Monday, April 28, 2008

To Go, Green Style

One of my biggest green-smashing vices is take out. Life has gotten a lot busier in the past year with taking on a second job, stepping up the gardening business, and ironically, having Sprout in school. The local coffee shop is the main place we indulge in now and again. They have a divine soup, make a mean veggie sandwich, and have sweets galore. It's all reasonably priced and I like supporting our local, family-owned coffee shop that buys our organically grown produce in the summer. There's just one problem: packaging. We usually eat there, but there's almost always leftovers. I most often eat there with Bird, and she's the only one to get lunch (I eat when I get home), but she always has half a sandwich left over. Yes, the soup comes home in a paper cup, the rest comes home in bulky styrofoam. It finally got to the point where I realized it was time to do something about it, so I went searching, and discovered these items which are some of my favorite new things! The first are Sigg snack boxes, like the blue one pictured at right, and the red one below. These are perfect for putting Bird's leftovers or a sweet treat in. They will also be perfect for when I don't have Sprout's Laptop Lunchbox clean and need to use his regular lunchbox (a soft-sided number). We only use a few plastic baggies a month but I expect these will totally eliminate our need for them. The snack boxes also come in a larger size for people who want to take a big salad to work or otherwise pack a bigger portion. They are lightweight and sturdy, and close securely. The second is a tiffin by To-Go Wear that I first saw on Vegan Lunchbox. It really is divine. I can have soup or a salad in one container, and a half-sandwich or roll in the other. The divider between the two can be used as a little plate. The handle allows you to put in hot foods and not burn yourself walking around. Very handy. So now I can get my take out completely waste free and enjoy my "fast food" with much less guilt. Hooray! I found my new treasures at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day 2008

Happy Earth Day! We had a smashing Earth Dinner on Sunday--our 3rd annual Earth Dinner, and it was just wonderful. We had old friends, people from our church, the community--a full house of people talking about food, climate change, and how we can play a part. It was inspirational and heart warming. Wisconsin offered up food that became curried potatoes, chili, corn chips, sourdough and sweet breads, cherry pie, salad, maple popcorn, wine, and more. I got to wear my herbivore "Eat Like You Give a Damn" tee and hang out with eco-friendly friends while eating great food. Yeah, that's pretty much perfection for me. My dolls are helping to spread the message of Earth Day this year, as hundreds of board members access the album that I put together on our Traveling Doll's blog: Check it out for some lighthearted fun. I hope you and yours have a renewing, inspirational Earth Day 2008!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Branch Will Not Break

Lately life has been quite busy, yet has seemed more balanced at the same time. As I've had this realization, I've found that I'm more susceptible to being touched by poetry. Maybe it's just that it's National Poetry Month. I heard this poem on "To The Best of Our Knowledge" (NPR) last weekend and found it positively delightful:

In a pine tree,
A few yards away from my window sill,
A brilliant blue jay is springing up and down,
up and down,
On a branch.
I laugh, as I see him abandon himself
To entire delight, for he knows as well as I do
That the branch will not break.
--James Wright

I so loved this poem, and actually the entire show was just really excellent. As a matter of fact, you should listen to it if you have the time. You can do so HERE. It sent me chasing to Barnes and Noble for the book "Sightings" by Sam Keen, and I decided to see if I could find the book that the poem was in. It was only $5, so heck yeah, throw it in there. I ordered those two books along with SMITH magazine's "Not Quite What I Was Planning" (a blog for a later date). These books are so good that I sent the exact same order to my sister and her roomie because they needed them. Well, the books came, and the poetry book was just twee! At first I felt like an idiot, but then I realized that it was all poetry in motion,

because Goodreau Privera had just arrived and looked so sweet sitting in her chair, but really needed some reading material. Hello, how cute is this? Ah yes, my doll collecting has branched out a bit since last I mentioned it. I'm more into them now, but into different dolls. Beo surprised me with some mad money from an unexpected bonus, so I got to make the jump and purchase this Beauty. Seriously, isn't she gorgeous? It's silly how happy she makes me.

Balance in the doing,
In the music and the craft.
Creativity and Hard Work,
Challenge and Longing.
Accomplishment and sometimes,
sheer unexpected joy:
A laugh
A smile
A song
And I know that I am blessed.

Happy Poetry Month!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

April Just One Thing

April's Just One Thing is the two degrees of separation. Did you know that a difference of just a degree or two in your thermostat setting can make a big difference? This is usually a mild time of year, so now might be a good time to try it. If you're thermostat is set to heat, try turning it down two degrees. Already cooling off? Turn it up two degrees. By doing so, you can save about 2,000 pounds of carbon emissions each year! You probably won't even notice the difference in temperature, but you may notice the average energy cost savings of $100! Thank you!

To learn more:
EPA Individual Emissions
Programmable Thermostats