My computer is back and better than ever! When the lovely Apple Computer people installed my new hard drive, they also gave me an updated running system, and so I have more bells and whistles than ever before! Yay!
While my computer was at the "hospital", my family went on our first ever, family vacation to Dillard, GA. That fun little trip will get a post of its own soon, but for now I am busy unpacking, cleaning the house, canning applesauce, putting up pumpkin, and preparing for Thanksgiving.
I read a great article today on simple ways to reduce our plastic use, which I thought you might be interested in. You can read it here. As you may know, plastic can only be recycled once, maybe twice, if at all...while glass and metals can be recycled endlessly. While recycling is great, it is always better to use that "R" as the last resort of the three (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). It is better to use less plastic, reuse what you do use, and recycle last.
Being on vacation for a week really opened my eyes to some habits that we (my family and myself) have that I didn't notice in our normal environment. Some things became more difficult while away (cloth diapering, recycling, etc.) and really tested my conviction about these things. For example, keeping the heat turned down, even though I knew that we wouldn't have any financial responsibility for blasting the heat...I had to do it on principal alone (and as much as I hate to admit it, the frugal aspect of it is as strong a motivator for me as the reduced environmental impact). Also, our vacation week was the first week I did 100% cloth diapering. I had no disposables at my, well, disposal. The difficulty for me with cloth diapering has been the mental hurdle...knowing that disposable is available and is oh, so convenient. I will talk about some of the other challenges and observations of being green on vacation in another post, but I did want to mention it.
Also, I just finished a GREAT book, entitled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I highly, highly recomend it. Part scary statistics* about food, part inspiration, part recipes, and part recount of the Kingsolvers year of eating locally, I couldn't put this book down. Crunchy Chicken has a book group discussion going on now, if you are interested. This is definitely one that I will be buying, and will reference many times. After reading this, I am even more excited to start my square foot gardening in the spring, as well as to try my hand at making cheese. Wouldn't homemade cheese and a bottle of local wine make a great Christmas gift?
Anyway, I will be back soon with more random thoughts but for now I must get back to all these apples that are waiting for me in the kitchen!
*If you want more scary statistics about the food that we consume, particularly meat, check out The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I am about halfway through, and I can't believe what I am reading.