Saturday, October 4, 2008

Nasty Things I Do That Probably Help The Environment

We all have some habits that are less then acceptable by society, especially if you are single and don't have anyone to compromise with. This morning I was reviewing a few of mine and thinking- are some of our nasty less acceptable habits good for the environment? Like my X boyfriend who didn't like to bathe or wash clothes, it could be said that even though his hygiene was off he probably saved shit tons of water and energy. It's debatable but I will throw a few out there, and then hope to hear some of your dark secrets that make a low impact.

1. When crunched on time and all my undies are dirty, you better believe I just turn them inside out.
2. I do not use any care products, such as shampoo, conditioner or soap - when I want my hair to have a good rinse I wash it with boiled lavender & lemons, and I use a body brush for my skin.
3. I wear my clothes several times (basically till stretched out and saggy) & use towels for a while before washing.

Here is a true story: A lady who used to live next to me a few years back was very obsessive about saving every little bit of food. She would come over and be horrified by my compost pile which had food in it that had either spoiled or I just couldn't eat...she would say "wow, your compost is so very beautiful, it looks yummy". Finally one day this lady straight up asked "Can I take some food from your compost home to eat"..............uh.........she starts digging in the rotten pile, mixed with big pieces of cow manure, worms, and various dripping compost slime! She pulls out half rotten dripping lettuce and puts it in her bag, with some other things and thanks me.

Time to confess your nasty planet saving habits.....


Lou Cheese said...

I'm right with you on #2, although I'm not as adept with the home-made, organic, or non-toxic cleaning products yet, but definitely no soap, shampoos, or conditioners. Even the unscented soaps bother my lungs a little. I do an all-over water-only exfoliation a little more than once a week to make up for the lack of soap and to keep any odor causing bacteria from forming. I found that fish oil is not only good for the heart but the skin as well, and it helps keep the skin soft after a good scrubbing.

Since I eat nearly every meal at home now and cook in bulk, I might have 3 or 4 meals in a row that require a bowl, say for a salad, soup, and/or stew. After the first meal I'll rinse and scrub the bowl and utensils in warm water only, no detergents. When they're squeaky clean I'll cover them and stick them in the fridge and use them for the next meal and repeat the process. After dinner I'll usually clean them more thoroughly and them put them away. Thats saving the fish from a lot of detergent that eventually gets to Lake Erie. And those poor fish have enough to worry about in this town, believe me. It also helps me avoid chemical exposure. I guess the local fish and myself are in the same boat, no pun intended.

I'll do the same with bottled water. After the first use I'll fill them with filtered tap water and put 'em back in the fridge. After a month or two I'll switch them out with new bottles. I can't imagine how much plastic usage I've reduced or money I've saved this way. Since my one guilty pleasure is drinking an occasional Coke or Pepsi, I decided to start rinsing these out and filling them with water, which should stop the purchasing of any new bottles just for water altogether.

I've cut down on paper towels and started using old T-shirts I can't get stains out of anymore because I can't use bleach or anything harder than simple liquid detergents on clothes. The T-shirts can be cleaned and reused for this purpose, which makes me wonder why I started using paper towels in the first place.

I hang my clothes to dry. Once again it's primarily for chemical avoidance but it helps the environment too.

As a rule I don't drive anywhere within a 5 mile radius from my apartment, and ride my bike for those trips provided the outside air is clean enough. One bike was specially converted to be a grocery carrier.

I used to dumpster dive my own apartment trash bin for posters and large scale prints because the apartment building was designed specifically for artists, and about 1/3 of them are photographers. But I quit after running across some prints that looked liked they had been privately commisioned from a pre-op tranvestite. People's sexual preference doesn't bother me one bit, as far as I'm concerned it's none of my business. If two or more people of any gender find something they enjoy, more power to them. Go for it, they'll probably be much happier than most strictly traditional married couples in the suburbs. Doesn't matter what, when, who, or how they do it, as long as it's consensual and they leave the kids and the farm animals out of it. Other than that, have at it. Knock yourself out, literally, if that's your thing. But although I sincerely respect a person's choice and understand that not everyone's taste will be identical to my own, running across those posters in the dumpster was a ticket to a world that I was not looking for at the time, similar to your experience with the food obsessive neighbor.

The Oko Box said...

Hey Lou!

Thanks for sharing your freaky rituals! ! ! I am not alone.
Cleaning your hair without shampoo and junk can be tricky sometimes, but I have learned a few things to help keep it balanced. Not sure how you feel about certain foods or herbs, but if any of the following is something you dont mind the smell of it will get your hair cleaner then just hot water :::
Ginger Root (boiled in water)
Lemons (straight up or boiled)
Vinegar (any kind you can tolerate)
Lavender Leaves or Flowers (boiled in water)

I also have heard the beer will clean your hair, but since I am allergic I have never tried it. Rubbing your hair & body with Kosher salt works really good too!

Lou Cheese said...


Ginger root is one of my favorite spices. I would have never thought about it as anything otherwise, but I can see how that would work.

I've thought about lemon before, but wouldn't that be too much of a bleach? I heard that californians use it as an inexpensive way to lighten their hair color.

Before MCS I used to be a fan of epsom salt as an affordable and effective disinfectant, but since then I've been afraid to go near the stuff since it's a sulfate and the sulphur family is bad news to me now. Looks like kosher salt is more sodium based and it will make a better alternative, so thank you very much for the advice. Besides, I'm jewish from the waist down anyway (circumsized). I hope you saw the humor in that.......

The Oko Box said...

he he.
The lemon doesn't seem to lighten my hair at all- unless you are going out in the sun with it still in your hair (like not rinsed), I dont think it will have any noticable effect. And it works soooo good, gets all the build up out.
I have not had any reactions to kosher or pickling salt- but not to epsom salt either. Epsom salt is too melty to get s good scrub down with anyway :)

Anonymous said...

We live off the grid with rain water catchment. One freak day when it was only 40 degress down on the bay it got cold here so I drained the water lines to the house. Since the weather has been bobbing up and down i leave it drained and I fill up large blue coleman 5 gal buckets and carry them by hand to the house. I have been using so much less water.
We put large olive buckets (about as big as me) under the outhouse. We cook the buckets up for a few years and dump them on the soil we are trying to build up.

I know this is not icky but i write a lot of snail mail by typewriters (people will give you one for free if you are lucky) on the unused sides of junk mail and
wrapping paper and cut the paper into fun shapes. No electricty required. You cand deliver you own mail to you friends mail boxes by bicycle.. no stamp.
Edith on Orcas Island

The Oko Box said...

Thanks Edith for sharing- composting is awesome... I don't care how many people think it's ick. :)