Thursday, December 31, 2009

On the edge of a new year

Firecrackers are popping outside, and the kids sleep soundly through it. That's something I'm phenomenally grateful for. I'm big on new year's resolutions and just resolutions in general. I think I resolve something new every week or so, just based on a person's casual suggestion or something I happen to see.

So it's more challenging to sort out what could be a meaningful resolution for 2010. I know I'd like to do more creative work, something to do with writing a piece about Jenny. But what's most on my mind is trying to live greener.

Oaxaca has a scary dry season, if you ask me, and it gets me worried about water and about resources in general. And my mind always drifts to garbage. So I've sourced out some biodegradable plastic bags that I carry with me in my purse. Whenever I'm shopping, here in Mexico, the kingdom of plastic bags for everything, I whip out my bio version and use it instead, and empty it out at home to reuse later. I've bought a few of my favorite vinyl market bags (though my Mexican students said it made me look like their grandmas) in various sizes, so I always have something to carry somewhere.

I also want to reduce our paper usage. We've made the switch to cloth napkins easily. I was worried because we have no dryer that keeping up with napkins would be too challenging, but napkins fit in any wash load and dry on the clothesline almost immediately. I've never used paper towels, but I've had to persuade the household to use the cloth rags I have around instead of paper.

Starting my compost pile was successful, thanks to my friend Sadie's guidance. I will boost it by expanding the number of pots in which I keep all the great veg and fruit scraps.

Someday soon, it will be planter boxes on the rooftop. I want to grow veggies, fruit and herbs. We have our rainwater catchment system for watering.

I'm always impressed with Oaxaca and Mexico in general because, despite the lack of infrastructure, people here get by on so much less consumption. In the whole green picture of things, it's the reduce part of the equation that matters the most. I posted this all more concisely on my Facebook status, vowing for less crapola in 2010. I'll be seeking out other methods for attaining this noble goal.


Kate said...

Hello, Serena. I am really enjoying reading your blog. What an interesting life you and your family lead - very inspiring! I have a question for you about living in Oaxaca (short-term, 2 months) and would be very interested in corresponding with you. If you would be up for it, please email me:
Many thanks!

j.d.h. said...

Hey, Serena.
You've totally inspired me to forgo paper napkins and jump on the cloth napkin train. That will kill several birds with one stone. I hope to make my own with the sewing machine that was my mama's that I have been meaning to use since she spent $80 and lovingly mailed the thing to CA.
Here's a link I found for instructions... it might be a fun kid project too and they could sew by hand.
Woohoo! Thanks for the inspiration.