My Green Summer Goals

by heather

30326952Yes, it’s finally here! Open windows and tree swings and barefeet and Farmer’s Market and thunderstorms!

I love summer. In fact, love is an understatement. I adore summer. I adore lemonade and hot weather and lightening bugs and carnivals.

And while I would love to spend the summer lounging in the backyard reading books and napping in the hammock, I still have to work. And, I do have some goals I want to get accomplished.

Summer Goal #1: Start Vermicomposting

Yep, I’ve been mulling over this for a while.

Why have I decided to vermicompost (composting with worms) instead of doing a regular compost pile?

Well, my house is up for sale right now, and most potential buyers don’t want to see piles of vegetables scraps and grass clippings. Plus, my yard is small, and that’s sure way to make it look even smaller.

The vermicompost bin I’ve decided on is the one made by Can-O-Worms. It’s $130, which is a bit steep, but I think it’s worth the investment.

The reason why I want to start vermicomposting is because I’ve come to realize that almost everything we throw away is food waste. Because our city has an incredible recycling program, almost everything we use can be recycled. So, the only stuff that really goes into our garbage now is food scraps.

With worms eating our food scraps, we’ll probably only have to put out the garbage once per month. Yay!

Plus, food scraps are a major source of methane production in landfills. And, that’s not good. Vermicomposting is going to allow us to eliminate all that.

I’ll be keeping you all updated on my adventures in vermicomposting, and I’ll publish a thorough product review later this summer after I’ve gotten the hang of my new Can-O-Worms system.

Summer Goal #2: Finish Up Our Shipping Container House Design

Once our house sells we’ll be one step closer to making our off-grid shipping container home a reality. Yahoo! So, A and I need to get our design really laid out using Google SketchUp.

We’ve got some rough sketches (you know, the kind you draw up on napkins), but I’m ready to see it to scale.  I want to start designing all the little hidden nooks and crannies that will maximize the small space.

So, that’s on the to-do list.

Summer Goal #3: Create A Rotating Menu To Save Money

Continuing my vendetta against the grocery store (where, in spite of my best efforts and countless posts, I still feel like I’m getting suckered), I’ve resolved to create a two-week or three-week rotating menu.

This menu is going to be all of our favorite meals, complete with ingredients.  That way I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel every time I sit down to plan the weekly menu.  All of our favorites will be listed on the sheet, in one place.

I’m hoping that this will streamline the process of menu-planning and save money at the store (because I won’t be “planning stuff on the fly” while I’m there).

I’m also hoping that if I have little traveling “recipe book” of our favorites, I can take advantage of good deals I find at the store.

I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

What Are Your Summer Goals?

Have any of you made summer goals for this year? Or, are you planning on spending your afternoons deliciously lounging in the backyard, doing nothing but watching clouds?

Perhaps most of us will be doing a combination of the two…

Anyway, if you’ve made some goals for this summer I’d love to hear what they are, so send ’em in!

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» My Green Summer Goals | The Greenest Dollar
June 15, 2009 at 11:30 am

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Heather June 15, 2009 at 10:28 am

My summer goals: start bike commuting at least a couple times a week (I already bus most of the time), stick with my new square foot gardens, trying composting for the first time – and it’s about time!, trying a CSA for the first time – LOVIN’ it!, learn more about the cloth-diapering adventure we are about to begin when our twins arrive, and continue getting ready for those baby boys’ arrival!

Janie June 15, 2009 at 11:33 am

Stumbled across your site by google-ing ‘shipping container homes’. Read your post about them and read your ‘to-do’ list of the summer. I love your blog. I have been reading about this really neat lady in Missouri who is documenting her building process of her shipping container home along a river. Some really great images.
http://8747house.blogspot.com/
Apparently her architects are doing the building too.
Just thought I would share, keep up the good work! You should show us your sketches!
J

simply stephen June 15, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Heather, what a challenging set of goals for the summer. You forgot one thing – a goal to enjoy the summer and every day as it comes.

I have a goal to spend quality time with my daughter (she lives in a different country) and to spread joy and green through my websites and twitter communications.

Allison June 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

My biggest goal for the summer is to do better with meal planning to 1) minimize food waste and 2) buy the majority of my food at farmer’s markets. I started a vermicompost bin a few weeks ago using a big Rubbermaid tub and it’s fantastic so far.

I’ve made a lot of progress of simplifying this year and I want to continue with the “one in – one out” policy as well.

Melissa June 16, 2009 at 5:21 am

Im behind on the game, so Im working on eliminating plastic from my house. Doing well so far. I am seriously looking at our trash and figure out how to continually reduce it. I have found other places to recycle things because our county is lacking in that department. i just need to find a place that will take single use batteries. My next batteries will be rechargeables though. I have begun composting as well as participating with my local CSA. Oh and going to the farmers market, reusable bags in tow and taking advantage of local farmers grass fed meats. We have also begun eating organic fruits and veggies (that we cant get from the CSA but are in season) and organic milk. I watched the Meatrix and will NOT waver on that one!!!!!!

heather June 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Everyone,

Thanks so much for writing in with your summer goals! I’m very behind on replying to comments (I’ve been away visiting family since last Wednesday) so I’m sorry about that!

Allison, I would love to hear more about your homemade vermicompost bin! I’ve been playing with the idea of making my own to save money, but it seems as if homemade ones would be hard to empty, and hard to drain. Have you found this to be true with yours?

Stephen, I hear you on enjoying summer. Summer is my favorite time of year, and I’m definitely going to take the time to slow down and really appreciate it. I always work outside in the afternoons (definitely the biggest perk of being self-employed and working at home!) and I usually have a date with my hammock by 5:00. 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who wrote in! I’ll be back on my usual posting and replying to comments on Thursday.

karen June 16, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Hi Heather,

I want to recommend a blog written by a friend of mine. She writes weekly menus with recipes every Monday on her blog. She also posted about composting and having a eco-friendly kitchen.
http://www.copywriterskitchen.com/

Let me know what you think about her blog.

karen June 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Oh, and tell her I recommended her blog. I’m sure she’ll appreciate the fact that people like her blog enough to recommend it. 🙂

heather June 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Karen,

You rock! I LOVE cooking blogs, and the fact that she’s a copywriter (which is what I do) is icing on the cake! Thanks so much for sending her blog along; I’m bookmarking it, and am now following her on Twitter. I’m sure I’ll get some great recipes from her!

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