Saturday, October 17, 2009

Blog Action Day - reactions

Many didn't post any blog entry, even though they committed to it. I know I have really hard to keep dates and so, so I sat down and wrote my blog entry a week ahead, and just put the publishing date on 15th :-D It isn't too late, you know, even if you didn't participate on the 15th :-)

I have been going through the blogs, especially crafting blogs, and decided to share my thoughts here.

I notice that many are scared by this huge, dangerous and seemingly unstoppable beast threatening the whole planet. Sure, the planet will survive, probably most of the wildlife will survive too, move or adjust themselves to the changed environment, even though some beautiful things will die, like polar bears. The humans might not survive... at least we will be diminished, and the rest... well... let's see which qualities will win, the egotistic bullying "me first" attitude of Mad Max, or the social consideration and taking care of each other - "let's share what we have so that we all might survive" - because I don't want to be alone on this planet. The person I bully today might invent cure for cancer tomorrow... and I don't want him/her to remember me as a bully when my loved one is dying of cancer...
I too am scared, and it feels like I alone cannot do much to change anything. It feels as if the big players are all egotistical bastards and more harm is done with good intentions than not... that it has gone so far it doesn't matter anymore what a single person does... But I want to believe. I want to believe I can be the change. I want to believe that we can turn the development. I want to believe in human might and will to do good.

Craftivism was talking about turning all this into something positive.

Lotus in the Mud was listing things she does to reduce her footprint. I think it would be a good idea to take something from the hundreds of suggestions every month and make it a new habit.

We have a green energy provider, but we could reduce our consumption of energy. Even if you don't "believe" in global warming, you "believe" in reducing the economical costs of your household, don't you? ;->

We kept the Earth Hour, and we did it with vengeance :-D We switch off the power all together in our home. We were sitting in the bed, my husband and I, and read a book aloud in the light of candles. The dog was sleeping on our feet and it was so cosy and sweet.
I am thinking of all the descriptions in Victorian books about some people doing crafts, some entertaining either by reading aloud, playing piano, singing - there might be some popcorn popping and cider drinking, as described in Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Farmer Boy.
It was lovely. We decided to have an Earth Hour - electricity free hour - every week, but it hasn't been done. It is more "fun" (read habit) to sit by the computer and surf :-D (which is what I am doing right now, using electricity, in stead of doing something sane...)
The night made me feel more togetherness with my husband, more sincere affection and reminded me of why I married him :-) It was also fun to read the book. I have a HUGE list of books I want to read, but never get to do that, because I waste time in the internet. ;-)

Here's "how to organize a sewing party"
Here's "Fabric Maverick Says Have a Sewing Party"
It really doesn't need to be sewing party, "stitch and bitch" can be done with any crafts. :-D
You could really combine a book club with crafting party, and have one (the one who doesn't do crafts) read the book out loud, while the rest potters on with their UFOs - or let the book go around, and everyone reads a bit. Audiobook without using electricity ;-)

Learn to use public libraries.
Most of them do subscribe to most magazines, and it's better you go to the library and read the magazine there, take copies of the articles you want to save, or preferably make notes in a notebook or journal you carry along to catch all the good ideas floating around ;-)
Borrow books rather than buy them, borrow paper books rather than audiobooks.

We cannot do much to "insulate and ventilate", but we can keep the house clean, declutter, layer clothes and turn the warmth down. We can use thick curtains to keep the cold out in the winter and the warmth out in the summer. Also, we have the windows open only in the shadow side of the house in the summers and in the nights. We use mosquito nets. Also, we use fans. Those handheld thingies, not the electric ones, and wear what people in hot areas of the world wear - layers of light cotton, to create a portable shadow...

Reduce dishes and laundry
Don't use more dishes than necessary; make one pot dinners, use the same water glass all day long.
Use glass as storage for leftovers. Avoid plastic. (Plastic also has some toxins that will transfer into your food.)
It's better to make too little food than too much. Plan your cooking and take notes, so that you actually are aware of how much is a portion, so there will be no left-overs. This is not only ecologically sane, but economically as well.
Having a set of clothes for work and another for home, and change when you come home
Use sleeve covers, aprons and slippers.
Wash the clothes in 30-40 degrees - they do get clean. Avoid prewash. I doubt anyone has that dirty clothes now-a-days. Avoid overportioning the washing detergent. Find ecological washing detergents.
Wash only full machines dishes and laundry.
Buy things that are home-machine-washable. Preferably ecological fair-trade cotton and other natural fibers. Buy locally produced fibers and make your clothes yourself.

Borrow each others fashion accessories.
(swap, not shop - clothing exchange party)

Start exercising and eat less. Go out in the nature and enjoy it while you can. Walk, walk, walk. Walk and bike as much as you can.
Avoid cars. When you must use a car, try to use a buss or train instead.
Car pool.
Get yourself a shopping bag on wheels and walk to the grocery store, if it's in a couple of miles distance. Get used to walking. It keeps you fit and reduces your carbon footprint ;-)

Plan your grocery shopping and diminish the turns to the grocery store.
Buy as much organic, ecologic, fair trade and local as you can. See if you can exchange the "exotic" stuff for some local ingredients.
Learn to forage.
Have a garden - on a windowsill in some old tin cans, if no other options exist. Every plant eats carbon oxide and produces oxygen. Some of them even eat other gases...
Get a good box freezer and defrost it regularly. Fill it with local ingredients, like the stuff you forage (berries, mushroom) and local farm products.

Plant trees. Play Johnny Appleseed if nothing else.

Crafting a green world reviews the Green Guide for Artists - it matters what you use.
There's the Yarn Carbon Footprint, but it's still very new. What I know is that the carbon footprint of plastic is 6 kg CO/1 kg plastic - and acrylic yarn IS plastic. If it is not locally produced, you have to add the transport footprint as well. The carbon footprint of 1 kg wool is about 300 grams CO.

Here's some more suggestions :-D

The thing is that you WIN if you live sustainably and ecologically! Your life standard will be better, you eat better, you save money, you get fit, you improve your social life and feel better about yourself, because you actually reach your goals and achieve something.

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