Friday, September 07, 2007

And now, a brief intermission

A break from our not so regularly scheduled knitting content: Welcome to my life. (Let me take a moment to complain about how much this laptop I am using utterly sucks. That is all).

Being home for the past week, and looking into the past and future as I pack up all my possessions and deem what is necessary and what is useless has given me a lot of time to think about the life I want to lead. It's also given me a lot of chance to read and absorb the opinions of others. Much of this is just daydreaming - It will be a long time until I own my first house, or even settle in one apartment longer than a few months. But little by little, I'm making changes to my lifestyle and finding it easier than I thought.

I've become hopelessly inspired by the incredible richness of reading materials about local food, environmentally friendly lifestyle changes, and what they all mean to America, to me, and to you. In particular the website Green as a Thistle and the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle are shaping my viewpoints and illustrating how easy and possible lifestyle changes can be. In addition, the many blogs, books and articles on the subjects of sustainability and "going green" have shown me that trying to reduce our global footprint is not synonymous with only eating tofu and wearing Birkenstocks over socks. (I promise, I only do this in the comfort of my own, empty home.) You don't have to be a card carrying hippy to want to preserve the environment in which you leave, even if it just means helping support that cute store on the corner.

I'm very opinionated and long winded on this subject so I'll try to keep it short. Instead of listening to me rant, check out what other people have to say about the impact of eating and shopping locally, or preserving resources. I will outline a list of what I have been trying to do: it makes me feel better to see my changes materialized in words, and it almost feels as if once I've spoken into the abyss of the world, I can't possibly go back to my old ways. Isn't that why we blog and write anyways?

1. Obviously I like biking, and most weekends found Eric and I on the tail end of a 20-30 mile trek. But the key to biking is using it as a vehicle. In Kalamazoo this wasn't even a question. Eric's car was totaled in January, so since then it's been buses, trains, and bikes. Now that I'm home I have to make the conscious decision to walk or bike wherever I'm going. I'm no angel - it usually takes a nice internal pep talk to get me outside to the backyard, bike key in hand, instead of turning on NPR in the car. But, in my neighborhood, biking is easy and, with the way parking is, just as quick.

2. Body products are another big one. Maybe I live in fear, or maybe I'm slowly becoming one of those card carrying hippies, but I hate the idea of chemicals on my body. This is the reason I've stopped using commercial dryer sheets, and in the past few weeks, commercial body products. Instead, I've switched to Dr. Bronner's, which I'm absolutely in love with. Since using it, my hair has more volume than it ever has before, and I don't have to use conditioner, a hair dryer, or any other product. Truly amazing.

3. Farmer's Markets always seem so decadent. I've been cooking the simplest meals; today I had a pita pizza with tomatoes from our garden and onions from the farmer's market, and yesterday it was a caprese salad with all local ingredients. Its amazing how much better everything tastes and looks - like eating at a fancy restaurant, but for a fraction of the cost and in your own home. And especially with the recent changes to the Farm Bill, I cannot stress the importance of eating locally enough.

Enough of my opinion for now. I'm finishing up my Riding Jacket, so as soon as I get my computer back and can upload images, I'll be back for real.


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