Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Growing up in a small town (in a suburb, sorta) I didn't really have a sense of community. In fact, I didn't even really have a sense of the meaning of community. (Just like in my last post), once I moved to LA and became involved in the sustainability movement, I started to get an understanding of what community meant and why it is important. Ever since I learned about the Eco Village I wanted to either live there or start my own eco village! Unfortunately neither of those were an option :( Starting a community garden definitely ties into this but I also have been wanting to start community dinners. I'm not sure how willing the people in my community would be to participate but I'd like to try and find out. I have a eutopian view a bunch of community members sitting around sharing a nice bowl of salad, some bread and a good conversation!

The way we change and grow

Growing up in Florida I never once thought about farming or where my food came from. It was a disconnect that most Americans experience. I then moved to California (Los Angeles in specific) which is somewhat near agricultural regions. Some times I would drive threw these regions when visiting my brother or while on other trips. So I started to become a little more familiar with agriculture and kinda seeing what it was about (but still pretty disconnected). But then I started getting back to my true roots of being environmentally conscious and started to read things and started to learn. I started to realize the relationship between myself, the food I eat and the environment. I started realizing how important it is for us to be aware of this connection. I realized that eating locally, or even better, growing our own is very important, both for our health and for the health of the environment.
Starting last summer it became my passion to try and turn old, over grown lots around the city into community gardens! It seems silly to me that we would just let these empty lots just sit there, being graffitied and untaken care of when we could be using that space to grow food for people and to reconnect communities who have lost the sense of community. This past year has been so busy for me though, that I have barely had any time whatsoever to devote to making my dream a reality. And one thing that has been kind of scaring me is the fact that I don't know how to grow (or keep alive) anything! How can I start a community garden when I don't even know how to grow plants!
Threw someone in the environmental industry I heard about a documentary called "The Garden" about a South central farm that some women started in the city! Immediately I wanted to see the documentary! (but unfortunately I've been so busy I haven't even had time to watch it :() but then I met someone at school that actually works at the South Central farm! (which has been moved to Bakersfield). He mentioned that people can volunteer at the farm! I am very excited to be able to have the opportunity to volunteer at the farm and see what growing food is all about!!! I feel like this is a good first step to starting a community garden!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm a busy bee!

I wish I had buzy bees of my own! lol

I thought I was going to have so much free time this month to work on being no impact but nope! no free time at all! Between working 50+ hours, going out of town two weekend, volunteering for Tree People on one out of two of my days off the other two weekends and getting involved in several groups, I've barely had any time to try to be no impact as possible :/ BUT I have hopefully been making an environmental difference in other ways. I've become a part of the leadership team of California Student Sustainability Coalition, I've helped take care of trees and out reached for Tree People, I've been meeting with my campus environmental club, I've joined the Sustainability committee for the Downtown Neighborhood council and will hopefully be starting a sustainability committee for the Sherman Oaks neighborhood Committee. Once school starts I'll only be working 40 hours but I'm hoping once school starts I'll still have time to keep up with everything and continue to help out! I don't want to burn out and I wanna make a difference. I hope I can keep the steam going!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"these are a few of my favorite things"

A few small things I've done the past few weeks to have less impact:

1. when I do have to eat out :/ I don't put lids on my drinks to keep my plastic consumption down. I also re-use the straws.
2. renting books at the library instead of buying them
3. trying to stick to eating food that don't come in packaging (which so far only consists of fruits and veggies)
4. using cloths to clean up messes instead of paper towels
5. switched to a tooth paste that doesn't have sodium laurel sulphate in it
6. Pledging to buy nothing new for one year (only buying used, or borrowing)

Things I need to work on
1. watch less tv
2. drive less
3. I've had 3 sodas in the past two weeks, but would be preferable to cut soda out completely
4. learn to grow things and not kill the things I grow

projects to try when I get back into town next weekend:
1. make my own toxic free hand soap
2. make my own toxic free shampoo
3. check out other farmers markets and try to find local dairy farmers who treat their animals well to buy milk from

mans best friend:
Vinegar and baking soda-they can be used to clean everything! counter tops, bathrooms, your hair and teeth! The list goes on!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

the current buzzing of thoughts in my head

Over the past month or so bees keep making their way into my "life" (mostly threw media) one way or another and it has led me to become completely fascinated with bees and beekeeping! It first started with the discovery of an on line novel called 'Bee Quit' ( which is a novel about the looming environmental catastrophe we need to save our selves from. It doesn't mention bees much but for some reason, having a dead bee on top of a smoke stack and the title made me ponder bees, and the disappearance of our bee population. Then a few weeks later after the "No Impact Man" showing I did for my community a woman introduced herself and gifted me a home made jar of honey that, she mentioned, was from her own bee hive. 'Bee hives in Los Angeles?' I thought to myself. I didn't realize that one could keep bees in within city limits! This made me fascinated. Then for xmas my mom got me "Pushing Daisies" which I had never seen before. One of the main characters keeps bees. She has cute little (non-conventional) bee hives and loves her bees to death. She keeps them on a roof top in the city. Once again, 'bee hives in a city'? Then the last straw that broke the camels back into my obsession with bees was reading an article about how they are about to remove the ban on bee keeping in NYC and mentioned urban beekeeping. That was it! I was hooked! Since that article I have spent way too much time reading everything I can about bee keeping! There's a group here in L.A. called Backwards Beekeeping that I'm hoping I can meet up with during one of their regular meetings so I can talk to people who have their own hives here in L.A.

I'm a little sad though because I live in an apartment complex on the first floor which would make it impossible for me to own bees but right now I feel like "if there's a will, there's a way" and I'm determined to find a way!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

get fresh!

My "no impact as much as possible" month of january is going ok. It was a slow start...the first couple of days I didn't do anything differently but now when I have to go grocery shopping and stuff I actually stop and think about the things I'm purchasing. I guess the biggest thing I'm focusing on, since its an obvious harm to the environment and the solution is easy, is cutting plastic out as much as possible. The first time I went grocery shopping it was tough because everything I "needed" to buy was wrapped in plastic. I was finally able to go to the farmers market today and was excited that I was able to buy a head of ice berg lettuce there because it ment that (not only was it local) but it wasn't wrapped in plastic! I'm able to get all my other fruits and veggies at the grocery store with out any plastic but the lettice is always wrapped in it so I was excited to buy some non-plastic lettuce today! I saw Beth's video from Fake Plastic Fish about all the plastic she consumed last year so I've decided to keep tract of all my plastic consumption during January and compare it each week to see if by the end of the month its a smaller amount then at the start of the month.

I definitely have still been doing stuff that has impact :/ but like for example there have been several times when I was tired or busy and was SO close to driving to mcdonalds, etc to get food and stopped and thought about it and was able to talk myself out of it due to the impact it would have on the environment and every time that happened I went home and ended up eating a super nutrisious and FRESH meal, which was always so much more enjoyable then scafing down greasy, fatty fast food! Or every time I am tempted to buy a bag of those delicous morsals of chocalte that are each wrapped in its individual wrapping. I may REALLY want that chocolate but its silly to buy them with all the waste that is created from their individual wrappers :/

I've been lucky enough to have the time every day to think of different changes I can make to my life that is better for the environment. I haven't had a chance to implement all these changes but at least I'm coming up with the ideas and getting a concrete plan to prepare myself for them so maybe they will stick!

My latest obsession has been bees! I don't have any more time to write about it at this moment. I thought, being out of school, I'd have more time to blog about my efferts but alas with a broken computer, working an extra 15 hours and trying to rid my life of all my junk on my 2 days off leaves me with very little time to come here and write but maybe within the next couple of days I can write about my new obsession with bees! <3

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mostly no impact month

I've been a huge fan of Sustainable Dave (here in SoCal) and recently started hearing about No Impact Man, and have read Fake Plastic Fish's blog. I think what them, and others like them do is so awesome and cool! I, unfortunately am not strong willed enough to do something hard core like what they have done but I figured I might try doing something along those lines for a shorter period of time. The month of January is my slow month before I start school again in February so I figured January would be a good time to try going no impact since I'll have more time to bake and prepair lunch, dinner, etc. I can't go completely no impact for a couple different reasons. I work 20 miles away so I can't walk or bike to work. I also know that I won't be able to completely eliminate waist and packaging (once again, not strong willed enough to go completely hard core) but I'm going to do my best to produce as little waist as possible. I'm also going to monitor/keep track of how much waist I do create. I don't expect doing things perfectly (like I think I did the first time I tried to "go green" and was let down when I failed at everything and sorta gave up). It's going to be more of a learning process. Finding ways to live better. Like, instead of using commercial shampoos I'm going to look into making all natural shampoos. I'm going to shop at bulk bin stores and see if it works out well. I'm going to attempt to try and make my own bread again and hopefully this time it will work, lol. My #1 goal is going to try and reduce as much plastic waist as possible since I despise plastic! We humans lived without plastic in the past so I know we can survive without it and I'm going to try my darnedest to do that!