Monday, January 12, 2009

Green Monday

It's easy to be green.
It's fun.
It can be beautiful.

I have always been an organic gardener.
I have learned many ways of full use in the garden.
We compost and use what we grow.
We are seed to seed gardeners.

There was plenty of fennel seed this year for my herb cabinet and for reseeding.
The stems I cut and am using them for stir sticks.
Once I am finished with one it goes into the compost bin.

A couple of years ago I added bee balm to the garden for my tea.
My herbs are part of my everyday life all year long.
The bees and the butterflies love them.
What is good for me is also good for the bugs.

I am looking for more full use ways.
Please share how you full use in your garden.

I am aware of what I purchase. I am aware of the packaging.
Sometimes I will choose my item because I can reuse the box or tin.
Sometimes I by pass an item because of over packaging.
This jasmine tea I found at the Chines market over the weekend. It is packaged beautifully.
I will use the box in my January decorating.

Do you re-use packaging?
My friend told me how she uses the corded handles from shopping bags in her card making.

This book teaches how to make silk paper from silk fiber. I wonder if I can make silk paper from silk scraps? While shopping at the used bookstore, ( part of my commitment to re-use is to by used when I am able), I found this paper making book.

Years ago I made paper from junk mail. It was fun and so easy to do. On Saturday I gathered my things for papermaking. Once again I will save the junk mail that I can use for pulp.
Do you recycle junk mail? My husband shreds some of the paper before he recycles. Do you shred? The shredded paper looks so pretty. It would be nice for packing. I do not know if I can find a use for all the paper that comes into my house.
I shall contact the companies that send the mail order catalogs I do not order from. I also will suggest a magazine swap with the ladies in my fiber group.

Each year I make a commitment to another green way. This year I am committed to full use.

Before I throw anything away I will try and think of ways for full use. I can ask you for suggestions.

I have my monthly attitudes too. In January I re-commit to "waste not want not".

Let's be green together.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I try to be green Sherry. I have been doing this for many years. It is funny that the world is just now deciding this is the thing to do.

We definitely recycle. The bad thing is that our recycle center might close if they can't find someone to sell to. That is a scary thing.

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
The other side of re-cycling is for consumers to buy, and in some cases this means we will have to demand, products made from re-cycled paper and glass. I was reading about how some of the centers are having trouble finding buyers for the raw materials. I hope this does not happen in your area. I am requesting recyled and talking about it. I noticed the post office is using recyled paper for their catologs. I asked the company that is handling my photographs to look into buying re-cylced paper for the cards. I have seen Tree Free cards. I like them!
I also am very green but I think I can be greener. I also think I can full use more.
I am looking into freecycle. Some areas have this. I think it would be great if every city had a spot goods to be brought in and traded or given away. I give what I cannot use to charity so it does not end up in the land fill. I do try to be aware of use and I do not over use my water or electricity...I try not to waste.
My trash is mostly packaging. It is the plastic wrap that is around everything...that sort of thing.
I noticed today while shopping I needed to put my apples in a plastic bag to get them to the cash register and home. I almost threw the bag away after I put the apples away. I walked around with this plastic bag wondering how I could use it. Finally I put it into one of the canvas bags I use. At least I can re-use it when I get my apples next week.
It is those tiny behavoral modifications that make a fidderence. My commitment to full use is an awareness. I have lots to learn! I do love green so the learning will be fun.

Wendy said...

I read in our local paper that there is a use for plastic grocery bags. People recycle them for use in vinyl siding and plumbing pipes. That makes me a whole lot happier, since hearing how awful plastic bags are for the environment. I am glad they can be recycled into something useful.

Hubby shreds paper documents. Junk mail just goes into the recycling bin, along with the daily newspaper.

In the garden I throw my used coffee grounds and tea leaves. I think there is more room to grow.
Thank you for leading the way..

Jules and Ken said...

We try to recycle, we see seperate containers in the National parks and refuges for recyleables. I enjoyed making paper from junk mail and other papers I collected. I used to collect interesting junk I found on the streets to make collage art.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Over the years, we have recycled, but when we were taking it in ourselves, we threw some things away that we now put out for the recycling company that picks it up.

I also try to buy things produced as close to home as possible. I am willing to pay a little more for things produced locally. I've noticed it's hard to buy things that are not made in China. I want to do this even more in the future.

I'm like Sherry, I am green, but want to be greener. My husband is always a few steps behind me in this area, and will throw things away that could be recycled. He's doing better than he used to, though. He likes to get junk mail, and does not always put it with the recycling. I do when I see where he's put it.

I compost and am almost organic in my gardening. I use Liquid Fence for rabbits, and some seasons I apply a Miracle Gro type of fertilizer once. I read something, I can't remember what, that made me think I'd stop using that. I didn't last year.

I also assist students with recycling at the school I work at.

Catherine said...

Great post Q! I try to...but we can all do better I know! :)
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see someone out there who is so conscious of their everyday decision making.

Marimoy said...

I love this post... it is so important that we think about our impact. All the furniture in our house was either free (people were gonna throw them away!), bought used, or repurposed. My art desk used to be a door.

Anonymous said...

A painful topic for me really.. I started a comment but it was too long so I made a separate post here

Rose said...

I try to re-use and recyle, Sherry, but I know I could be much better about it. One goal I have this year is to remember my reusable shopping bags when I go grocery shopping--I hate those plastic bags, though I do try to reuse and recycle them.
Our small local recycling drop-off had to close because too many people were dumping their garbage there; isn't that sad?

I hope you'll show us some of the paper you made some time.

Cheryl said...

Great post Sherry and something I am passionate about.
I love the fennel stick that is something I do not do, but will be in the future.

I shred all my paper and it goes into my compost bins. I find mixed with kitchen waste and garden greenery it makes a lovely compost. The paper stops the compost from becoming to wet. Of course in the spring when I use it on my beds it keeps the soil moist.

I have also just bought a use old newspapers to make bricks to burn on the fire in the winter. The process is simple and I am looking forward to using it.

Like you I try to think before I buy.......I keep tins if they are pretty......I like yours from the chinese market, it is beautiful.....

I am going back to re read your post......

marmee said...

i think you could have titled this "being frugel" just as well. there was a time i had to be frugel out of necessity but i learned so much from those years that has stuck with me. repurposing everything. we use to make our own wrapping paper or wrap gifts in the funny papers. i think that is why i like scrapbooking because you can use so many small things that might normally be thrown away.
i have a friend with teenagers who is financially challenged, she gets all the old magazines and scrapes of fabric.
composting with shredded paper is great, i agree with cheryl on that one.
one of the things i am most proud of is passing this lifestyle along to my children. they all seem to be very aware of the environment and making things useful. now i am teaching the littles to do it to.
my one grand, 4 year old went home from here telling her parents all about what compost means and how you use all your kitchen scraps in a big pile. this is a reward.
i still have so much to learn and appreciate this post to kindly remind us and inspire us to do always more.

Anonymous said...

It;s tough to be green these days, especially because it doesn't seem to do any good, for every mile I walk instead of drive, there is a guy driving a hummer to go to the corner store.

Judy said...

Hi, Sherry, see if there is someone who can use the shredded paper. I worked for someone who made gift baskets, and she was always in need of newspapers, and the shredded paper made excellent packing material when she had to mail the baskets.
Scraps of paper, cloth, yarn, etc, could go to the local kindergarden, or seniors centre.I recycle as much as possible, and carry bage with me so I don't get more plastic bags.

Q said...

Dear Wendy,
This year I want to dedicate more of my journal to green ways. I would love to learn more!
I am happy to know there are people using the recycled materials. I was wondering how much is really used. I think I want to see how much full use I can come up with too. If once a week I find a full use I would be so excited!
I too use my coffee grinds and tea leaves in the gardens as well as egg shells and all my non-animal kitchen scraps. I also put my spent flowers and such out into the compost.
I was thinking about ways I could use packaging.
I am pretty good about choosing glass bottles over plastic. I do recycle the glass but now I am thinking about ways I can use it.
I am researching about glass use this week.
We will keep finding ways to be green.
Paper making will be fun. I am gathering the junk mail!

Q said...

Dear Jules,
I just started a basket for found pieces. I would like to do a couple of found art things for the gardens. I have this for the finds.
It is fun to re-use and full use, if I can only come up with ideas.
Glad you find spots to recycle while you are on the road.

Q said...

Dear Sue,
I am so happy you are helping the young with recycling. So important we teach the children!
Being 100% organic is a great way to grow. I really like being mother nature's daughter, a good steward. There are lots of ways to tend your gardens organically. I love companion planting. It is great how one plant helps the other. Lots of books on it. Maybe you could look in your library for "Roses Love Garlic" by Louise Riotte. She has a section on plant dyeing I am re-reading. I think I read this book every winter! I feel comfortable being organic in my gardening. I may not have the biggest blooms but the bees and the butterflies likethe plants I grow. I am pleased with my veggies too.
I too support local. It is the best. I was talking with my daughter who lives in Portland about Alpaca yarn. We both agreed buying from our local breeders is better than shipping across continents!
I also have made the pledge to support independent shop keepers, publishers, films and artists.
More about that later!

Q said...

Dear Cat,
One way at a time!
Today it is so cold. Rather than kick the heat up I put on leg warmers. They are cute with my silk long underwear.
I am hoping "Green Mondays" will be a time for us to gather and chat and share ideas on how we live the green life.
Green goes with everything!

Q said...

Dear Bernie,
I am finding all sorts of ways to enjoy lowering my carbon footprint.
Working at home is a huge savings. Wish everyone could have at least one work at home day every week. Would make a huge difference!
Maybe it just takes someone suggesting it!

Q said...

Dear Mimi,
I love this....I did an entire business, antiques, from garage sales and flea markets. My furiture is also "used".
Old doors make wonderful tables.
My husband and I are planning my studio. I want 100% green!

Q said...

Dear Aluajala,
We just do the best we can. Even if your city has no plan you can have one for your household....I made a cute spot for the tiny bit of soap that we cannot use. I figure I will save up all the tiny bits, remelt and form a new bar...or something even cuter than a bar. The idea is I did not throw it away...full use...somehow...
One person at a time makes the difference.
Hugs across the waters....
I am here supporting your efforts.
Sherry, who walks as green as she can

Q said...

Dear Rose,
I will show paper when I make it. Right now I am saving the junk mail that will work for it. The glossy and newspaper does not work very well.
I wonder about people....they seem to have lost respect for nature and for others. Maybe it is a lack of self respect...I do not know.
One reason I want to learn full use is so I am not dependent on the recylers...I think lots of it ends up in land fills.
I want to learn how to make what I need and want!
Mondays will be fun sharing our green ways!

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
I have seen the briquete maker. It looks easy to use and would be a nice full use way for newspaper. Wood ash is nice for the gardens too. I also have seen the newspaper pot maker...nice for seed starting...I thought of you and your "grow native" project. Maybe paper pots would be good for Mom to fold up. I think they could stand in the cardboard egg cartons.
I do not subscribe to the newspaper...I read online. Lol...
I love the shredded paper in the compost. I never thought of it! Thank you. Shreds will be used from now on! My husband recyles the paper from his office. He often has box after box of it. He shreds lots of it too. I will be in paper heaven!
I was wondering why everything couldn't be sold in pretty tins and boxes and papers. It is just as easy to make something beautiful as it is to make some not beautiful~!
I love the paper my soap is wrapped in. It is very pretty. I use it to!
Being green is being alive and awake and responsible.
I love it!

Q said...

Dear Marmee,
Oh yes, being green is being frugal. I am frugal...
I just am. I think it is silly not to be.
The felting I do is with natural fibers I buy at the second hand shops...old sweaters or coats. My daughter calls it, "Up cycling".
It is rewarding when you see the young ones recycling. Great you have passed the "I am responsible" gene on.
Now we need figure a way to reduce consumption.

Q said...

Dear Science Guy 288,
What you say is true. I once knew a lady who bought a huge suv...heated seats and such...she thought it meant she was successful...I was sad.
We do the best we can do. Awareness comes when it comes. I do think with the economy in a downward turn more people are thinking about waste. For every light that is turned off and every water faucet turned off I am grateful.
For the most part I figure those that come to Corner are already responsible people. I need more ideas on how to re-use and reduce. I think it is one item at a time! Progress and maybe someday perfection....

Q said...

Dear Judy,
Good ideas. I am loving the shredded paper ideas. Thank you.
I too carry the canvas bags. One year I gave all my gifts in canvas bags. I try and have a few extras too so I can share when I am at the grocery store or the thrift stores.
I think they are pretty. One of my favorite souvenirs when I travel is a canvas bag. I keep them in the car and in the house.