Tuesday, May 27, 2008

June's Mini-Eco Challenge

It's hard to believe it's almost the end of May and that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone. I had a really, relaxing, enjoyable weekend. Our community pool opened and we walked or biked to the pool each day (I'm going to do a post later on in the week about how to make your pool membership greener). We went to two BBQ's. Saw the Indiana Jones movie. And last night we had an impromptu neighborhood party on our friend's front lawn until it was time for all the kids to go in and cleaned up for bed. 

It's time to get back to work though, and I thought I'd turn our thoughts A Little Greener Every Day's next mini-eco challenge. In May, we had five people including me choose one or more of the challenges that I put forth. This month, I'd love to have six people (or more) participate in a one week challenge that will run from June 1- June 7. 

Here are this month's challenges:

Challenge #1
Cook a dinner made with only locally grown, raised, or made foods. The farmer's markets are open now and many of them offer more than just produce. You can get meats, eggs, and breads at most farmer's markets. 

Challenge #2
Ditch the paper towels. Use rags to clean up messes instead of paper towels. Of course, you shouldn't just throw the paper towels in the trash. Stash them away where they are out of sight, out of mind so when a kid throws up or a cat coughs up a fur ball, you've got them for the truly gross jobs.

Challenge #3
Make your own coffee with organic, fair trade coffee for an entire week instead of heading out to the coffee house. Heading out for coffee in your car uses up gas, creates pollution, and usually ends up with a paper cup, a cardboard sleeve and a stir stick in the trash. 

Challenge #4
Walk - Buy a pedometer and set yourself a challenging goal in miles. At least half of those miles must be walked by taking yourself somewhere on foot that you normally would have driven in your car. This will take some time management, but you can do it.

Challenge #5
Pick one of last months challenges. They included taking no plastic or paper retail/shopping bags, taking navy showers, packing trash free lunches, hang drying all your laundry, and choosing from a list of environmental books to read. They were good challenges. No reason to exclude them. If you choose one or more of them last month and have continued past the week, challenge yourself with a new one. 

I'm going to take on challenge #1, #4, and #5 - from last month I am choosing another book but one that is  not on the list (I've read all those). I'll be reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. That book can be added to the challenge list.
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Kellie & Marc said...

Hi Robin, I'd love to participate. I already do #2 and #3, so I think I'm going to shoot for #1 - cooking with local foods. This is something I've wanted to start doing for a while now, but haven't quite ventured out to the local farmer's market in our new town (or found where it is yet). This will be a challenge because my husband is a hard-core meat & potatoes guy. Not big on a lot of veggies. I'll keep you posted!

Robin Shreeves said...

Great, glad you're joining us.

I wrote a post about planning a trip to the farmer's market earlier in the month. It has some links to websites that help you locate one near you.


Allison said...

Hi Robbin, You can always count me in on your challenges. Actually, I am STILL trying to finish Animal, Vegetable, Miracle because I am the slowest reader in the green blogosphere. Just 70 more pages to go!
As for this new challenge, I am already doing #1,#3 and somewhat #4(I bike when I can). So I guess I can walk more. But the true challenge would be to nick the papertowels. I will have to hide them because my family lives off of them at times. My husband will think I am off my rocker.
And I would like to take this opportunity to mention Costco sells the best organic and fairtrade coffee I have had. Well, maybe the cheap price helps the coffee taste better. It is called San Francisco Bay Coffee Organic Rainforest Blend. You can find the one I buy here, http://www.gourmet-coffee.com/product.php?productid=125&cat=9&page=1, but buy it at Costco, it is a lot cheaper.

hjordan said...

Hi Robin, Thanks for sending the email out! I am joining your eco-challenge for June! I'm going to make a locally grown dinner this weekend. I haven't been to the farmer's markets yet, so i'll go check them out. Do you have a favorite? I'm also going to try the paper towel ban. We'll see how I do.
I love your blog! Thanks for all the ideas!

Robin Shreeves said...

Allison - I am still reading Affluenza. It is so jam packed with information that I find myself only able to read a little at a time to take it all in. So don't feel bad about Animal.. - it took me about a month to get through that, too.

hjordan - glad you've joined us. The best farmer's market around here is the Collingswood one. Haddonfield has one, too, but it's smaller and more expensive for the same type of foods. You can also try Springdale Farm market - a lot of what they have is grown right there and that is open all week long.

jmb said...

Just got back from vacation and am excited about the new challenges. #1 is great because we have an amazing farmers market here. We even have local grass fed meat. Cooking from scratch is necessary at our house due to food allergies, but it is even better homemade from local sources.

I am going to continue to hang dry my clothes from last months challenge. hopefully the rainy season is over now. We have five suitcases of laundry. I'm so glad my line is big.

Also from last month I am going to go for packing trash free lunches. After this vacation I have to be mindful of what I'm eating and as an extension, I'll be mindful of how it is prepared and transported.

good luck everyone!

Robin Shreeves said...

jmb - Hope you had a great vacation. I'm glad you're joining us again. I'm able to get local, grass fed meat, too and it makes planning local meals so much easier.