Tragic Sandwich

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Archive for the category “Environment”

Sand Pail List, Revisited

Sand and Toys

In May, I created my “Sand Pail List” of things I wanted to accomplish this summer. How’d we do? Let’s take a look:

Going to the park
We did go to local playgrounds, but not nearly as often as I’d intended–except for when we were in Santa Barbara. We went to a lot of playgrounds in Santa Barbara.

Summer concerts
Not one. Turns out that the ones held in my friend’s town are on Sunday nights, which didn’t work for us, and we never investigated the ones closer to home. Maybe next year.

Going to the beach
We got to the beach three times this summer, and are going again once Baguette gets her cast off. Labor Day may be over, but southern California’s summer is not.

Swimming lessons
Happening right now! Well, not right now. But we’ve enrolled Baguette in the current session at our local Y, because you cannot keep her out of the water. (Me, either.)

Err . . . I’ve done a little, but certainly not as much as I meant to. And I still haven’t gotten back to that farmers’ market.

Well, there’s always fall. What should I call that one–maybe Leaf Bag List? I wonder if that works in the land of no fall colors.

Photo by ~W~, via Flickr.


A Day at the Beach




Ready for Action

Big Ocean, Little Girl

Sand castle destruction

Mommy and Baguette

Consumer Environmentalism

The best thing about moving to California is that Mr. Sandwich and I finally got to be in the same place. The next best thing is that I get to have coffee with my friends at least a couple of times a month, instead of a couple of times a year. Today was one of those days, so I met S for a hearty dose of caffeine. Although it’s not the most central location for us, Venice Grind has been one of our favorites since it opened a couple of years ago. They make lattes with coffee, which S likes, and with espresso, which I like (my favorite almost anywhere is a vanilla latte with skim, although I like pumpkin lattes in the fall and peppermint mochas around Christmas). Their pastries are good, too, although we didn’t have any today.

Next door is Soaptopia, my absolute favorite place to buy soap. Everything is all-natural, and their soaps have fantastic names. Anyone can sell a rose-and-vanilla soap, but only Soaptopia would call it “Rozilla vs. Dry Skinea.” Looking for sandalwood and peppermint? Maybe you’d like “Woody Wood Pepper.” Then there are “Staying A-Lime,”  “Sage Against the Machine,” and “Oatmeal and Clover Over and Over.” I also like their 50/50 body balms, which are half cream, half oil, and all moisturizing. Beyond that there are bubble baths, salt scrubs, loofahs, lip balms, and a host of other products.

S had other plans, so I went off to explore a store I’d read about on the greenlagirl blog. Siel writes about a wide range of topics dealing with environmental living in an urban setting, and recently she posted about The Green Life, a new store on Main Street in Santa Monica. The store has a nice selection of books, kitchen utensils and cleaning supplies, bath and bed linens, beauty items, and even chocolates. (For photos, visit the greenlagirl post that brought me to the store.)

Okay, the nail polish I bought afterward wasn’t even remotely green. Nobody’s perfect.

Greening Our Home

Here are things we want to do to reduce the environmental impact of whatever house we wind up buying.

  • Add solar panels
  • Plant a vegetable garden and fruit trees
  • Insulate, insulate, insulate
  • Install weatherstripping
  • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Set up cisterns for water catchment
  • Put in an attic fan
  • Build a windmill (okay, a turbine) (J is Dutch) (half Dutch)
  • Set up some sort of gray-water system
  • Cover the windows with triple-cell honeycomb blinds
  • Buy a front-loading washer
  • Use a clothesline (we air-dry a lot now, but it takes up a lot of floor space inside)
  • Build a water-permeable driveway

Hmm. It seems like we have more goals than that. But it’s a start.

Mission Accomplished

Achieved: two meatless days. This one was pretty much like the other, except that I didn’t realize until I was on my way back from hula that I hadn’t eaten any meat.

Oh, and instead of ice cream I ate a bunch of organic fake Oreos. They aren’t Oreos, but they aren’t bad.

Air Conditioning and Refrigerator Maintenance

I could have studied this in high school, but I did not. Perhaps that’s why I’m not entirely sure how to get at my refrigerator coils. However, I’m going to overcome that lack of knowledge, as I have accepted another Carbonrally challenge: the Air-out Your Fridge challenge. I’m not sure why it’s hyphenated, but it seems like a good idea. Look out, refrigerator. Sometime this week, I’m coming for you.

The air conditioner is working fine, although I probably need to clean out the filter there as well. Mostly, though, I wish we had air conditioning throughout the apartment, and not just in the bedroom. Where’s my June gloom?

And while I’m asking unanswerable questions, when did Dana Carvey become a low-rent Robin Williams? Low-rent Robin Williams. Now there’s a depressing thought.

Meatless? Aimless?

So today was the first of my two meatless days for the week. Here’s what I ate:

  • instant oatmeal
  • boiled egg
  • cheese
  • macaroni with alfredo sauce (from Whole Foods, in a box)
  • pecans
  • raisins
  • yogurt
  • Cheerios with milk (the dinner of champions)
  • a whole lot of ice cream

Does it necessarily count as vegetarian, though? Or is it just a random collection of foods which does not happen to include meat? I’m not even sure if it’s healthy.

Hot Stuff

This weekend has been really hot, and it’s the kind of heat that comes with no air movement whatsoever. Naturally, this is when we ran out of water.

I believe that the city water supplies are safe. I’m not too worried about the pharmaceuticals in the water–the amounts, while measurable, are very low. Based on what I can tell, this is something that we should know about, not something that the media needed to turn into a panic-fest.

But our water tastes bad. It’s the pipes, not the water itself, so we get the reverse-osmosis water from those machines outside the supermarket, and have a stock of 5-gallon bottles that fit into a dispenser in our kitchen. This system works well until we stop paying attention to how many full bottles remain, and suddenly run out. So we just got back from a trip to the grocery store, where we also bought ice. Sometimes we also run out of ice.

Of course, it could always be worse. It looks like fire season may be starting, even though it’s early.

Guilty Conscience

I wound up driving to work today so that I could get the smog test done on the way home. And it turns out that the shops I’m most likely to go to are in the neighborhood where we live. So I could have taken the bus and then just driven to the smog test location. On the other hand, I’m more confident that I’ll get there before they close if I drive straight there, instead of timing my departure from work to the bus schedule.

But still.

Earth Day

Does it make me a bad person if I don’t do anything? I mean, I’ll do the usual things. For example, I’ll ride the bus to work. I’ll eat organic yogurt for one of my snacks. But these are things I do every day, not things that I do specifically because it’s Earth Day.

It’s just…I have the feeling that the Farmer’s Market is going to be really crowded. And I have to work during all of the celebrations that I’ve been reading about. Yet I do think that Earth Day is important. I’m conflicted.

Also, is it appropriate or ironic if, after work, I get my car smog-tested?

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