Thursday, December 31, 2009

REmarkable REsponses REgarding REsolutions REgister

Just saw a sign on a church: RE-connect, RE-focus, RE-new---PK (REsponding to my own post)

Just ran across these 10 ideas of how to RE-use plastic bottles --- PK (REsponding to my own post)

Thanks for this excellent piece. You've done a lot of the legwork for someone who wants to do the right thing regarding the environment (and society). Oh, and REgarding the RE's, I'll second the RElax. Since I've been laid off, my back pain has virtually disappeared. Stress really does go straight to your spine. Also one might think about REinvesting  in local businesses, farms, banks, services. Arianna Huffington had a post about moving your money from a big financial institution (Citibank) to a community bank or credit union. Keeping the money local helps. Also, REad. Does that count? I got a kindle last year and have never read more.--- Eric

I found your post to be motivating (and inspriational) -- we’ve tried many of the things in your list in the past but tend to drift away from them.  Now is the time to make them permanent habits.--- Andy

Yes, yes and yes! Thanks Peter!
On the subject of food; I just received my pea-patch lot, and want to find the best guide on growing vegetables. Do you have any favorites? ---Vicki
( Yes, Vicki: Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew is the best by far. You can buy it from the Urbal Tea Store.)

I find myself thinking about your resolutions often.  Indeed, I've started my own "compost stock" bag in the freezer, and am actively looking for ways to reuse plastic containers.  Now if I could only figure out something to do with those NYT delivery bags...---Tom

In her comment below, Nancy G said...
How about RElax? Have a look at another blog and this posting in particular. Ruth Stout's book is worth looking for.

Bravo! Peter---Ching

how bout REinvent?
of course, I also have to REedit.  40+ times.
and then there is REthink.
and REmarry.
(35, this coming year)
REfinance also.
REact or not.

and a happy New Year that is hopefully not REally REcycled except the good way.
Amen----Stephanie Palewski

I'm a bit stuck on Re-al which would be good if I had a buddy named Al. I'll keep thinking.---PEE

How about REinvigorate the environment. All it takes is REthinking our daily consumerism and REeducating ourselves and our communities about REspect for the environment. Collectively, we can undo some of the environment damage and turn this thing around. Love to all, keep up the urban farming.---Lana and Artis Yopp

A few notable omissions:
How about RE-volt!
                    RE-distribute (the ill-gotten wealth of America's banks, investment institutions, etc.)
                    RE-frain from participating
                                  ----Will Brumbach

REally agree with everything you've said.  And I've been REinspired to do more and better!!!--- R. Bahr

Pete, as I was REading this message, David was sorting and carting all our recycling so we could go together to the Enfield transfer station, which unlike Thetford's 3 hours on Saturday morning set-up (with some hefty fees) is open four days and two NIGHTS a week.  New Hampshire may not be all bad, I'm thinking.  So on the way to recycle before supper I tell him about your REsolutions and he tells me -- God's honest truth, now --that while setting aside my father's blue plastic gin bottles, which cannot be recycled here, he was thinking about whether he could make them into some kind of wall or table, sort of cobalt stained glass effect, and was actually fitting them together to see how they'd go....  I guess REtired Kelman men think alike and a good thing it is for Planet Earth. ---M. Rich

Nice suggestions, Pete. Working on some of them. Those blue bags are my un-favorite.
  • REusing paper is really important too!  
  • Weight REducing is so so painful tho.. food is so good, bad-for-us food is at least as good as any good-for-us food is, but we will do it!
  • and REmember: use your coffee grounds to clean your cast iron pans, any other pans that are grotty, and it deodorizes your sink as well. --- E. Cohen

Here are two I personally have started to do that I would like to add to your comprehensive list:
  • REfrain from eating meat products, especially beef.  Cows are a huge contributor to carbon in our atmosphere. 
  •  REduce purchases of books/magazines when we can borrow the same titles from the library.  We need the trees to provide us with our supply of oxygen. --- D. Radtke

RE-RE-RE-RE: The Decade to Come (Part 3)

  • to this list again and again to add other ways in which I can REawaken my sense of REsponsibility for the world in which I live.
  • my friends, relatives, and social media contacts likewise, to REturn again and again to this and/or their own list of REsolutions to REstore and REmake our world; see ya on Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Linked-in, and on this blog, as well as on whatever other new social media will emerge over this next REmarkable decade
Please add your own ideas to the above and/or to the RE list below, as well as adding any RE words you’d like to this list.















































RE-RE-RE-RE: The Decade to Come (Part 2)

  • Plastic containers that are not accepted anywhere in NYC for recycling (e.g., most take-out containers) by using them to sort and store: small REcovered hardware supplies such as nails, screws, tacks, nuts, bolts, mollies, etc. as well as miscellaneous REcovered desk supplies such as rubber bands, paper clips, pencils, etc. as seed-starting containers. I also plan to REuse some of them for indoor seed starting.
  • older appliances with energy efficient ones; we’ve been doing this but have a few more to go in our tenant apartments.
  •  older windows and exterior doors with new energy-saving windows and doors; we’ve been doing this, but have a few more to go in our tenant apartments and one in our own; there’s even a tax credit for this now!

Stay tuned for more REsolutions and some REmarkable Responses Received already!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

RE-RE-RE-RE: The Decade to Come (Part 1)

(After Aretha Franklin’s “RESPECT”)

Probably enough has already been said in the media about the decade of EXcess now coming to a close. Instead of EXcoriating that EXecrable and EXcruciating period, my REsolution for the new decade is to REdedicate myself to RE-claiming the political, cultural, and personal high ground in an effort to REconceive our world and REshape our lives for our children and their children.

Please join me in REjecting the decade of EX and REplacing it with the decade of RE by adding your own REsolutions to the growing list below.

I REsolve that in the next decade I’m going to RE-RE-RE-RE-RE-RE

  • our consumption of plastic, especially bottles, bags, pre-packaged goods. 
  • my weight, so after the holidays, it’s back to the South Beach Diet for awhile.
REfrain from:
  • buying goods that have likely been shipped long distances by air or truck such as fruits and vegetables from Latin America, Florida, and California; shipments by ship are OK (e.g., olive oil from Italy) 
  • accepting plastic bags from merchants; we need to be more vigilant about always having RE-usable sacks .  
  • eating empty calories, especially those containing corn and refined sugar.
  • every plastic container that comes into our house, such as cottage cheese and yogurt containers, which we already use to freeze Therese’s excellent compost stocks and which we use at the homeless shelter (where we are overnight volunteers) to pack up left-overs for the guests lunch the next day.
  • those damned blue New York Times home-delivery bags; currently, we use them to collect and transport unusable vegetable waste to our backyard compost bins before throwing them away in garbage, but in future we will try to RE-direct them to our friends/relatives who have dogs to use as pooper-scoopers. Although both these uses mean the bags ultimately go to a landfill, supposedly they are bio-degradable (a few months outdoors, 3 years in a landfill.
  • our plastic freezer storage bags, which we currently RE-use in the freezer until they are no longer airtight at which point we RE-use them whenever we buy produce, including at: our local Greenmarket and the Park Slope Co-op.
  • all other transparent plastic bags, which we already use to bag recyclable paper and/or metal, plastic, and glass per the NYC Sept of Sanitation rules.
  • all opaque plastic bags that we’ve gotten from merchants who don’t provide paper bags when we’ve forgotten our reusable sacks; currently we use them as garbage bags (so we don’t have to buy plastic garbage bags) and to put out RE-turnable bottles for trash scavengers to take to REdemption centers. (Yes, I know trash scavenging is illegal, but here in NYC it’s a fact of life, and putting out the REturnables seems to dissuade these scavengers from going through one’s trash.
Stay tuned for more REsolutions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Moving On

Unlike Peter, who ponders his panties as a measure of time, I find that each year around this time is when I have my greatest reflections (and they has nothing to do with what's hanging on the line). This is the time when I come to terms with the fact that another year has passed. It isn't the start of the holiday season, but rather the end of my gardening season. This is when I'm forced to move through the rows, raised bed by raised bed, untying wires, collecting tomato cages, composting some plants, while disposing of others in the trash, picking up pots and stakes, lots of stakes, and discovering lost trowels. I dread this time of year. I hate cleaning up and shutting down. (I haven't mastered the art of winter gardening. Yet.) It makes me feel sad.


I am nearly a year older.

I rip up the tomatoes. I think about all the salsas I didn't make but all the sauce I did. Did I eat enough tomato sandwiches? Farewell peppers. You were too good to us. Broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, peas, and beans, you gave it a good fall attempt but the caterpillars and visiting human guests did you in. See you in spring strawberries and asparagus.

But wait. Hellooo, garlic. I see you. Your bright green shoots have turned my mood around. Sure, it's the end of one season, but the new season is already starting. Time to start planning.