Friday, November 21, 2008


Aside from being a bad blogger recently, I've been a bad thin-green-rich person as well. Its not that I've given up my mission, but I've definitely tossed aside a lot of things and let the wool be pulled over my eyes on others. So, in the interest of purging my guilt: my list of confessions.

I have used half a roll of paper towels in the last month. This does not bode very well for the remaining 8 or so rolls to last me the next year! In my defense my husband is responsible for some of the usage, and my dog puked not once, but twice. But other times I simply felt too lazy to go to the drawer (5 feet away) that contains rags and get one, wet it at the sink, and use it. Bad, lazy, wasteful!

I have used a significant amount of my remaining stock of Swiffer wet pads and Clorox Clean-Up wipes. Again, no excuse but laziness and, paradoxically, being super busy lately. I have been a lot better about using rags and mopping with a bucket of water instead of the Swiffer, but there have been quite a few incidences that I thought to myself "f*** it". No excuse, again!

Running is over, for now. With the exception of any mild days that may make an appearance over the next 4 or so months, running is out. If it was just me I could stick with it (and probably would, because I do enjoy getting outside) but I think anything below 40 is too cold for my bundle of joy, even if he is bundled up. I have resorted to my old DVR'd workouts and Tae Bo, but since its a lot harder to do crunches and kickboxing with your toddler than it is to strap them into a stroller, I'm somewhat limited. Meaning--nap time is when I now need to squeeze in exercising, along with cleaning, writing, and showering. Since nap time is (average) about 2 hours long, somethings gotta give now and than. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to at least do a half hour work-out when I'm pressed for time...especially with the holiday season coming up!

I need to get a drying rack. Or get something in my laundry room. Though I have been hanging clothes out when I can, they aren't really drying. And, today I went out to check them and found the whole line of towels and rags frozen solid! So, I admit I have been using the dryer WAY more often in the last 3 or so weeks. I have the perfect spot to hang two bars in my laundry room, and that coupled with a drying rack should be more than enough. I just need to DO it. You would think with my next confession I would be all over having to run to Walmart and, you know, buy things.

I keep buying things. Its hard this time of year. I know we're in a recession, and I know that my son is too young to remember this Christmas. I know that I don't "need" a new wreath for the door, new stocking for the whole family, or a Magnadoodle for G3. But lately, I've been bad about spending, and I've been TERRIBLE about using coupons and CVSing. I had started to develop a really nice stockpile of non-perishables and know I missed a lot of good deals. But--sometimes life is just too busy! I really need to sit down and start shopping the way I had been for groceries and necessities.

My final confession...I don't want to be green with Christmas wrapping paper! Well, in my head I do but in my heart I want to wrap everyone's presents in brilliant holiday paper adorned with bows and ribbon, or stuffed into decorative bags with oodles of tissue paper. I recently wrote an article on Helium about ways to be green during the holidays, and a big focus of it was re-using materials like newspaper, paper bags, and previously used wrapping paper, and skipping the embellishments. So why don't I want to follow my own advice!!??

Okay. Confessions over. I promise to be better!!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Since its been a few months of concentrating my efforts on being thinner, richer, greener, I thought it would be a good idea to sort of evaluate how I've been doing, what I've learned, what was easy and what is harder than expected...

Running: My initial goal was to exercise 5 times a week, on top of running in the evening with my husband. This has changed a bit, because (1) My husband stopped running for awhile due to a myriad of health factors, mainly a herniated disk and (2) Its now dark at 5pm so our days of post-work running have come to a close, at least until March or so. I'm still continuing to aim for 5 workouts a week and its constantly an uphill battle. I generally get 3-4 workouts a week, 5 is an excellent effort and does happen sometimes. Unfortunately, slacking also occurs, mostly due to extenuating circumstances like going away for a weekend--and I feel it when I do not exercise.

"Thinner" Goals in General: You may have noticed I don't have a whole lot of these. Other than diet and exercise, there isn't much short of liposuction I can do about my shitty metabolism and my post baby flab. Perhaps I need some more specific goals in the future...such as "never eat french fries or cookies ever!" Yeah.

Now onto the greener goals...since these seem to be the most plentiful...

Dryer Usage: By far, cutting out the dryer usage has been the easiest and reaped the most tangible benefits. Surprisingly, I found that I enjoyed the process of hanging clothes out to dry and using the dryer only for necessary items. Our electric bill is significantly lower. I do need to get a drying rack for indoors for the winter, but then again, I think as long as there's no precipitation there's no reason not to hang clothes out in the winter and just touch them up with 10 minutes in the dryer...we shall see...

Going Wipe less: Found a few glitches in my plan to go wipe less. 1. I started doing some minor potty training with my son. Cleaning out the potty (human waste) and then throwing the rag in the laundry? Not going to happen, at least not with the extra gross clean-up jobs. Also, during a party or gathering of people, its really hard to limit your usage. About a half roll of paper towels was used in ONE night. (The other half had been sporadically used over a few months.) The dishwasher was run multiple times, and although I had visions of not using paper plates, I did anyhow b/c I didn't feel like loading and unloading the dishwasher yet again. But really, I'm not going to ask my guests to watch how many paper towels they use or count the squares of toilet paper.

Conserving Energy: My husband and I are getting better about this. We used to be horrible ones for having every light in the house on, unnecessary things plugged in, and taking ridiculously long showers (well, that was more my husband than me!) I think seeing it reflected in our electric bill--we can view it online at any time and see how much energy we've used) has helped a lot. But we could be doing better.

Recycling: Remember, when I started this, we didn't even recycle? Its amazing how many alcohol bottles, I mean recyclables, we go through in a month. Amazing.

Future endeavors: Solar panels. We might have to work on the "richer" part of this blog before that happens. Compost pile. Haven't gotten there yet, and must research to see if things like wild animals and unruly dogs will prevent a compost pile from happening. We shall see!

And finally, the richer goals. I know people laugh but the CVSing has made a difference, and I've changed my mentality about shopping a bit--stocking up when I can and comparison shopping a bit. I have put a lot more energy into writing for, and it has paid off a bit. And hopefully will continue to do so. Right now it doesn't behoove our family for me to go outside of the home to get a job--we both feel its important for our son to have a parent home with him for now, after all, in a short year and a half he'll be in preschool (sob!) And, my "trade" of being a veterinary technician would probably just cover childcare--unfortunately we aren't lucky enough to have a family caregiver (read: free babysitter) locally. So, although my income from eBay and writing and what I save through shopping conservatively is slim, I do feel it has made a difference.