Monday, January 26, 2009

bad little shopper

I had to go to Target with my boyfriend because we were both out of kitty litter and Target is usually cheaper then the grocery stores. Target is a dangerous place for me! They have such cute stuff! Unfortunately I gave into temptation :( I told myself I was only going to buy cat litter, a tooth brush and a catnip plant if they had one. I had been wanting another aluminum water bottle so when I saw a really pretty one on an end shelf I meandered over and picked that up. Then my boyfriend asked me where I got it because he had been wanting one so we went over to the water bottle isle. They had plastic ones on sale for $5 which was more then half the price of the aluminum one so I gave in and bought the plastic one instead :( Then I saw a cute food container that was shaped as a cows head. I know, sounds weird but it was soooo cute (and I've always collected cow things) so I gave into that as well :( I almost nearly bought a t-shirt that had a peace symbol made out of green leaves and trees (It really was a cool shirt and I probably would have worn it every week!) but my boyfriend made me put it back because I really technically couldn't afford it :/ The one great purchase I did make that wasn't on my list was plants! They didn't have my cat nip plant :( but they did have strawberry plants and broccoli plants for only $1.25 each!!! I got two strawberry plants and a broccoli plant. I kinda wish I had gotten more! Even though I gave into temptation and bought a few things that 1. I didn't need 2. were made out of plastic, I did better then I ever have in Target! Normally I probably would have walked out of there with a lot more stuff! (They has THE cutest owl pillow/stuffed animal thing. It was so hard to put it back after squishing it to my face and feeling how soft and squishy it was. I will dream of her :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

pills, pills, pills!

Ok so this isn't 100% green talk but it is still something very important. As everyone is well aware of America has a huge problem with obesity. Its very sad and tragic to see so many people, so over weight. And well, you don't even need to be "over weight" to be out of shape and unhealthy. So many people have so many medical problems which makes them chained to so many prescription drugs. I don't have a percentage here (I'm sure I could find out if I looked) but a huge amount of those prescriptions could be banished forever (in each humans life) if they started working out, eating healthy and started taking care of themselves. It almost sounds too simple. "Eating healthy and exercising will keep me from having to be on all these meds? Impossible! I won't believe it!" But its the truth. American's spend billions of dollars every year paying for prescription drugs that, with a little bit of exercising and a few fruits and veggies, could be taken out of their monthly budgets. Various sleeping pills, cholesteral meds, anti-depresents, diabetes meds, blood pressure meds...I could go on and on...could all be taken out of the common American's diet with the right daily choices. Plus they have done studies that show that Obese people cause twice as much pollution and environmental damage as people who are at their propper weight. Just like achieving any goal, it takes baby steps. Loosing weight can be daunting and very hard to do but everyone needs to see the amazing benefits, realize that it does take time and have confidence and it can be done. I live my life by the moto "anything is possible" and I truly believe it!

Plastic Sea of Death

Here's a video about plastics in the ocean that seems to be making its rounds threw different blogs. I thought it was important to pass it along as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Japanese Garden <3

I have to start limiting myself to only spending $10 a week at the farmers market (and technically thats more then I should be spending). I'll be nice when I'm not so far in debt :/. This past weekend I got to take my boyfriend to the Farmers Market for the first time. I had fun with him. I'm not sure he's sold on the idea though :/ He did end up buying a few things though yay! While I was there, even though it put me $3 over my budget I bought a cute knitted hat from The Senior Citizen Enrichment Program. I know how to knit a few kind of hats but the one I bought was way more complicated then I could ever knit and it was nice being able to support that organization.

After going to the farmers market, Tim and I checked out a beautiful japanese garden thats only about a mile and half away from me. This is the first time I'd ever been. It was so peaceful and pretty! I'm going to make it a habit of going there often. What's interested about this japanese garden is that its right next to a water treatment facility. You can even go up on a look out and view the facility. Very interesting...Anyways, I can wait to go back to the garden! My goal is to bike there. I'll bring my book "Radical Simplicity" :) Next time I go I'll take pictures and post them!

I was worried about my worms for a second because it didn't seem like they were eating anything but luckily it looks like they started eating! Yay! I'll have to post some pictures soon of my worm bin :)

I'm on a quest to find out how to make Home made organic, natural body wash. With the No Poo diet for my hair I'm eliminating shampoo and conditioner. I just need to find something to replace my body wash. I suppose I could go buy an organic soap bar but I kind of prefer body wash plus I love making my own stuff so it would be awesome if I could start making my own body wash!

Monday, January 19, 2009

jumping on the no poo band wagon!

Today Crunchy Chicken ( at posted a blog about going poo free. Going poo free means ridding yourself of the toxic shampoo that comes in plastic bottles and using natural stuff (baking soda and vinegar) to wash your hair. I've been having problems with shampoo lately. My hair always seems to have build up, my scalp is always itchy, my hair brakes easily. I have started hating shampoo because it seems to be doing more damage to my head then its doing good. So I was super excited when I read Crunchy Chickens blog. I've been looking at other people's blogs and everyone seems to be saying their their hair is much shinier and healthier since they switched to the No Poo method. There seems to be a couple of different ways to do it but Crunchy Chicken says she's mixing 1T of Baking Soda with 1 cup water and same with the Vinegar. I've also read that you can take a bit of baking soda and use a little bit of water to make a paste and rub that on your scalp and then rinse it with the vinegar. I mixed some essential oil into it to make it smell nicer. I tried it tonight. I'm excited to see what the results will be like and if it works for me. I'm optimistic about the out come. If you're interested in trying it out yourself here are a few good resources:

The Meatrix

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

rock your old clothes!

There are two awesome sisters that have a series of books instructing how to turn old and unloved clothing into awesomeness.  Its a great way to recycle old stuff no one wants anymore and is a lot more fun then going and and paying tons of money to buy new clothing.  Check them out at

Star Bucks and volunteering

Ok, I've always some what disliked star bucks just for the simple fact that there seems to be a gazillion of them take up precious land that could be used for much better things such as centers for homeless people or a place for victims of abuse could go.  But lately I'm starting to change my opinion of them slightly.  I've been a huge advocate of raising money and helping people suffering with HIV and Aids and in December for every drink purchased from one of their menus they would donate I think $.5 cents to people in Africa inflicted with aids and on Nation Aids Day every drink purchased had money donated.  

And now they are giving a free tall coffee to anyone who volunteers 5 hours starting on Jan. 21st.  At this point its not even about getting that free coffee.  Its about doing something great for your community! and having someone like Star Bucks to back you.  If anyone is interested you can go to:

And if you need idea's for volunteering you can go here:
President-elect Obama is asking everyone to volunteer on Martin Luther King weekend!  I love this man!  I'm excited for him to be our president.  

yay for books!

I just stumbled upon The Blogging Bookworm's blog which is very exciting.  I can't wait to add her blog to my list of blogs I follow!  Although I'm trying not to give into consumerism, I think books are one thing that aren't so bad to buy because if you buy the right ones they educate you and make you a better person (Hopefully). And of course, unlike a lot of other products books are recycleable.  These past few years I barely bought a single book because "I never had any money" (Which is still the case) but despite not having money I still bought clothes, dvds, and other various crap that has done nothing to enrich my life. So now that I won't be purchasing any more of that kind of crap (hopefully) I'll have a few extra bucks to buy great books and I can't wait to check out some of the books the blogging bookworm has mentioned! :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

green apartment complexes!!! <3

I keep coming up with ideas I wish I had the power to make into reality. I've always been a huge advocate of solar power and if I owned my own house I would totally have solar panels on my roof! But unfortunately I like in apartment. I live in a run down, crappy apartment owned by a jerk who only cares about him self and his money.  He doesn't fix major things that need to be fix (like gas leaks or leaking showers that are filling the walls around it with mold) and keeps having the apartment manager rip all the lovely plants growing in the little plot of land out side my apartment and has dryers that don't work, and doesn't fix them so people have to run the dryers twice as long to get their clothes dry (and even then still aren't 100% dry).  I heard a rumor that he's wanting to sell the complex. I just had a vision of buying the apartment and turning it into a green apartment building.  First would be fixing everything that needs to be fix and replacing all appliances and fixtures with energy efficient ones that are better for the environment.  Then the next step would be to place solar panels on the roof which could supply the whole complex with power.  Then, a really simple step...getting recycling bins for the complex! And one of the more fun ideas....getting rid of the crappy pool that no one ever uses that continues to consume tons of water and replacing it with a garden!  It would be a self sustainable apartment complex supplying its own energy and food! How awesome would it be to live in an apartment complex like that!?!?  I've never really been into wanting money but its times like this where I wish I did have a bunch of money so I could make something amazing like this come to reality! Or at least be able to find someone who has lots of money who would maybe share my dream of a complex like that and have them make an offer to the evil landlord. *sigh* If I was smart and innovated enough I could find a way to raise money or find a sponsor who could donate enough to make this green dream a reality but unfortunately I don't have enough smarts to know where to starts :P

So far this past week and a half the only thing I've bought is food products and most of those being bought at the farmers market.  I did, however, give into one evil thing due to not bringing enough food with me to work.  I had to go to the grocery store to buy stamps for work and ended up buying a big bag of peanut butter m&ms :( Not only do I feel guilty for subjecting my body to eating them but I keep getting an image of a plastic m&m bag dancing around.  There is now one extra piece of plastic that will end in the land fill because of my selfish want for something I didn't need. :/ Hopefully it will be my last :P

Tomorrow I'm going to attempt to make pumpkin bread completely from scratch!  Hope it turns out well.

My lettuce plants seem to be doing ok I think.  Some of the lettuce leaves had turned yellow but I'm thinking that maybe I just wasn't giving them enough water?  I hope its not bugs!  I'm torn between not buying anything/spending money and wanting to go out and get more plants to grow!  I want to try to grow more strawberries (I had a plant a year and half ago that was growing lovely strawberries but my apartment manager ripped them out of the ground :() At this point if I do decide to go buy more plants, if any of them get ripped out I'm telling the land lord that I'm taking to cost of the plants out of my rent check!

I'm also going to attempt to grow my own cat nip (both for my own kitties and for work, which is an awesome cat boarding place) If it grows well and the kitties like the toys I will try to make and sell them on Etsy.  

Monday, January 12, 2009

come back lettuce!

On Wed. I planted some lettuce plants.  I thought I was doing really well. I had nice potting soil, I'd been watering them every day.  I didn't buy fertilizer since it was kinda expensive and I knew I was going to (hopefully) have wormies soon which means I'd have the worm tea to use but I thought I was doing well....Last night I looked at them and the outer leaves are turning yellow :( I'm so sad about this.  I was excited to think that I could actually harvest my own lettuce! but now it seems like the plant might be dying but I have no idea why :(

I went to the farmers market today and got a basket of strawberries, some broccoli, grapes, a sack of mixed potatoes, and a bunch of oranges for $20! How fantastic!

Last night I went on a full moon hike with like 25 other people!  It was really neat!  It felt great being out in nature again (instead of being surrounded by asphalt and brick buildings)  It was amazing seeing the full moon rise over the mountain and it was so nice to finally get to see the stars again (In the city usually you can only see two or three stars :() One of the people I was hiking with was talking about Portland, OR and how its a great place.

A few years back when I was single I seriously was considering moving to Portland but I just assumed that since it was in the north that it got pretty cold so that prevented me from thinking any further about it.  It seemed like a really great place to live!  The guy that mentioned Portland said that it actually doesn't get that cold up there.  It sounds pretty similar to where I grew up to so the weather seems to be something I could probably handle. He also said that Portland is really green and has more bike paths than any other city and that their transportation system is really really good.  Now I really want to move there but unfortunately that won't be possible since the guy I'm dating can't move :(

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

teaching everyone sustainability

Just now I was cooking dinner, right after planting some veggies in my new veggie garden :) I was thinking to myself about how I felt "domestic" something I've never been good at (probably like most people my age and younger :/ or perhaps people who live in bigger/faster paced cities). Back before consumerism was so big and such a part of the American life women knew how to cook complete and wholesome meals for their families, they knew how to sew their own clothes, etc.  My Grandfather built his own house, all by himself! (I'm sure he had friends help perhaps) Thats pretty darn impressive!  My grandmother knew how to make everything under the sun, she knew how to sew clothes and my grandparents had several acres of farm land where they grew tons of different crops like corn, strawberries, green beans, everything! They had bee hives and even raised their own chickens to eat! They were pretty sustainable! I got an awesome idea that it would be great if I could put together a series of classes teaching people to be more "domestic" or sustainable.  Kind of like Home ec classes in high school.  Classes teaching how to bake bread, sewing, vermicomposting and other things to teach sustainability.  I'm not sure how I'd do that though.  It would take a lot of time and organization.  I feel too low on the totem pole to try to accomplish something like that but it would be pretty cool if I could make something like that happen!

Sad :(

I'm getting discouraged about the whole worm situation :( I decided I wanted to buy the worms locally to help cut down carbon emissions but it looks like thats just not going to be possible. I keep going to different Osh's because I was told they carry worms and having no luck.  Yesterday I even called one by my work and they said they had red worms.  I drive out there even though I didn't feel like it to go get me some wormies and not only were they not red worms but the "bucket of worms" was empty.  So today I called like 10 different gardening centers around town (I live in the San Fernando Valley, Ca) and no one carried worms.  I finally found a place in Santa Monica that said they had worms so I drove down there (took me 2 hours round trip to get there thanks to rush hour) I get there and found the box of worms and had them open it up to make sure there were worms in there but nope, no worms :( They only had two boxes of worms and neither had worms in them :(  I did get some lettuce and brocolli plants but I could have gotten those at a closer garden center.  I didn't need to drive 2 hours to get those :/ Looks like I have no option but to buy them on line which, not only will it cost me more money but won't be as environmentally friendly either :(  I've been waiting to get worms for two months now.  I feel like I'm never going to get them.  Lets cross our fingers!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Its great seeing more and more people jump on the green band wagon but I can't help but think "why isn't everyone jumping on!?!  Its obvious this planet is in a state of peril but most people are too busy being selfish and ignorant to bother looking around them and noticing it all.  Ever since I knew what the environment was I was worried about it.  I wish there were a way for us greenies to educate and help everyone else not aware.  I do feel like we're getting to that point.  Tv (although not the greatest thing ever) is great for the fact that it has channels like the Green Channel, National Geographic, The Science Channel, etc.  All those help educate.  We have stuff like MySpace and Face Book that promote environmental sites (well, at least some times and better then never!) That is all great but right now it isn't enough!  I hate politics and know nothing about politics except that our government needs to majorly endorse green methods of living and sustaining.  But then, we're just one nation.  What about all the other nations that are causing even more damage then us.  How do we reach them? Are they aware? What are they doing to help stop this crisis?

A person who eats meat might see a video of a cow being brutally murdered for meat consumption and from that day on decide to never eat meat again.  I had a moment sort of like that tonight involving the brutal murder of the earth.  (ok, a bit dramatic but demonstrates a point :P) On the show Ecopolis they were showing alternative ways to produce energy and the last one was a solution of cleaning the CO2 out of coal energy.  My first thought immediately was that unlike all the other options showed this still wastes vast amounts of land and resources.  How is that a solution!?! But it got worse when I saw a horrid giant machine ripping out tons and tons of coal out of the earth.  It was very sad and depressing to see.  I don't have numbers but I'd imagine they are able to tear exponantial amounts of coal from the earth every day.  Why would we want to destroy the beautiful earth like that? :(

On a lighter note :)...I work at a business that has 3 locations.  The location I mainly work at is 20 miles away from where I live! One of the locations is probably only about 6 miles away from where I live. Originally they were going to have me start working at that one primarily but not sure why but they haven't switched me but I did get a chance to work there today.  I was thinking that being that close to where I live I could totally ride my bike to and from work!  The only problem is....I am really afraid of riding bikes in the street sharing it with cars.  Even when I'm driving my car and there's a bicyclist on the road it freaks me out.  They seem to close to the cars.  For the first time about 2 months ago I did a 12 mile ride with Aids Life Cycle where we were riding in the road with cars.  I was with very experienced bikers and it wasn't so bad.  But by myself and on streets much busier?  I don't know if I could pull it off.  And even if I do decide I want to pull it off I'm not sure how I would get use to sharing the road with a car.  If I do eventually start working at this other location I'd like to ride my bike there I just don't know how I'd accomplish that.

I was reading something that suggested keeping a "consumer diary".  You write down everything you buy, the reason you bought it and what you were thinking at the time you bought it.  I think I'm going to try it.  At first I thought it would be a great idea to do it here (Benefit is that it would save paper!) but I don't know if I want to jumble up my blog with lists might be embarresing admitting all the junk I buy :/ But I don't know, maybe that would prevent me front buying things I don't need.  The shame of having  to admit on here the stupid stuff I buy would maybe make me think twice about buying something :P I guess I'll give it a try.  I'll go ahead and list the stuff I've bought in the past week.  I'll omit food since I kind of already mention that and the improvements I'm trying to make in that area
List of things bought in the first week of January: 
-2 10 pound bags of soil and some seeds-I am determined to grow my own fruits and veggies! I hope this project doesn't fail like it has in the past.  Unfortunately the soil came in plastic bags :(
-two plastic owl plates and a glass owl mug-I didn't need plates or mugs but they had owls on them and I couldn't resist buying them :( Going threw that battle to decide to buy them made me realize that I don't  need every single thing ever made that has an owl on it.  I can appreciate the things I already own that have owls on them.  Do I really want a house full of owls?
-a plastic spray bottle :( My roomy needs one to spray my cats whenever they try to enter his room.  
-two books and a desk calender.  I had a gift card to Barnes and Noble so I went.  I had two books, one about sustainability and one all about the brain and how we learn.  I couldn't decide which one to get so I got them both :/  I didn't need a desk calender but this one was 365 ways to living green.  I'm hoping it will have some insightful ideas I can learn from.
-a sweater and a vest.  I don't really have very many sweaters to keep me warm and I had a $20 gift coupon to Kohls so I went and picked out a sweater.  I still had $9 left on the card so I picked out a cute vest.
-5 mini "green living for dummies" to give to friends and families in hopes to encourage green living.

For someone who is trying to reduce their consumption and someone who doesn't really have money I feel like I have bought waaaaaaay too much this past week.  I could say I got it all out of the way the first week of the year so I won't buy anything else this year :P One can hope but knowing myself I know I have a lot of obstacles  in my mind to over come before I could be completely consumption free but I know some day in the not to far distant I'll be there :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Local farmers market!

Up until now I didn't really know much about farmers markets and thought the only one around here was the one on 3rd street which is far from me (about 30-40 min drive because the traffic in that area is so bad :/) but seemed expensive too and never was an appealing thing to want to do.  After I learned about the benefits of farmers markets I looked to see if there were any other ones near by and discovered that there a bunch so today I was finally able to check one out that is actually only a couple miles away (maybe less then 2 actually?) It was very exciting!  There were so many different kinds of fruits and veggies and even some I'd never heard of or see before.  Everything looks good and healthy and most the stuff there was actually cheaper then what you'd pay in the grocery store. (I was expecting everything to cost a little more).  There was one vendor in particular I really liked. I believe their name was Etheridge Farms?  It was mostly citrus food.  The guy was very friendly and had samples for everyone to try.  The fruit was so delicious! And they were all organic.  I bought a couple different kinds of oranges from him, plums and a well, I can't even remember the name of it.  Melliope? or something like that.  Its a fruit from Asia that is kind of like a grape fruit but way yummier.  

After going to the Farmers Market I thought "Why doesn't every one buy their produce here instead of going to the chain grocery stores?!?"  The food is for the most part cheaper, usually better quality and so much better for the environment and supports the local farmers and builds community.  I think one reason is just simply people not knowing about them.   Not being aware of them or the many benefits.  I'm super excited to finally know about them and can't wait to go back next week! :)

Edit: I forgot to mention the awesome food I got at the farmers market!  I was able to get a hand full of clementines, a basket of strawberries, a bundle of spinach, two big oranges, 4 plumbs, and that pomello (or whatever the name of that fruit was) for under $13!  It filled almost a whole cloth target bag and I payed less then $13 for it all! Yippie!

Friday, January 2, 2009

my first loaf of bread!

I made my first loaf of bread tonight and it turned out pretty good! It was the boxed kind though :( Baby steps though :P  Sadly there was some plastic packaging in it :/ but the small box it came in is recyclable so thats good.  This was my first step to bread making.  When I have time to go to the market and some more time to bake I'm going to try to make friendship bread (making it with my sister as a little girl seemed pretty easy and the bread tasted great) so I'm going to start with that.  Seeing as I know absolutely nothing about baking...I didn't realize that you had to kneed bread :/ This concerns me because it seems to complicated for the beginner baker I am.  But I am willing to try and I'll just cross my fingers :)

I'm bummed that I didn't have time to make my family produce bags for Christmas but I'm not completely discouraged because hey, why do I need it to be Christmas to make and give my family produce bags!?! So my goal is to make and disperse them by February! :)

I've been reading a lot of blogs of people who try to completely cut plastic out of their life.  Its a little intimidating.  (sorry if I've already mentioned this.  I can't remember if I have) Plastic really is everywhere!!! It makes me wonder why everything is made out of plastic!?! I mean, I know why to a certain extent, its cheap, convenient, easy to make.  But its so bad on many levels.  And the worst part is most of the general public isn't even aware at how terrible the stuff is. Even me, who has been environmentally conscious since I could read wasn't aware of just how big of a problem plastic is until I got cable and started watching the Green Channel and then started doing tons of research on line.  I know I won't be able to completely cut it out of my life, at least not for a while but I can try my best to slowly weed it out of my daily habits.   Thanks to a video I watched on I'm excited to check out Whole Foods and see what kind of bulk bag free items they have that I can eat.  That would completely eliminate any kind of packaging, more importantly, plastic! This is my first step.  

I could probably go on and on with the whole plastic thing and i had wanted to write stuff about frugleness but I'll have to save that for another day.  I am up way past my bed time :/