Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thinking

Did you ever see the Walt Disney version of Winnie the Pooh? Do you remember how he would sit and poke his little head and go, "Think, think,... think, think..." That's how I've felt this week. The No Impact Project has been doing exactly what I'd hoped it would do and that was to cause me to really look at almost everything. There are many things that we do already, but I needed a fresh view, new or renewed reminders of new ways of doing things.

I haven't actually done a whole lot different this week, but because of these eye openers, I'm planning. For starters, I'm going to be looking around my area for a groomer for our dog, as I'd mentioned, so that I can get her there by bike instead of driving. Next, while I won't be able to not drive to the farmers' market or CSA, I plan to use those for more of my food needs and my food won't have traveled the average 2000 miles to get to my plate. I don't mind driving for that.

Today was the day to focus on energy consumption in the Project. All week I have been working in my kitchen with the lights off during the day. My kitchen is a bit dark, but there really is enough light to work in there via the light from the window if I don't rush to turn on the lights and just let my eyes adjust. I've been using the light over the stove if I need extra light for something, since it's one light as opposed to the 7 canister lights in my ceiling. At night, I turn on the lights. But during the day, I can keep them off. I can tell you, though, I'm reeeeeaaal interested in one of these for both our living room and kitchen. I have to look into it more to see if they are cost effective for us, but I think that would be fantastic.

I didn't have anything planned for lunch today like I normally do. So, I was standing there trying to think about what to make. If I'd planned better, I could have made something raw and that would have saved on cooking energy. I decided to bake some potatoes in our toaster oven instead, since I didn't really have the ingredients for a complete raw meal. As I was preparing the potaotes though, I started thinking about solar cookers. It seems pretty silly that I live in FL and hadn't really considered the possibility of using one of these until now. But as I said, I've been thinking...

I'm currently reading The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen. It's an incredible resource and of course I found info on solar cookers in it. They pointed me in the direction of Joe Radabaugh, the designer of the Heaven's Flame solar cooker. He says you can build one for under $10. That's my kind of oven! :) I can't say I'll be building one right away, but I'll be on the lookout to collect materials and then one day, I'm going to just give it a go!

Well, I'm off to bed now though. All this thinking has worn me out. Oh, but before I go, I did harvest a beatiful zucchini from our garden today! That'll be incorporated into lunch tomorrow. Can't get more local than that!
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