Soap Box

My very own cute little soap box!

Posts Tagged ‘games’

What’s in your trash?

Posted by eemilla on November 24, 2009

This time of year is the perfect time of year to think about how much trash you produce considering most Americans are gearing up for their annual end of year spend and waste orgy.  The Change the World Challenge from Reduce Footprints this week asked to keep your trash in site; rather than carry the bag around with me I dutifully logged my trash for the week.  Although I ate out more than I typically do, I ended up using and throwing away items that have simple, reusable alternatives like tissues, napkins, paper towels, and to-go containers.  I’ve finally gotten into the habit of taking cloth bags everywhere so now I just need to remember to bring my own to go containers, napkins, and handkerchiefs.

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How Many Light Bulbs Do You Need?

Posted by eemilla on November 14, 2009

For this week’s Change the World challenge please remove a light bulb from a fixture with multiple bulbs.  For example, in our ceiling fans we have one out of three sockets filled (with compact fluorescents of course).  At work I am fortunate enough to have a south facing window, so on sunny days I don’t use my overhead light.  If you’re up to it, join the challenge and spread the word; for more ideas check out the honor roll.

 

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10 Fun Facts

Posted by eemilla on October 25, 2009

Thanks to Nicole at Forthright Fattie for the Honest Scrap Award.  Here are my ten unknown to the internet world facts:

1.  I participated in Mock Trial in high school, but I am no good at off the cuff so my attorney dreams died.

2.  Even though I’m all about reducing emissions, I love to drive fast, and I want to be able to drive fast around curves without worrying about sharing the road.

3.   I always thought I would die before I turned 27.

4.  Until I started sleeping with my husband, I had never used the snooze button.

5.  My first car, Tilly, was in Patch Adams.  They used it for two or three weeks, and I got $800.  My parents and I purchased the car for $900.

6.  Over Thanksgiving break traveling through SC on 85, I received two speeding tickets (one on the way home and the other on the way back).

7.  I love dystopian novels and movies (The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, Brave New World, V for Vendetta).

8.  If I weren’t so cheap, I would have a coffee habit.

9.  The traffic in Atlanta drove me to smoke the entire time I (kinda) lived there.

10.  Although I’ve never really lived anywhere aside from AVL (even when I lived in the ATL, I was back home about once a month) and it feels so much like home, I think anywhere that my honey and kitties and doggy and good food are could be home.

If you’re so inclined, leave a link in the comments with your ten unknowns.

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Forty-Five Weeks!

Posted by eemilla on July 9, 2009

We are at forty-five weeks with the one car household, and we are going strong.  We are now trying to decide how to celebrate the upcoming one year anniversary, and this week’s Change the World Wednesday Challenge from Small Footprints at Reduce Footprints is to park the car for twenty-four hours.  With our household, the car normally doesn’t get parked that long unless we are out of town.  My hope is that we can both use alternate means of transportation at least three times in the upcoming calendar week.  The humidity and no showers at work make this difficult, but if we ever hope to have a better public transportation system we have to use what we have and demand better.

Change The WorldButton

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Change the World Wednesday Challenge from ReduceFootprints

Posted by eemilla on June 25, 2009

This week the challenge is to be a locavore for at least three (or one full day if you eat min meals) of the twenty plus meals that make up your dining week.  In this town many a restaurant makes it easy; Laughing Seed Cafe has a farm that they source many things from, and many other restaurants either do the same or use local farmers.  Even though my fair city makes it much easier than other places, it is summer, and I love mangoes, which don’t grow in zone 7.  I am embarrassed to say that I don’t know exactly what is in season throughout the year, but thankfully, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project has a friendly chart for the area.

Many a critic of eating local will argue that it is too expensive, and I agree that it can be pricey; however, the trick is to grow it yourself or make friends with someone who does.  My co-worker rents, and she still grows zucchini, red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, parsley all in containers.  Although this year some unexpected family emergencies gave us a pass on planting our victory (against corporate agriculture) garden, we have big plans for next year.  Alternatively Community Supported Agriculture shares are a great thought for those without the time or the inclination to grow their own vegetables (or the space to raise chickens, cows, goats, etc).

I will post some photos of our local meal, as its content will depend on what Mom has ready for harvest and what the Coop has in stock.

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Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Posted by eemilla on June 24, 2009

Last week’s Change the World Wednesday challenge from Reduce Footprints really got me thinking about how many plastic bags I use without even noticing them.  I hate getting them at the store but only at the checkout line; when I’m in the produce or bulk section I think about how much I need to get reusable bags, especially for the mushrooms, but week after week I use one or two new bags.  I do save and reuse the old ones, but those thin produce bags tear if you look at them wrong so I usually only get one or two uses.  I do better with the zip top sandwich bags that I put herbs in, and for the heavy bulk (rice, beans, tofu, etc) I bring some plastic storage containers.

Single use bags are just plain bad.  Americans waste about 12 million barrels of oil annually in the production of plastic bags, and if you use paper, we harvest about 14 million trees each year.  Aside from being a waste of a valuable, finite resource, plastic bags are here to stay.  Like the bag scene in American Beauty, they float and fly and land in trees and in the water.  Once in water they can resemble prey causing some obvious issues for the unlucky predator.  Even if the bags don’t retain their original shape, once they get into the water they flock; the Northern Pacific Garbage Patch is bigger than Texas.  To help protect their seascapes, several coastal North Carolina counties are thinking of joining the growing global ban (as reported on Morning Edition last week or so).  A few of the local green grocers (Earth Fare, French Broad Food Coop, and with Greenlife leading the way) began to charge for plastic bags this year, and even if the stores didn’t want to charge, couldn’t they give a credit like Earth Fare used to that the shopper can donate to a charity (which both decreases single use bag usage and gets the company a tax deduction).

Paper at least breaks down when thrown away, and all of our textbook covers were repurposed grocery bags.  However, paper still wastes plenty of resources.  Some of those trees may be old growth stands while others could be from GMO tree plantations, but either way a whole bunch of trees go down.   The GMO trees for paper production are being selected for less lignin which makes them easier to process.  The issue is that lignin makes trees strong (literally it fills the spaces between the cells’ walls), and it also helps the tree conduct water efficiently (sounds like a recipe for more less efficient water usage and increased pesticides).  On the carbon side, it also plays an important role in carbon sequestration.  Even if you recycle your bags a great deal of energy is used to do so (in both transporting and processing).

My organic cotton bags have another one up on plastic and paper: they hold pounds more.  Two bags can easily handle a week’s worth of groceries (I usually keep the delicates, like bread & fruit, in their own bag).  On the downside, baggers at the Ingles are so used to flimsy plastic bags that might hold ten pounds, I bag my own groceries which saves Ingles on labor costs (I avoid the stupid robo-checkouts) as they will invariably use half the bag then resort to plastic.

This weekend I will make or buy some reusable bags for my bulk items so I cut the plastic bags out all together.

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Weekly Green Challenge (aka Change the World Wednesday)

Posted by eemilla on June 18, 2009

Small Footprints over at Reduce Footprints has targeted one of my numerous pet peeves with this week’s Change the World Wednesday Challenge; a more informative (and ranty!) post is forthcoming on why the question shouldn’t be paper or plastic at the check out line.  Our household will be striving to remember to bring the reusable bags to every trip to the store.  Hope you’ll do the same!

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Weekly Green Challenge

Posted by eemilla on June 10, 2009

Over at Reduce Footprints, there is a new weekly Green Challenge.  I’ve signed up for this week’s challenge of cutting my shower time to less than ten minutes, and I’ve decided to up the ante by employing the water pause feature.  Last year we spent about $40 dollars on a new shower head that has a detachable head (for dog washing), and it also had a water pause feature in addition to being a low flow head.  We have a seen about a ten dollar  savings on each water bill so it has already paid for itself, and the pressure isn’t really noticeably different from our old shower head.  Kudos to my husband for already taking six minutes showers!

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American Reading Habits

Posted by eemilla on August 11, 2008

I found this list on http://shewhoeats.wordpress.com/; I do love reading her blog!

Here’s how it works:
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Highlight those that you love (I have changed mine to blue).
4) Reprint this list in your blog.

The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts apparently believes that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below.  In light of the NEA’s thought, I have highlighted those in green that I read as required reading; those in gold are books that I read in relation to a movie.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller (read as required school reading but one of favorite books)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy– Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I haven’t seen the movie of the same title)
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov (read this for school, and I thank my professor)
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’ Diary– Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker (watched the movie first, and love them both)
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (read for school & read again after Apocalypse Now)
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

I wonder where is Toni Morrison?  I mean she won a Nobel, and she is an outstanding American author whose prose at times rivals Nabokov for its poetic beauty.

Paradise

Sula

Beloved (although I have not seen the movie)

Tar Baby

Song of Solomon

Love

Jazz

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