Vamosverde’s Weblog

{September 18, 2010}   Why I haven’t been blogging…

Our new baby girl Rowan


{January 30, 2010}   Dr. Bronners Warning

I have been buying Dr. Bronners soap in bulk and putting it in reusable containers to use in the bathrooms. I found out that you should NEVER put Dr. Bronners in a pump style dispenser!!!!

It will clog and then it will squirt directly into your eye. OUCH!!!!!! As I was writhing on the floor in agony my husband was reading the lable. If you know Dr. Bronners then you know he has a lot of craziness written all over the bottle. Amongst the Kipling quotes, and directions to live a moral life was this warning:

“WARNING! Keep Out of Eyes. If Cap Clogs, Poke It Clear Only: Do Not Squeeze Bootle and Shoot Out Soap. Soap Can Clog and Spurt with Pump Dispensers.”


I still buy Dr. Bronners but I will no longer be transferring it to the pump dispensers.  Also I will make sure that the cap never gets clogged!!!!

{December 13, 2009}   7th Day: Giving Back

Well the whole week I have been picking up trash as I walk. But I’m walking to work so if I picked up all the trash I saw, I would never make it to work.  Another disturbing thing was I picked up a whole bunch of bottles near this downed tree.  It was so heavy that I deposited it in the nearest trash can.  I should have recycled them but I didn’t want to carry sticky, stinky, heavy liquor bottles around town looking for recycling. Normally I would have recycled them.

Our 7th Day was a Saturday Tom and I walked Aspen to her friend’s house for a play date. We were having a No-Drive day.  We were picking up trash along the way.  We found some batteries – toxic litter is even worse than regular. But they were still in the package and still worked. So we can use them, Score!

I continue to do my walk once a week and pick up trash along the way.

{December 9, 2009}   6th Day: WATER

So it has been a month since our No-Impact week but I never finished telling you about it. Sorry… sometimes life gets in the way and also we had to get our lap top repaired.  So I will continue with our project….. 


Have you timed your shower? I figured mine was under 5 mins so I never bothered, but it is good to know.  So a solo shower with washing my hair and timing from the time I turn the water on … not from the time I get in……Is 3 mins 4 seconds.  We often take family showers, especially rinse offs after a hot tub. I haven’t timed it but I bet it’s still under 5 minutes even with the three of us.  Showering can use between 5 and 10 gallons of water every minute so yes, shaving off a couple minutes can really make a difference. 

So this is our new water saving change this week:   always having the dish bin under the faucet when we run the water to collect the excess.  We can then use this water to rinse dishes or wash hands.  I’ve been making lots of bread this week. For luke warm water I let the faucet run a while but now we’re not wasting that water.  

Rather than running the faucet Tom has been heating the water in the microwave because he figures this is more energy efficient. Probably, but I really don’t like using the microwave much. Sometimes I feel like by “going green” you have to choose what you want to focus on the most…like water saving, or power saving or eliminating plastic, or going non-toxic or organic.  It’s so hard to do everything. I guess the point of this project is letting you see what you can do and what you may want to focus on.

{November 7, 2009}   ENERGY

We have already taken steps to reduce our energy. For instance we have our Entertainment Center and Computer on power strips so we can power it all down when were not using it.  I use a clothesline. In the book No Impact Man he did his laundry in the tub  (grape-stomping style).  I was not going that far.  This week I only had 3 loads of laundry to do. I think both Aspen and Tom have been better at wearing their clothes more than once. Maybe it was just cuz Halloween was last week and Aspen wanted to wear her costume every day.

So what was our big challenge?  No TV.  All week.  Aspen was talking big about all the other stuff she could do. We were talking about doing the challenge for the whole month at that time. On Monday Aspen was crying and I was a “MEAN MOM”.  She is reading more and she and Tom have been playing games in the evening. We did family yoga before bed the other night.  I have been sleeping more with all the walking and smoke clogging my lungs.

{November 6, 2009}   LOCAL FOOD

We already get our vegetable from our local CSA. This week I put an order in for a local, organic turkey for Thanksgiving and I also signed up for milk delivery.  The dairy is actually in California but the delivery service is from town.  To start out we will get milk in reusable glass bottles, butter, ice cream and local eggs delivered. I am really excited about this.

November 2009 008 

Since today was local food day we decided to dine at Diablo Burger. They get their meat local and their veggies. We even had a local wine from Page Springs that was really good.  Aspen said that it is the best cheeseburger she’s ever had and the fries are really good too.

{November 4, 2009}   TRANSPORTATION

I have always felt like we don’t have a lot of options here. We live about 7 miles south of town and the urban trail system doesn’t connect out here and the bus doesn’t run out here. I haven’t had a lot of luck this year setting up a carpool to school. Yesterday I had a no-drive day. So for the first time this year I sent Aspen home on the bus. She is in 2nd grade. This year her school switched schedules so she has 2 stops where she switches buses then rides home with the high school and middle school kids. She had a friend walk her through the routine.

This morning I dropped Aspen and her friend at school then brought the car to the shop and walked over the hill to work.  This week I will walk from her school to work and back. It definately takes more time and I have to keep my mind off the fact that I could be at work getting paid.  I never have time to schedule in exercise so here I can kill to birds with one stone.  Plus it’s a lovely walk. The weather is gorgeous right now. We had snow last week now it’s back to 75°. After this week I don’t think I’ll do the walk everyday but probably a couple times a week. I didn’t think it was doing much but I figure it’s probably 3 miles each way so for the week I will be saving 24 miles in the car! Cool huh?….Not to mention buns of steel!

November 2009 005

Urban Trail

{November 3, 2009}   TRASH

Today our challenge is to elimate our trash. I have been trying to lessen my trash since the beginning of the year and I don’t find it easy.  Food packaging especially seems to be my nemisis.  I just don’t have time to make everything from scratch.  In the book I was impressed and a little bit annoyed by how easy he made this seem. I attribute it to the access he had in New York to different shops and farmer’s markets.

The family did pretty good today with our trash except for candy wrappers!  We’re still munching on the Halloween candy.

Saturday I spent the morning (and half the afternoon) with my crafty chicas. I sewed up these veggie bags to use at the grocery instead of plastic bags. I will also use them at the bulk bins.  They are made from a sheer curtain I got at a second hand store. This way they are nice and light and see-through. We are allowed to buy food this week but we will probably just use what we have. (I do have to put a deposit this week on a local turkey for Thanksgiving.) But the new bags probably won’t be used until next week. They are quite pretty, I could use them as gift bags too.

green 001

I still haven’t made bagels but I did a loaf of bread in the bread machine today for sandwiches this week.  Tomorrow’s challenge is transportation. This will probably be our hardest challenge. I had a No-Drive day today but tomorrow I have to go to work. We’ll see what we can do.

{November 2, 2009}   No Impact Shan

Starting today our family is going to participate in a week of the No Impact project. It is a one week carbon cleanse.

Tom and I both just read the book No-Impact Man by Colin Beavan about a man, his wife and daughter trying for a  whole year to make as little impact on the earth as possible. There is also a documentary but we haven’t seen it. I think a week will be pretty easy but we shall see. We’re going to do it for a week and then maybe do it for a month later on.  It is a seven step program so each day you add another challenge.  It takes some of the green ideas and takes it to the extreme to really challenge you to see what changes you can make in your life.  Not everything is going to work for the long run but some will and this will help us see where we can change.  Over the last year are family has already made alot of changes.  That’s why I think just one week will not be too hard for us.

Today our challenge was Consumption.  We were not suppose to buy anything new for the week.  I think this is easy because we can easily put off purchases for a week. We have done no-buying months  before and I have learned that alot of times you can do without what you really think you need. I have put things down on a list to buy after the ban was over and by the end of the month I don’t need it anymore. This is a valuable lesson. How much do we really need?

For the project we were suppose to make a list of things we needed to buy for the week.  Then delete items that we could do without and with the remaining items see if we could buy it used, make it ourselves or barter for it. We didn’t have a list because we are pretty stocked up felt that we could make it a week without anything new, but I am sure things will come up. They always do.

For instance, we went to church this morning and they were selling fair trade coffee and tea. Tom and I have started buying loose leaf tea to cut down on packaging but we don’t have a container to store it in.  I thought about buying some tea because we could reuse the tin but then remembered we weren’t buying. I still may buy a tin at some point.  After church our daughter wanted to go get some bagels at the local shop. I told her since we aren’t consuming we would have to go home and make bagels. We actually didn’t because we were tired from a big Halloween night but I may try to make some this week. I’ve never made bagels before.


 Shan 107

My crafty friends have been making sandwich bags. I decided to try it last weekend. I used a plastic sandwich bag as my pattern.  The inside is rip-stop nylon. The outside is any leftover fabric I had.  And the velcro is 3/4 inch to seal the top.  We recycle all our plastic bags and I haven’t bought any new ones for about a year. At some point they just get nasty and need to be thrown away.  These bags can be rinsed out or thrown in the wash! They should last and last. Also check out the bag dryer my husband and daughter made me for Mother’s Day. I love it!! We sent one to my parents too with no explanation. They had no idea what it was. It was made with a chunk of wood we had and then holes were drilled for the dowels to stick out. Very easy and we use it every day.

Shan 109

et cetera