Friday, May 4, 2007

Why Not...


Image Courtesy of allposters.com

Hooray!!!!!! It's HERE!!!!! That's right, my clothesline has arrived and one day, very soon, I will be able to post my own photo of it's loveliness. In the meantime, this will have to do. Those of you who know me in person probably understand how I can be such a geek about this, but I have to say that it is something that has made me actually happier about living in Florida.

Florida - at least the area I live in - has attractions, of course. And for my family, all of whom seem to be cold-natured (not in our hearts, of course - hee, hee), the weather is hard to beat. Yeah, summers get long, but winters were longer for us. Anyway, while it has its attractions, it is because of those very things that I feel so up against such a high wall when it comes to the values of caring about the planet. Folks come here for the "easy life" - not the simple life. Many are here for retirement and they're not interested in conserving energy like keeping the thermostat set to a higher degree or two in the summer. Actually, most places are so cold inside that I carry a sweater with me wherever I go. No, most new residents seem interested in playing and, you know, Florida is a good state in which to do that. But because of that, I have met few people who share my values and it's been a really challenging adjustment.

So, getting back to what I was saying, the whole clothesline thing has thrilled me, because it allows me to thumb my nose at the ridiculous deed restrictions that plague more and more people these days from actually living in their homes. I have said before, it seems like folks want to look like they're living in a magazine, instead of living real lives in their homes.

So, I'm excited about one more little thing we can do to reduce our impact. You know, one of the things that I find so compelling about living sustainably is that so much of it is just common sense, and yet because we have been used to living a certain way for the majority of our lifetimes, we often don't figure it out that it can be done differently - even when it might be looking us right in the face, so to speak.

Now that it's getting warmer out why not try turning off the shower while you're soaping up? I wet down, shampoo and rinse my hair quickly, wet my washcloth, and then turn off the water. I put conditioner in and let that sit while I wash and then turn back on the water for a quick rinse. It's a small thing to do... I have never felt the need to try to calculate savings, but I often think of the huge number of women in the world that walk to get their water every day. Water is precious. More and more (and more!) people are moving to Florida, in particular, and there is no doubt in my mind that the sources of our water are being depleted faster than they can be restored.

Another example of an obvious notion came to me in same said shower today when I realized that I did not need the light on. We have a window in our bathroom that lets in plenty of light at the time I shower and it was just one of those things that I just thought - mid-shower! - to try. I've been doing that lately in the kitchen too. It is often habit for me to turn on a light in order to work when I walk into a room that seems darker. But now I see if my eyes can adjust to the room and if I can do what I need to do without light. Showering is definitely one of those things and usually making lunch, if I am not trying a new recipe that needs careful following, is one too. So, why not try leaving the lights off for a while to see how well you can do a task without them? Again, it seems a matter of changing habits more than actually depriving oneself of a need.

Have you tried anything new lately that has led you to going more lightly on God's beautiful creation? And when we think of caring for His creation, we must remember that we are a part of that creation and by caring for it, we care for our brothers and sisters around the world. I get really frustrated when I hear people talk about "the environment" and people as if there were some disconnect between the two - as if somehow we can separate ourselves from the planet. I can see that it is easy to believe that we are separate if we spend all of our time in man-made office buildings, malls, subways, etc., but as the guest on the recent America the Green podcast said today, "we think we can just throw it away, but there is no 'away'!"

So, why not try one new, little thing today? Spice things up. Do things a little differently. Experiment. See what its like to try living in harmony with the world around you, following nature's example of "no waste." The earth, our friends, the animals, all your brothers and sisters and the children will thank you for it.

13 comments:

omly said...

While we were traveling, we found 2 youth hostels that had really neat showers. For both you pushed the lever/button and you got the water (at what ever water temperature you set) for ~10 seconds (count nice and slow). Ok that may not sound like very long, but I found it was enough to wet or rinse my hair or body without feeling rushed. Then while the water was off you were free to soap up or whatever. Ingenious!

Creative Life Studio said...

That is SO cool!

I have always wanted to stay in a hostel while traveling, but my husband, while not needing to stay in fancy hotels, prefers to be a bit more catered to than the things hostels provide.

For me, I think the hostel would be perfect. I am so glad they are still a reality! :)

Kelli said...

I enjoyed your post, Mrs. Pivec! Working without lights is one of the things I remember the most about our Prairie Day adventure last year. It didn't take long to get used to the lack of lights during the day and when the weekend was over and we turned the lights back on, they seemed so harsh and glaring. Now I prefer the look of no lights. We have been talking about littering lately, cigarette butts annoy me the most, especially the ones outside of stores, 3 feet of an ashtray! LOL When we are out driving around town and come to a pond or woodsy area that is covered with garbage I can hear the girls and Benjamin talking about how awful and rude it is to litter. Make me proud. :0)
Oh, and today Benjamin was about to throw out a cracker box and Grace gave him a little speech about recycling. The city just gave us big trash can size recycling buckets so it makes it easier. There's so much more we could do, but we are working on it! Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for getting me to think about these things! You are an inspiration!
Kelli

Anonymous said...

turn the water off while showering. what a marvelous idea. Especially since I live inte desert, where water is definitely taken for granted!!! I LOVE clotheslines. Clothes smell SO much better when they are air dried. "sigh"

Sara said...

I've been getting much better at being "light sensitive" :) It's pretty easy because our apt. is very bright...but I've been known to walk into the bedroom on a bright sunny day and turn the light on out of habit...when opening the curtain would have flooded the room with light!

I'd love to try "candle night" where we just use candles for our light...to help us appreciate that we have electricity at our fingertips!

I've always wanted to stay in a hostel too...in Minneapolis there is an "eco-hostel" at the Ecopolitan: http://www.eco-stay.com/

Maybe I'll convince DH to let me stay there next time we're in town :)

skatey katie said...

hello mrs p,
spotted ya at sara's *live wildly* blog and popped on over.
here in new zealand the clothesline is a national icon, just like sheep, lol.
great idea about the water-savings-shower.. i am tossing up ideas about stopping washing my hair altogether, tried it for a week over summer, didn't work so well cos it's long and curly and got full of salt and sand at the beach, might try it again over winter and get a head start (pppppppppfffffffffttttttt, "head" start, good pun)
ok i think i'd better head for my espresso......... X

Creative Life Studio said...

Kate,

When I'm long, I'm curly too. I used the no-wash techniques in the book "Curly Girl" for a while. You might like it! Thanks for stopping by! :)

julie said...

i have really enjoyed reading your blog. lots of inspiration on several "frontier" for me! i also have enjoyed your florida beach pics....i went to high school in bradenton (25 years ago!) and lived on holmes beach as a single gal for some time. the beaches are really special to me down there.(i live on the central coast of california now.) thanks for hsaring. your journals are wodnerful. julie harris

rani said...

Thanks for the link! I've just come from visiting India where so many people take bucket-baths: you only get one half-bucket of hot water which you mix with cool water to the right temperature. You get wet with a few mugfuls, soap up, and then rinse off with a few mugfuls. If there's any left in the bucket, just pick up and pour! I'm doing this now once a week.

Anonymous said...

Went shopping on Saturday with two beautifully decorated cloth bags from my nieces - held everything I needed! Another eco-friendly thing I am very proud of - we have a rain barrel, and have been collecting rain water for our garden and compost heap. Seems to be working so far, and feels good to be using the rain . . . .

Can't wait to see you soon!

Lael

Creative Life Studio said...

Rani, I hadn't ever thought about doing something like that. Of course, that's just what I was talking about. How we don't think of things, because we don't have to. I wonder if I could try something like that. Hey, it makes showering a bit more entertaining, anyway!

Laely, So glad you're enjoying and using the bags. Looking forward to seeing your rain barrel in action. We can get them here at the extension offices for nominal fees. I just want to see how one really works. We sure could use the water right now!

skatey katie said...

I used the no-wash techniques in the book "Curly Girl"

hey, i googled it, and as of yesterday i'm gonna be a no-wash-curly-girlie too.

i like the idea of conditioning it heaps, hope that makes a difference..... i hated the *straw hair* that i had all summer lol.
i'm on the lookout now for good organic hair products that i can get here in NZ.

Aimee said...

so glad your line arrived! I've been out of town so I look forward to catching up on your posts!

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