Week 8 Update

Wow…it’s been two months of this already!

Gasoline: The only travel I’ve done this week is carpooling to and from an event about five miles from here (Sadly, the only public transit options would have been by going into Boston and back). So we’re at well below 90% for the week, but that one plane trip will probably put us over, given the couple of long train/bus trips and one long carpool in the coming months. Depending on how efficient the pubtrans and carpooling are, we won’t be that *much* over, but we won’t hit target. I’m guessing that we’ll come out at about a 70% reduction.

Electricity: I probably used a bit more than last week, but not by much. I did a load of laundry on the shortest cycle. I’ve been using more lights than usual lately — not leaving them on when I’m not using them so much, but I’m so tired and it’s so hot that extra light is the only thing keeping me awake. Being tired and out of it also exacerbates my fear of the dark and thus I’ve kept the nightlight on more. I really need to wean myself off of that. For the past month, we’re on average at about 20%

Water: As I posted earlier, I’ve been doing well on water. The laundry I did this week I also washed with just a hefty slug of vinegar instead of detergent. They came out nice and clean looking and smelling. I will follow this practice for the future, especially since vinegar can be locally produced.

Food: Mostly on-target, but some stumbles. I did get a craving for chocolate chip cookies, and asked Ben to get chocolate chips when he went shopping. We now have chocolate chips, mangoes, and grapefruit. If I’d known there would be ripe mangoes, I wouldn’t have asked for the chocolate. And the experimental eggless cookie bars were pretty much a failure — too much butter. I think the stuff will be ok mixed in with my morning oatmeal. Speaking of which, my diet has suddenly contained drastically more oats, due to that being practically the only thing I eat for breakfast anymore.

The other unfortunate thing on the food front was that we had to compost a large amount of our dried fruit/nuts/other such things because of bugs. That has lead to us banning non-sealed containers from the pantry, which should have been done ages ago. Eating more in bulk helps with this, but we can’t get nuts conveniently in bulk anymore…too many people were eating from the bins in the co-op, so they stopped carrying the most popular ones in bulk, and I don’t want us to start eating enough nuts to warrant ordering bulk-sized quantities. That’s definitely a “5%” item.

But the farm produce continues to be so tasty! There isn’t the expected inundation of squash, because gophers ate all the summer squash and we’ve had to import some from a farm in New Hampshire. But there’s lots of eggplant and cucumbers and beans…and apparantly sweet corn, but our share partners get the whole share this week, so no sweet corn for us right now. I might stop by the farmer’s market and see if they have anything enticing. If it’s not too hot, I’m also going to ride down to the farm and help weed (and dump compostables). Lamb’s quarters are *perfect* soup greens — better than spinach! I’m going to collect huge quantities of them and freeze them.

Consumer Goods: The bike purchase pretty much ate up any chance of being on-target financially. But that’s an investment, and while I still feel like I might have been able to find a used on for cheaper, this is what I have, and I’ll try to get the most out of the buying-new benefits. I almost spent $20 on a used pasta maker from Craigslist, but the person backed out at the last minute. No pasta maker for me :-(

Trash: Still well below-target. Recyclables were especially low this week. I think that we produce enough compostables to sustain a worm colony, so that might be the next major project. We might not start that until the winter, though…it’s just so much easier to bring it to the farm.

Community: I’m going to start tracking this, because that’s kind of a correllary thing to increase while I’m reducing emissions. There was a fun singing get-together last Sunday, and I’m meeting a friend tomorrow to hang out. I also joined FreeCycle and have someone dropping by on Sunday to pick up my yogurt maker and spare immersion blender, and bring me some largeish storage containers suitable for starting a stock of extra rice and beans and such.

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