Saturday, January 7, 2012

...and an ecofrugal new year

Happy 2012! Our winter holidays had a few ecofrugal highlights of interest:
  • our purchase of a bargain-priced pressure cooker, discussed in my last post of 2011;
  • a couple of ecofrugal-themed posters received as Hanukkah presents from my mom (one reading "Make Gardens, not War" and one on the ABCs of green living);
  • a trip to Half-Price books, where I found a secondhand copy of a live David Wilcox album for only six bucks (woohoo!);
  • caroling around the piano on Christmas day, a nice family-centered celebration that didn't cost anything or even require electricity;
  • a gift we received of three reusable mesh produce bags, which should be somewhat more elegant than taking home produce in reused bread bags;
  • a gift we gave to our six oldest nieces and nephews that went over big: "magic cloths," which are basically my homemade equivalent of Playsilks. Rather than spend $15 each on real silks, I just bought six yards of sheer fabric in different bright colors from a very nice seller on Etsy.com, and I composed a short poem to go with them, explaining how these magic cloths could take any form from a superhero's cape to a princess's gown to a ship's sail. The kids all got lots of Christmas presents, some of them quite elaborate, so it was very gratifying to see that our very simple, imagination-based toys still got plenty of playtime.
Now, as we leave Christmas behind, it's time to move on to New Year's resolutions. This year I've made several that fit the ecofrugal theme of this blog:
  1. Get organized about my garden. Last year family affairs disrupted the planting process in May and June, and I never really got back on track. This year, I want to stick to a proper schedule and get all my seeds ordered, my seedlings started, and my young plants in right on time—and then I want to stay on top of gathering them when the harvest rolls around, so that I don't end up with dozens of cherry tomatoes falling right off the vine before I get around to picking them.
  2. Get an energy audit for our house. I told Brian this was what I really wanted this year for my birthday, and he agreed to let me spend the $200 (half the regular price, thanks to a special promotion) for the full audit complete with recommendations. Maybe I can learn a way to keep warm while I work without resorting to wearing a jacket indoors.
  3. Practice acoustic music. One of my gifts from Brian was a ukulele (whee!), so I've vowed to learn at least three songs on it well enough to perform them in front of strangers. One fertile source of material I've discovered is the page of ukulele arrangements at the "Alligator Boogaloo" website. (Calling this ecofrugal is a bit of a stretch, but it qualifies by virtue of being low-cost, at-home entertainment that doesn't use any electricity.)
Anyone else out there have any ecofrugal resolutions, or any ecofrugal holiday gifts and/or experiences, that they'd like to share?
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