Earth Day is today and it came so quickly. Usually I try to find some new way to “be more green,” but I just hadn’t had the time due to the craziness at work so instead, I thought I would reflect on the things that I have done to become a more earth friendly inhabitant and maybe a few things I can do better.
Earth Day happens during the best part of the year, SPRING! I love when trees bloom, grass turns green and the temperature improves. It allows me to get out my bike and get it ready for my work commute. I do pride myself on how little I drive in the summer. Biking actually takes less time than driving, but I mostly bike because I don’t like adding pollution to the air. It is also great exercise and saves me a bunch of money! Not only in gas but also maintenance costs.
My husband and I have cut back the amount of meat that we consume. I just finished reading the book “Eating Animals,” by Jonathan Safran. This book provided research on what factory farming has become and I don’t want to associate with that. We have cut out almost entirely all factory farm meats and actually found some soy products that are actually great replacements. Beyond Meat has a great chicken for stir fry and a beef crumble for spaghetti or any similar recipes. I actually prefer these over the real thing. On occasion we will find clearance meat at the grocery store that we will buy. It’s better than it getting thrown away.
We have composted nearly 100% of our food scraps. Only meat bone and fat are thrown in the garbage. I have an awesome compost pile that I actually have lots of fun mixing and seeing it turn into black gold.
I have started making a bunch of homemade food goods like ketchup and peanut butter for example. Also been buying a lot of things in bulk. Much of our food purchases usually come from the produce section which means a lot less plastic waste.
One of our biggest trash component, is our cat litter box waste. I have tried using the World’s Best Cat Litter (which can be flushed) but my cats have refused it. They had decided to not use the litter box so I had to go back to the clay. They are old and set in their ways.
A couple of other things I can work on it cutting back on TV time and shower time. There is so much more to do than watch TV, but some days, you just need to veg and unwind; like after a long hectic day at work. We ended up getting in a rut where that’s all we did so this week we cut it back to one show. This is a massive cut back for us! Shower time, this will be more difficult to cut back on.
That is enough reflection for now. On to my most recent re-purposed art project.
Every spring our city allows you to put anything on the boulevard for trash pick up during the first week of May. During this same week you will find all of the metal scrappers coming out to pull out any metal they can sell. I will randomly find things that I really like too. In the past I have pulled out a desk chair, laundry baskets and old wood and have been able to put to use for years.
One thing that was destined for the boulevard was a couple of wood pallets. However, I found a use for one that I just adore. When I start a project that I plan end up blogging on, I usually forget to take pictures until I am half way done. So I don’t have a beginning picture of the pallet, only an after it was taken apart.
The were cut without measuring so they would have an uneven look. This is the look I was going for. I picked the side that looked a bit dusty because I liked the gray tones. Once the boards were cut, I sanded down the sides and pulled any splintered edges.
In order to attach them together, I flipped them over to the backside, and nailed in a couple of strips of plywood pieces. This looked pretty hodge-podge so I won’t share a photo of it.
Originally I wanted something that I could hang in my kitchen/living room area because we have bare walls. I decided to paint a pear, so it would fit in with the kitchen, but when I hung it up, it actually looked so out of place. I will need to find a new place for it.
I actually had a lot of fun painting it. I had a set of acrylic paints I had for years but hadn’t opened yet. I like acrylics because you can use water to thin it out instead of turpentine. It got me motivated to get back into painting and art.
Below is the final project.
I think we will end up hanging it in our remodeled garage area; we have a 2nd story to our garage that we only use for storage. Please see ugly before picture below. We have just started the demolition part.
I would love to hear what changes you are making in order to be more green. Please leave me a comment; I need more ideas!