This and that

Well, Simple Year friends, we’re about a month away from our one-year anniversary — and I have a lot of loose ends to tie up before our next contributor comes on board.

Which reminds me — I’ll have information posted very soon regarding how to apply for Simple Year 6. Your job is to think about what sort of project you’d like to tackle and maybe start working on a couple of writing samples.

But today we’re talking updates.

Boil Water Emergency

It wasn’t that long ago I talked about our zero waste (-ish) emergency supply kit and Diane did us a solid by writing about her own experiences, so you’d think I’d have this all sorted out.

I don’t really have art for this post so here’s a picture of pretty Pearl taking a nap.

Well, I thought I did, too — until the main waterline broke just down the road from us and a boil water order went into effect while crews fixed the line. (That’s a regulatory thing water districts are required to issue as a precaution, incidentally.)

What my kit is lacking: A water supply. This made me laugh a little when I went to brush my teeth before work on Wednesday and nothing came out of the faucet. I’d already put toothpaste on my toothbrush and was trying to figure out the best way to get that whole ordeal to my office — I’d just use the water there! — when it occurred to me that I could melt ice from the freezer and use that. (Why is my first response always to make things harder?!)

Well, it worked, although later that evening Eric and Johanna brought home two gallons of purchased water from the store. Seeing those jugs on the counter was just weird. The water had come back on by then, but it was really scary not knowing if it was going to make us sick. (I have … well, I’m a hypochondriac, so that’s fun, and a pessimist, and this did a number on my mental stability, I’m not even going to lie.) I was grateful for the bottled water, but I didn’t like it, if that makes sense.

Well, whatever. The tests came back by Friday morning saying that all was well, and then — oh, this part of the story is hilarious — it turns out we didn’t even need to boil our water after all; I’d misunderstood the districts under the order. Yeah, not awesome.

Um … the end, I guess.

Oh, wait, no it’s not. Eric got a brand of water where you buy the plastic jugs and then fill them up at a kiosk, and the plan is to keep the jugs and reuse them as needed. I’m not keen on keeping them around (how often will we really use them?) but Eric seems to think this is a good idea, and I suppose reusing something is better than using it once and pitching it into the recycling bin. (It’s the minimalism / zero waste war in action.)

Plastic Bag Ban Update

On March 1, our town’s plastic bag ban went into effect at three of the major stores in town (two grocery and the Store That Must Not Be Named), and everyone in a fifty mile radius lost their minds.

Huh. I was not expecting so much negative feedback via Facebook and letters to the editor. Probably because I’m on the environmental side of the fence and was totally jacked about it finally happening.

I was also not expecting that people who live outside of town — or those who live in Washington State and cross the bridge to shop because Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax — felt like this was a slap in their faces and that the city council didn’t “listen to the people” when they passed the ordinance.

( … They listened to me.)

Well, whatever — this just began, and eventually people will calm down and get used to it. Um, right? There did seem to be a less angry vibe in the grocery store during my usual weekend shopping trip this time. And I saw a lot more reusable bags in carts, which was heartening.

All the plastic bags of produce was not heartening, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction.

Also heartening: A comment on our website from a woman in the town next door who was giddy about our ban and hoping it would come there next. I hope so too.

Dang It All to HECK

I broke my reading glasses last week, and I’m not really sure what to do about that. I’ve broken them before and had them fixed, but my eye doctor cautioned that this would just keep happening and eventually I’d have to replace them.

Well, I don’t want to replace them! I like these frames and they don’t make them anymore. But I may not have a choice.

So I’m trying to figure out my options. This would be easier if I knew what my options are. Can I get a used pair of frames and have my old lenses put into them? Do I have to buy new frames? If I do, can I use my old lenses? Can I live without my glasses for the two weeks it will take to have them fixed, as they have to be sent “away”? I have a pair of bifocals, but they kind of hurt my head.

I sense a conversation with my eye doctor coming soon. In the meantime, I’m content to just look like a dork with my glasses sliding off my nose at all times.

Next up: I’m putting together a list of environmental groups that could really use our help right about now — maybe as a volunteer, maybe financially — as I promised to do … oh, geez, months ago. Also on the list: Zero waste decluttering, how to make a recycled journal, and what I buy when a zero waste / minimal waste option isn’t available.

12 Responses to This and that

  1. I’m sad there’s only a month to go, too! I just found this blog recently.

    Re: eyeglasses: the environmental impact from shipping probably isn’t great, but my mom and I both used this company to have our eyeglasses repaired when our local eye doctor said they weren’t fixable. Worked out great! You can read their reviews on Yelp.

    • Oh, interesting — I hadn’t thought of finding an independent shop! I appreciate the link. I might have Eric just glue the … what, side piece ear thing, that’s what snapped off … onto the main frame and see what happens. It couldn’t look worse than it already does! But we’ll see, that might not be a good solution either.

  2. I’m sorry this year is coming to an end! I’ve really enjoyed reading your work (I guess that’s why you’re a professional writer). Hang in with the plastic bag ban — everyone complained here for the first week or so, then they got used to bringing their own bags. It’s pretty awesome to see all the reusables at the stores now! (And I’m in San Diego, which is pretty Republican).

  3. I wanted to share something encouraging that happened at my grocery store that you mentioned a few weeks ago. The store used to sell mandarin oranges in mesh bags and I put in a request last winter to source them without coming in a bag or box. I had stopped buying them and had forgotten all about my request. When I came to the grocery store this weekend, I saw that they were now selling mandarins loose and people can buy as few or many as they need without packaging! Sometimes it takes a year but change can happen!

  4. I’m going to miss your posts, Trisha! I’ve enjoyed following your zero waste journey, especially since you’re just down the road. Oh, and I met the guy who owns the natural food store in HR at the Charlotte airport. I immediately asked him about his bulk offerings! 🙂 Said he knew you when I told him about the blog. Would love to share more over coffee. In our reusable mugs, of course!

    • Oh, Chris is a nice guy — I’ve written a couple of stories about the shop over the years. 🙂 We are TOTALLY going to meet for coffee eventually!

    • I am planning to start a new blog … Kinda kicking around ideas but I would like to continue focusing on minimalism, zero waste and simplicity. Um, after about a month’s break. 😉 Anyway, thank you — I really have appreciated all the support this year!

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