Archive for Being Green

My Bike Log

I decided to try to track my non-gasoline-fueled transportation, and do a few calculations to see how much money (and gasoline!) I’ve saved.

Basically, I will only count trips that I would have had to make anyway, and typically would have uesd the car for. This includes trips to the grocery store (2.1 miles), picking up Lillian from daycare (5.8 miles), the library, the ice cream store, the good hamburger place, the good pizza place… lucky a lot of these are just over a mile from the house, which means I’m not saving a whole lot of gas, but it is an easy trip and therefore a much bigger incentive to bike instead of drive!

It also includes trips made by Brett borrowing my bike. Maybe he’ll get his own eventually — this would be particularly nice because then I can include trips like the burger place which currently he has to drive to while I bike… and therefore I can’t count it.

Anyway, here’s the page — just over a dollar saved so far. I think I will buy myself something nice once I “save” enough money up!

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You can fit a LOT in those bags…

I bought a bunch of string bags from and they are really great to shop with. They hold tons of groceries, at least three times as much as a plastic bag, and are easy to carry even when completely full.

You can even fit a whole toddler in one. *

Lillian in a bag

* Please note, this was entirely her idea. I don’t go about storing my children in bags normally. Even reuseable organic cotton string bags.

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So true…

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Another ealtschul…

There’s an E. Altschul in Pennsylvania who accidentally put in the wrong email address when signing up for a wind-power service (left out the letter “b” in her address), so I got her signup information instead of her.  So (me being me) I logged into the profile, found her phone number, and called her to let her know the mixup and to get her correct address so I could forward it on :-)

Bizarrely, I’m also going to be in the Philadelphia area (near where she lives) for a wedding this weekend.  Small world.

In any case, I felt like I did my five minutes’ worth of good deed for the day, and it’s neat to find another E. Altschul interested in the environment…

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Our home in suburban Columbia: NOT walkable.

I was playing around with “walkability” scores for my current (and some prior) addresses at Walk Score.

  • Current House (Columbia, SC): 3
  • Indiana Condo (outskirts of Bloomington, IN): 3
  • Where I grew up (West Chester, OH): 15 (and that’s much better than it used to be!)
  • My in-laws (Salem, OR): 31
  • Boston Apartment (Charlestown, MA): 78

This isn’t a completely accurate representation, since we have a vast outdoor mall just over a mile away from us with gobs of things in it — Columbia is far more walkable than our Bloomington Condo (fondly known as “ass end of nowhere”) was. I wouldn’t consider that walkable for everyday “oh gosh I need a cup of milk for that recipe” errands, but it is if you’re planning on doing a lot of shopping. It’s the carrying-things-home that would be a problem!

In any case, it’s an interesting toy to play with, and can definitely be worth looking at if you’re moving and are torn between a few good places.

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I feel so green!

Brett and I noticed one of our neighbors had a kitchen table set sitting out by the street. Hmm, we thought, this is nicer than the dinky tile-top table and cruddy chairs we have had for eons. We asked the neighbors if it was indeed up for grabs; they said they were moving, and wanted to get rid of some stuff, so it was either free to a good home or the garbage men would take it. (The reason for asking was mainly to meet them, since nobody just puts their furniture out on the sidewalk to give it some fresh air and a change of pace; unfortunately, since they were moving out, it was a pretty futile gesture.)

So, we’ve rescued a glass-top table and four chairs from death in a landfill. With a bit of repair (there was a bent fastener brace) and glass cleaner, it looks pretty decent. Lil likes it more than our dining room table, although I don’t know how long that might last.

Our old table and chairs, I plan on posting on Freecycle so they can also have a new home (they’re in fine condition, I just don’t like them). We don’t need to invest in brand-new something made of non-renewable materials, we’re reusing what somebody else no longer wants… yay us!

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