Hand washer

At Sierra Summit in San Francisco a few weeks back, we were able to purchase 1 literstainless steelwater containers at a reasonable price of $12.   After reading about the toxicity of plastics a few years ago, we have eliminated drinking and eating from anything plastic as much as possible. Instead of plastic water bottles we’ve been re-using glass juice bottles from Trader Joes but the glass bottles were hard to travel with (especially hiking)

At the Summit Jordanne was also given a couple of ‘Green Bags.’  These “green” grocery bags are easier to handle than the canvas bags that we’ve been using because they have a insert that allows the bags to stand on their own and they fold up quite easily.    Now we have 4 “green bags” and 8 cotton canvas bags to do our grocery shopping with!   I can’t believe how much stares we get bagging our groceries in canvas bags — perhaps the people are embarrassed they aren’t using them ( I hope so!).   The more I think about it, I can’t recall how many times we have stood in line at stores and there are hardly any incidences (very few, indeed) that we can recall seeing someone either recycling their bags or using a canvas bags.   It’s certainly difficult and an expense to purchase solar panels; but using canvas bag is one of the most easiest steps one can take to make a dramatic difference in the depletion of the earth resources!

Also, while we were at the Summit, Justin visited the SMA booth and asked the guy why our Sunny Boy inventor would sometimes “trip out.” He suggested that we install a fan and was nice enough to give us one (thanks!).   We hope that the fan solves the “tripping” problem and we won’t have to install larger wires.

The guys assembled the hand washing machine from Lehmans that we purchased over the summer. We are rather disappointed that it’s so small and feels quite rickety for the expen$ive price tag.    Next on our list is to purchase some larger oil lamps. The ones we bought last year are cheap replicas and we would like to replace them with better quality models.   Also, what’s great about oil lamps is that they can burn our homebrewed biodiesel!

Now about biodiesel: We are not advocates who believe that biodiesel is THE answer to our ceaseless consumption of petroleum. Just because we have a car that runs on biodiesel doesn’t mean that we drive more than before. (In fact, we are trying to drive less). The only ‘answer’ is that we consume too much energy and we need to reduce or eliminate our consumption.   The fact of the matter is this: There is nowhere near enough vegetable oil in this country, new or used, to substitute for our ever growing petroleum addiction.    Such solutions like biodiesel, solar panels, hybrid cars are what Jules likes to refer to as “band-aid” solutions (only temporary). For example, is it green and sustainable to have a biodiesel powered HUMMER? Defeats the purpose….. How about an electric can opener,  microwave (or even this pc!) powered by some sort of green energy? We need to look beyond these temporary solutions. As the world faces ever increasing danger based on its dysfunctional systems, there is a critical need to look ahead with a new vision which set eyes on forging a new path beyond permaculture, alternative fuels/energy and other so-called “green” trails.

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  1. Dermot says:

    One of the few good things done by the current Irish
    government was to tax plastic bags – as an anti-
    pollution measure:

    Overnight, they’ve disappeared from stores and
    streets – people largely bring their own.

  2. stella says:

    i get the same stares when i take my cloth bags into a store. even worse is the cashier’s reaction when i say i don’t need a bag to carry 3 or 4 items out of a store. i’ve gotten responses such as ‘are you sure?!’ and ‘well, i’ll give you one anyway…this is too much to just carry out’. it’s ridiculous. and when i tell them i have my own bag, they get flustered because it messes up their scanning routine and they seem scared to death to bag my items so i end up bagging them myself which is fine but funny.

  3. gerry medland says:

    Repetition for emphasis!It is a hard path to travel when all around are the obvious signs of so called ‘civilisation’ in the throes of death by its own hand.We who have been liberated just have to keep stating that there is another way,a better way,though long term solutions need long term evolvement,the message is clear,never miss an opportunity to spread the word to those that will listen.Thanks for another excellent post.

  4. chris brandow says:

    I wonder about the “green”-ness of using oil burning lamps. In terms of the amount of energy used, CO2 emitted, and other pollution (soot) produced relative to the amount of light produced, are such lamps preferable to a fluorescent light bulb, or even a normal incandescant one? There is such a complicated relationship between technology and environmentalism in terms of reducing our footprint.

  5. Anais says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments.

    Dermot – great for Ireland, way to go. I wish something like that would happen here in America. Paper and plastic bags are such waste and drain on environment.

    Stella- I have the same experience too! We mostly end up bagging our own (and getting pretty good at fitting lots of items in one bag!)

    Gerry – thanks for your comments. Hope all is well at your homestead (chickens and ducks doing fine?) It’s certainly a difficult path to travel, but knowing that there are others on the path certainly keep us inspired to continue our journey.

    Chris – thanks for your comments. It’s certainly a complicated balance between the old and new ways (we face this dilemma every day). However our oil lamps will be burning veggie oil (homebrewed biodiesel) so I think there will be no soot or fumes involved. Even though flourescant lights are energy savers – it’s still artifical light and there have been studies done that such lights are inferring with our natural body rhythms.