, I’ll ride the bus to work. I’ll eat organic yogurt for one of my snacks. But these are things I do every day, not things that I do specifically because it’s Earth Day.

It’s just…I have the feeling that the Farmer’s Market is going to be really crowded. And I have to work during all of the celebrations that I’ve been reading about. Yet I do think that Earth Day is important. I’m conflicted.

Also, is it appropriate or ironic if, after work, I get my car smog-tested?

Why I Love the Bus

Think about it. It’s L.A. Why are you driving? The cult of the car is so enormous here that it’s impossible to get around. The bus, on the other hand, is cheaper than gas and much cheaper than parking. So check out the bus lines in town and ride.

Another thing I love about the bus: I get to read. I love to read, and it’s tough to find time. But on the bus, there’s nothing else to do.

Banker, by Dick Francis
The Ghost in the Little House, by William Holtz

Hot. Where’s that break in the heat they were promising?