Looks like spam, smells like spam

But?  Not spam!  That’s a real email subject line, folks.  It’s in the running for my “best non-spam subject line ever” award.  And who wouldn’t want to have a “Party in My Pants” shipped to them?

For brevity, I will refer to Party In My Pants by their acronym for the rest of this post.

Without  further ado, I present my PIMPs.

Fortunately, the acronym is also amusing.

I read a PIMP post over at Healthy, Green & Frugal several weeks ago.  Strangely, though I’m going to use cloth diapers for my babies (cloth diapers have come a LONG way since they graced my bum), I’d never given any thought to reusable liners and pads.  Rebecca’s post provided that little nudge.

I can’t comment on the efficacy of my PIMPs yet, but I received excellent customer service from the PIMP ladies 😉

The least of the three R’s

Recycling resides at the bottom of the three R hierarchy in terms of environmental benefit.  First comes Reduce, then Reuse, and then, finally Recycle.  Recycling is nice, but it means that some object was produced in the first place, often with the intent to be “disposable.”  When, and if, that item makes its way into a recycling plant (after consuming energy to transport it there), it requires inputs of energy, water, and other products to first break it down and then make it into something new.

So I’m kind of ashamed to show you this:

I’m not sure how we ended up with this many spent non-rechargeable batteries!  We only buy rechargeables, but products that come with batteries have disposables in the package.  It’s not like we use lots of battery powered “stuff,” but we’ve been saving these for awhile.

My church offered a battery recycling collection box — time for these babies to go!  I balked when I read that each battery had to be in its own plastic bag to reduce risk of fire/explosion.  I resisted my temptation to rebel and just throw the whole bag in there.  A bit more research uncovered an alternative to the individual bagging — simply place tape over the positive terminal of each battery — still some waste involved, but much less.  As an added bonus, I avoided having a burnt down church, or some poor postal worker killed by a battery-induced explosion, on my conscience.

In a bit of a recycling blitz, I also pulled out some old tennis shoes for a shoe recycling collection for the Shoeman Water Project.  Reusing or recycling shoes, and using profits to dig wells in developing counties?  Sounds good to me!

I delivered the batteries and shoes by bicycle, of course.  And now back to reducing and reusing 🙂

Carrot rack

Room for one

I stopped in to Local Harvest Grocery yesterday, where I snagged the coveted carrot rack parking spot.  A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that they carry bulk (organic) rolled oats.  I eat oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every day.  I recently switched from quick oats to rolled oats — I now strongly prefer the texture and taste of rolled oats.  As part of the switch, I buy the rolled oats from bulk containers (compared to buying the quick oats in the cardboard canisters), so I reap the added benefit of less waste!

Tiny choices success

I frequent the Tiny Choices blog for their green living insights, and as a fairly regular reader, I completed their survey.  Tiny Choices featured my survey last Thursday.  In it, I mentioned my struggle to speak up in a constructive way when I notice others making less than green choices.  In the comments, Nupur of One Hot Stove said, “My suggestion for encouraging others to change their behavior- simply modeling the behavior sometimes triggers others to think about it, more than saying anything about it.”

During a recent work gathering, someone pulled styrofoam plates out for the cake.  Knowing that we had a full cabinet of dishes right behind me, I hesitated for a moment, then grabbed a stack of real plates.  I swapped them for the styrofoam plates on the table, saying that I would take dish duty.  Everyone seemed happy with this arrangement.  I plan to look for opportunities to model greener choices, with a hope that over time they will spread.

Two square

I visited an elementary school recently, and I could not help but notice the sticker on the toilet paper dispenser — the number “2” next to a picture of toilet paper squares.  This reminded me of the “These Come from Trees” stickers, a great cue to action to reduce wasteful use of paper in public restrooms.  I felt fairly certain that was the purpose of the “2” sticker, but as there was also a “Flush” sticker on the wall behind the toilet, I wondered if the number 2 referred not to the numbers of squares of t.p. to use, but rather to a step in a “How to Use the Toilet” sequence:

1. Enter the stall.
2. Lock the door.
3. Pull down your pants.
4. Check the toilet seat to see if a rude “sprinkler” was there before you . . . .

You get the idea.  But I’m already way past #2 on the list, and it’s not time to wipe yet, so I deduced that the “2” sticker must, indeed, refer to the appropriate amount of toilet paper to use.

Confession: Until I started buying my own toilet paper, I was quite profligate in my use of said paper product.  Once I had to flush my own dollars down the toilet, things changed, and I’ve been pretty good about the “two square rule” when I’m at home or other other peoples’ houses since then.  But something changes when I use a public restroom, and I catch myself with a huge wad of t.p. in my hand, so I benefit from some kind of a reminder as much as the next person.