Friday, March 13, 2009

The Quest Begins

This is what we have already done to reduce our foot print:

We've installed low flow shower heads , which you can buy cheap at Lowes- $5 or so.

We share showers with the cats...

Wait! NO! That's a BAD idea!! :)

We use Compact Florescent Light bulbs and recycle them at IKEA or Home Depot instead of chucking them in the garbage because they have mercury in them.

We added insulation above the garage. And best yet, the insulation was FREE. We helped Dawn with her rental and she said we could have anything we wanted . Thank you, Dawn!

I've saved up a stash of money to build raised garden beds. We started the grape arbor and ran out of money. It will be completed first and we can get grapes started. Our neighbors on the other side also have grapes and the four plants will create quite the canopy. They have a worm bin bench on their side. I will want a worm bin at some point, but not sure if I want it located there.

We recycle as much as we possibly can. Newspaper, cardboard, cans, aluminum.... Once I start the compost bin, all the paper stuffs can go there.

So we've already made quite a few changes. Off to a good start.

But what of Earth by Piers Anthony

But what of Earth by Piers Anthony

Though this is not one of his best pieces of work due to a whole slew of miscommunications, the story leaves much to think about.

What would happen to the earth if the population suddenly started to decline? In this book, Matter Transmission becomes possible and instead of staying on earth to deal with the pollution problems the population created, many decide to matter transmit to primitive planets.

As time goes on the amount, and quality, of people cause the homes in the outskirts of towns to regress to primitive forms of living. Think pioneer days; growing your own food, walking as the only form of transportation unless you are lucky enough to have a horse or two, distant neighbors. Just staying alive becomes a full time job.

So how would you fare if something caused the electricity, water and gas to stop flowing? Would you know how to cope? Could you grow your own food, create your own power for heat or collect your own water for drinking, bathing and gardening?

I couldn’t. Not yet anyway. I’ve been slowly learning how to reduce my footprint on this poor earth, and it’s time that I really start getting as serious about this as I can.

Yes, I realize I am but one person.

I realize that it may not make a whole lot of difference. And that makes me sad. But at least I can say that I TRIED. And if something should happen that creates chaos where we don’t have water, electricity or gas, then at least I will be a little bit better prepared, not only to help myself, but to also help others by teaching them what they can do.

Thus starts my quest to reduce my footprint.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Snow again?

Good grief.
Looking outside, you wouldn't think snow could be on it's way again!
But here's the forecast from

"Late Saturday night through early Monday showers coming in off the Pacific combined with colder air moving in will again lower the snow level quite close to the valley floor, or sea level."

On a happier note, I've got a ton of flowers coming up.
They're going quite crazy out there.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Home made granola bars

Martin and I have decided to steer away from processed foods and more towards whole foods. One of our first steps was to do away with store bought granola bars and make our own.

  • 4 cups oats ($1.64 bulk)
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds (44 cents)
  • 3/4 cup almonds, chopped (91 cents)
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar (About a dollar))
  • 1/2 cup honey (about a dollar's worth)
  • 4 Tbsp butter (50 cents)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (15 cents)
  • approximately 12 oz. dried fruit (we used raisins and apples) ($1.54 and 41 cents)

Mix the nuts, oats, and sunflower seeds in a bowl.

Prepare a glass baking dish for your granola by lining it with waxed paper lightly sprayed with a nonstick spray.

Put the brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla, and salt into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.

Mix everything together in a large bowl. The grains, the liquid “glue,” and the dried fruit.

Mix everything REALLY WELL because you want to make sure the “glue” gets all over everything.

Dump your granola mixture into your prepared baking dish.

Spread out the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula (spray with a nonstick spray).

Press the mixture and compact it together so that your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them.

Wait until the granola has totally cooled and carefully turn the granola onto a large cutting board.

Now, firmly pressing down with a big knife (not sawing), cut your granola into whatever size bars you’d like.

Wrap as you desire.

Total cost- $7.59 We got 20 bars out of this batch. 38 cents a bar and they are HUGE.