Thursday, April 22, 2010

Excursion Day

Yesterday Doug had the day off and I had a number of things that I, personally, wanted to do so we took the opportunity to test how mobile I was and see if I could manage getting out and about on my own. The verdict? I can manage - and very day it's a little bit easier. :D Yay!

One of the first things we did was go to the accountant where Doug ran up the stairs and got the paperwork, hoofed it down to me sitting in the van to sign, then back upstairs to finalize the paper so that we could go to the bank and I could pay what I owed as well as deal with the stack of bills that had accumulated. :}

Then we went for lunch out and over to the Studio Shoppe so that I could take some pictures of the display in the Featured Artists Room. I thought the display looked quite nice with Dahne Andrews' paintings on the walls and my textiles nicely displayed.

Even better, I was told that two scarves had already sold and two were on 'hold'. :D

Then after we got home I iced my ankle and went down to the Fanny loom and wove 4 placemats, leaving a mat and table runner yet to do. Doug is off today, too, so I'm hoping to finish weaving that warp then get him to help dress the loom. I suspect I could manage it pretty much by myself, but it will be a lot faster (and safer!) if he turns the handle and inserts the bamboo blinds.

In the evening we went up to the annex where I pressed some placemats for hemming while he tried to wrestle some order out of the chaos.

Today is also Earth Day. It seems that there is always a lot of controversy about what is 'environmentally friendly' and what isn't. People hold very firm ideas!

Doug and I have composted in one of those regurgitators (not truly making compost but breaking vegetable matter down into a sludge which Doug empties out occasionally and buries in the back yard) for many many years. When we started composting I was amazed to notice that the number of garbage bags set out at the curb was reduced by one third.

A few years later the city started a recycling program, accepting paper 'donations'. When we started sorting out the paper products our garbage set out at the curb reduced by one half. In other words instead of setting out 3 nearly full bags of garbage we now set out one bag a week and very often that bag isn't even full.

We also keep all plastic bottles that can be recycled and turn those in. Our province has a fee for plastic beverage bottles that you can get refunded when you turn the bottles in to a recycling place and quite often we'll get enough money for several cups of coffee. Out - usually at Tim Horton's - as a treat.

Since I have numerous food allergies, I buy very little pre-packaged food products. (Doug does buy a few things that he can zap in the micro-wave.) Mostly we buy fresh fruit and vegetables, a few canned vegetables, and unprocessed meat. I make lots of stews/soups in my biggest pot so that the stove is only used once and then individual servings are micro-waved (never in plastic!)

It took a while to convince Doug that leftovers were A Good Thing, but now he's sold on the fact that it's environmentally friendly. The stove (220 v) gets used once, then the micro-wave (110 v) gets used for a few seconds to re-heat servings.

In the studio I save my thrums handing them over to a surface design artist who uses what she wants and then both of our 'waste' goes to the Salvation Army who has a textile recycling program. I save cardboard tubes and cones, using the cones on my cone winder, the rest going into the city's paper recycling program.

I use 'natural' yarns as much as possible - i.e. fibres that will break down into dust, not yarns made from petroleum products. Yes, I do use regenerated cellulose yarns.

Unfortunately I don't like the light generated by flourescent bulbs, so I'm 'wasteful' in that I still use incandescent. I am waiting for new technology to come up with a light source that I can tolerate, that doesn't create a lot of excess heat (like the halogen bulbs), gives good ambient light and doesn't use a lot of electricity.

I replaced the very old computer I used to use with my loom and my electrical bill actually visibly reduced! I try not to use a lot of things that use batteries, and if I do, I try to get re-chargable ones - although that isn't always possible. (e.g. my fringe twister is hand driven, not battery operated.)

Doug and I plan our routes when we drive in order to use the least amount of gasoline and buy/lease vehicles with the best mpg that we can afford. If they made a hybrid van I'd probably look very seriously at leasing one of those, but we also have to keep in mind our bottom line. :(

Our society is very wasteful. Rather than repair appliances, it's now cheaper to just buy new. :( But as individuals we can each do at least one thing to be a little less wasteful, a little more environmentally friendly, and every little bit does help.


Sandra Rude said...

I'm so glad to hear you're getting stronger and more able to tolerate more activity!

Sharon Schulze said...

That sounds like a pretty busy day to me! I'm glad you are getting back in action!

Robyn said...

I'm glad you are feeling stronger and grateful for all your earth friendly comments and suggestions

Sarah said...

On the lightbulbs comment:
Compact fluorescents are more efficient because they don't give off heat as well as light. More of the electricity goes to producing light. BUT, if you are heating your home, you are not "wasting" electricity with a traditional lightbulb... you are just heating and lighting at the same time! The only time it's really inefficient to use conventional light bulbs is when you have AC running...