Checkpoint on environmental “tinkering”
Regular readers here will remember my previous posts on environmental projects that I've undertaken. Since it's easy to talk about things when they start up or fail, but not so easy to remember to talk about them otherwise, I thought I'd post a little catch-up note on how things are going.
Since starting our worm bins last fall, Joy and I have had fun with our new little “pets”. Friends we see regularly know how we'll stop them from throwing away tea bags and fruit rinds, squirreling them away to later feed our worms. Since things changed around here, Joy and I combined our worm bins, initially providing enough worms to start a friend's bin, and, after several more months, a slow start for my recently-married sister, as well. We've also fed our worms enough that we've now harvested one tray... providing compost to our rather ridiculous garden of potted plants.
Speaking of which...
Another recent project has been the growing columns. I say columns because we built a second one on Joy's balcony. With two towering piles of growing potential, we've eaten dozens of helpings of salad, several sides of collard greens, a couple of stir-fry's with home grown bok choi, and an occasional meal spruced up with other plants, most of which we had a harder time keeping around, like the spinach which never seem to grow for long before going to seed. And all of it's been organic, and uber-fresh.
The growing columns are a lovely project, but not without their concerns. First of all, as the weather (and ongoing watering) has gone on, concerns about how we'll reinvigorate them next year reign - there's not much hope that these things will hold up for many years, for instance. And things tend to go to seed faster, if only because we try to water the things a lot, but not so heavily as to leave their cardboard outer layer soggy.... but, this also depends on the season. We've been refilling the columns every few months with new plants, depending on what we've been able to get to come up from a separate plant nursery we're also squeezing into our balcony. As a result, we currently have predominantly collard greens growing, for instance, since we've had trouble getting any romaine or other plants to germinate in the last couple of months.
The last project, the most ongoing and lifestyle affecting one, has been well covered here. Bottom line: Joy and I both still regularly (>>4x each week, average) ride our commutes, and typically other trips, on our scooters. My car, now fully paid-off, gets very little driving, outside of trips to the airport and other beyond-scooter travel distances. By contrast, I've put over 2600 miles onto my scooter since March; Joy almost 1000 since May. Yes, I do tend to gloat whenever someone brings up the price of gas.
Anyone have any other fun environmental-friendly projects to suggest?