Thursday, May 31, 2007

May Tally

I really wanted to double my CO2 saved this month. But considering last month a big portion of my tally was due to taking the bus to and from the airport and this month I didn't need to go down there, I think I did quite well! I also made my 5 required rides for Bike to Work Month. Doesn't sound like much to you? Well....out of four weeks, I was on the road for two and sick for one. I'm really quite proud!

CO2 Saved: 33.8
Miles Biked: 31.9


Low Impact Week Update

Alright, let's get warmed up! On your feet! Stretch that recycling arm to the left, to the right, to the mark those pedaling legs, faster, faster! Now bend at the waist and stretch out those compost turning arms and warm up those hamstrings! Stand up, and roll your CFL changing the other direction.

Ok, I think we've gotten ourselves warmed up. Low Impact Week is creeping upon us. In fact, it's tomorrow. So to follow suit, let me recap things that I've been doing and what I will be doing as of tomorrow.

* Recycled toilet paper
* Washing hair only twice a week (also good for my curl!)
* Not using paper towels
* Unplugging appliances
* Riding my bike (even up ridiculous hills!)
* Carrying reusable coffee mug
* Reusable grocery bags
* Turning in my receipts from Ballard Market to Sustainable Ballard for a 1% donation
* When my roommate's not home I don't flush! shhh!!! ; )
* CFLs
* Keeping lights off
* Unplug
* Reusing ziplocks
* Recyling of course
* Cold wash
* Low heat and almost dry setting on dryer
* Dry option is turned off on dishwasher
* Natural detergents (dishwasher and laundry)
* Make scrubbing soaps from baking soda, vinegar, castille soap combos

I'm sure there's more. That list looks so piddly. Here are a few things I'm going to try to add to the habits of the previous list:

* Turn off that dang tv!
* And the computer, for that matter!
* Ride to work every workday
* Shorter showers
* No more soda (EnviroWoman ruined my dillusions of being able to drink soda because I could recycle the containers)
* Line dry

That's just a start!

And don't forget No Drive Day June 1st to kick off Low Impact Week! You can do it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What would you do?

I needed chai tea. NEEDED it. My head was throbbing from lack of caffeine. And I was in the suburb I grew up in which has few, if any, independent coffee houses. At least none that I knew of that would take my debit card for I constantly lack cash. Please don't hate me. I had to go to what some call the Devil-Incarnate-bucks.

So there we were in the drive through. thump thump thump my head pulsed. The SUV in front of us was handed drink after drink after drink.... then they finally started to pull away but they only got as far as the trash can. Plastic bottle after bottle after bottle after bottle was handed up from the back seat to the thrower-outer. Thump went my head, thwack went the bottle...over and over again. One didn't make it into the bin. They let it roll away across the parking lot.

I should have gotten out and at least picked up the renegade bottle. I should have opened the bin and collected the plastic ones and taken them home for recycling.

I should have. And I didn't. And I feel so terribly guilty.

Monday, May 21, 2007


EnviroWoman from Living Plastic Free in 2007 was discussing her reasons for boycotting all plastic and used this article as a reference: Our Oceans Are Turning to Plastic...Are We?

I really suggest reading it. It's quite an eye opener. There are facts in there that I had heard before but this really brought it home.

After you have read the part about phthalates and all the other gunk that is proving to mess with our genes and reproductive system...check out your products at the Skin Deep Report. They'll tell you how safe your beauty products are and you can look up safer ones.

It's scary, but I think it's time that we face that fear and make changes.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Low Impact Week

June 1st- 7th

Crunchy Chicken is proposing a Low Impact Week June 1st-7th. I say we kick off the week right by not driving June 1st. Shoot, you guys are so awesome I know you could go without driving for the entire week!

Here's what I want you to do:

Don't drive on June 1st. Find other means of transportation, be it your feet, a bike, the bus, a pony, a large dog, whatever. Add up how many miles you didn't drive and post them here. Then we can calculate how many lbs. of CO2 we saved!

Spread it around! And the more people sent back to this blog to post, the more accurate our calculations can be!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

I'm NOT a wimp!

I took the bike in to get the derailleurs fixed and it turned out the entire shifter was broken. That's why I couldn't go up the hill!! I couldn't get into a low gear! It was like I was trying to start on a hill in second, it can be done but it ain't easy!

Image stolen from Blue Collar Mountain Biking and yes I know that's a crank shaft and not a derailleur.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Career Choice

I love my job at the zoo. I love teaching environmental education, the people I work with are fantastic and I feel like I'm doing something important. However, I also feel like I'm not doing enough, 30 hrs/week at less than grounds crew makes doesn't pay the bills, and I often feel my field/position is unstable.

Soooo.....I'm applying for a teaching program. I already have a master's in Env. Ed. so I'm just doing a post-bac program to get certified. The applications were due April 1st but I made a call, had a meeting and was invited to go to the interviews just based on our conversation. All I need to do is turn in the paperwork.

The program is evenings so I can still work during the day.

It is a relatively competitive program so I don't want to get everyone too excited. This means, Sister, Mom does not need to know yet. My work also does not need to know yet.

Ooh, but I'm excited!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Eco capitalism

I just found this awesome company called Terra Cycle. These two guys decided to take worm castings, make a compost tea out of them and sell it as a fertilizer. Ok, that's not terribly new..but leave it to a poor college student (or two) to figure out a cheap way to get the stuff on the shelves...

Their bottles are made from recycled soda bottles. No, literally they are soda bottles. No processing whatsoever. The sprayers are from other companies who had too much. The boxes are misprints. It's ingenious. I'm a little smitten.

My favorite line is from CBS news "..the story is a reminder about following your dreams. The pot of gold may require dealing with a ton of crap."

Watch the video, it's great!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May 15th?

Have you been getting forwards or myspace bulletins asking you not to buy gas on May 15th? Did you pass it on? I hope the answer is no. Or I hope you altered the message...

Not buying gas on one day is not going to hurt big oil. If you need gas that week, you'll buy it on May 14th or 16th anyway.

If you get this message and wish to pass it on change the message to promote something that might actually work. Don't drive on May 15th. Join in for Bike to Work Month. Something along those lines.

Also..if you got the one that said that gas prices dropped 30 cents after a gas out in 1997...weren't you a little suspicious? I KNOW I would've remembered that. I was a senior in high school and if gas reached 60-some cents a gallon I would've remembered.

Friday, May 04, 2007

whoa cool!

On the Bike To Work web page you can see a report on how much CO2 has been saved during the contest. So far 79457.7 pounds have been saved in just one week! AND not everybody has inputted their numbers. That's pretty freaking cool.

Update: I think those numbers are misleading. It looks like people have been entering in their data since before May. But that's still a lot of CO2 saved.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

greasy hands = hot

My bike does not want to go to work. Yesterday was the flat, today my chain fell off. But I did get affirmation from SB that greasy hands were hot. And I saw HSG (hot security guy) in the kitchen and turned three shades of red as I tried to talk to him. holy crap.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Half Full

I did my first bike ride for Bike to Work Month today. I decided to go a little out of my way to avoid going up the hill of death. I was sweaty but pretty damn proud that I made it. I still had to walk up a hill. Oh well! Next time I won't!

I did get a flat tire. Thank goodness I had my tutorial from Alene on Mon. After we did our programs, my viking coworker and I stopped by a bike shop to get me a new tube. Then I borrowed baby powder from Madam Coworker and go ready to change the tire!

Security came and met me with a pump...and let me tell you! This member of security is rather hot. And my new favorite! I had my tube switched and was all ready by the time he got there. We had a little trouble making sure everything was going in right but we got it! And I made it home safe and sound.

I'm going to rack up 4.5 miles biked, but I will only take 3.8 lbs CO2 saved since had I been driving, I wouldn't have gone out of my way in the morning.


Half Empty

I rode my bike to work today. Got ANOTHER flat tire as soon as I got to the North Lot. And I was sweating so much because I wore the wrong jacket.

By the time I had a chance to change the flat it started pouring down rain, I forgot to put a plastic bag on my seat and I was soaking wet before I could even get the tube out.

Then I had to ride down the hill of death on the slick roads and I was sure I was going to die.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

tallies and such

In April I only biked a measily 5.6 miles and saved 38.5 lbs. CO2.

My goal for May is to greatly increase those numbers...barring anymore flat tires. Although now I can fix them myself! kind of! : )

I"m signed up for Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation's Bike To Work Month so that's some incentive!

All is not well in Ballard

I walked home from work today. And what a day to do so! Everything was blooming, the weather was lovely...and the crossing guard by the elementary stopped traffic for me and then called me "Babe." But in a cute old black man way. I eat that stuff up!

Can we go back to everything is in bloom? Is anyone else alarmed to see California poppies, candy tuft, roses and irises blooming along side tulips, magnolias and azaleas?! I associate the former as summer bloomers and the later as early spring timers. Am I wrong? I know I haven't worked in a nursery for years so I guess I could just be hyper sensitive.

"Cedar," you still actually work with I imagining things and working myself into a fervor for no reason?