My Favorite Things – Embracing My Inner Earth Mother

When it comes global warming, I wish we could get past the arguments over whether or not it’s man-generated and instead focus on ways to care for our planet.  I certainly haven’t been an earth-mother, granola type in the past, but with the string of warm winters and this unusually warm fall (which I’ve been told is NOT related to global warming per se…whatever!), I’ve begun focusing on my own little carbon footprint and how I can minimize it.

Here’s what I’m doing these days:

  1. We have a nice collection of tote bags (in fact, I even designed a few of them – take a look here) and I take the bags with me whenever I do the food shopping so that we save on paper.
  2. I compost all of our non-dairy, non-meat food scraps.  Since we live in an apartment, I keep the scraps in a bag in the freezer until I can take them to the farmer’s market composting bins.  Not only am I doing something good for the earth, but our regular garbage is a lot less smelly.
  3. I turn off the water when I’m soaping up and shaving in the shower (no earth-mother hairy legs for me, thank you very much!) I figure I save quite a few gallons of water, plus it’s nice to enjoy the sensation of being covered in soap lather.
  4. We recycle our paper, plastic and metal.  In our building, it couldn’t be easier.  We just have to walk down the hall to the compost room and put the items in the appropriate bins.  Amazingly, there are people in our building who put old clothing into the paper bin, and dead flowers into the metal/plastic bin.  I’d love to recycle those neighbors, too, but usually I take the time to resort the items into the appropriate bins.  Someone has to do it, and the maintenance men sure deserve a break every once in a while!
  5. Being New Yorkers, we take public transportation all the time.  I love walking, so when I’m away from New York, if I can walk somewhere instead of driving, I’ll opt for that option.  It’s better for the environment, it’s healthier and some of my best ideas come to me when I’m outdoors walking!

How about you?  Do you have any green, earth-friendly tips in your routine to share?  I’d love to hear!

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6 Comments

Filed under Cartoon Illustration, funny art, Funny Illustrations, Humorous Illustration, My Favorite Things

6 responses to “My Favorite Things – Embracing My Inner Earth Mother

  1. I do not flush the toilet after every use! I compost even meat and dairy (small amounts are OK). I keep the temperature in my house at 64 degrees F., and I turn it down to 60 at night and when I leave. I try not to use AC in the summer, and when I do, I try to be moderate with it. I give money to environmental organizations, and lobby my members of Congress on environmental issues.

    I am impressed with your water-saving technique. I don’t think
    i could do it!

    I have known about climate change since way before it was called “climate change”. My dad was an engineer, and subscribed to nerdy technical journals during the 70s. One Saturday at lunch he said, “It says here there’s going to be a sort of anti-ice age. It’s going to get warmer instead of colder. More severe weather, sea level rises.” I freaked out, and he told me it wouldn’t happen in my lifetime. I wish that part were true…

    • Hi Helen,

      I’m impressed with what you’re doing! We can’t control the heat in our apartment, though we can turn it off completely…and maybe we’ll do that this winter since it’s been mild so far and our apartment tends to be too hot. I give to Central Park Conservancy, but that’s more because I love (and use) the park so much. 🙂

      The latest report today from the government/scientists definitely confirms humans’ part in global warming. I’m sure this latest report will be dismissed as “fake news” by YOU KNOW WHO. Actually, it was his pigheadedness that got me to start composting. When he pulled out the Paris Agreement, I decided it was time to step up my own efforts.

      It was a balmy 71 degrees here today, and will be the same tomorrow. Andy, who is in Milwaukee this week with the ballet, has been enjoying your more seasonable weather and temps.

      xoxo – Joana

      On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 9:25 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:

      >

  2. Stephanie Bowens

    Love your green tips. I first began using French “string bags” for groceries in the mid-70s, a practice I brought back to the US after having lived in Paris for a year. Over the years, this collection has been expanded by canvas and other bags.

    I lived in NY for 31 years, and walked to and from work during all that time. In 2005, when I was still in NY, I switched to all wind power for the electricity to my studio-loft apartment. This was at the invitation of Con Ed at the time. The options Con Ed actually offered were 1) continue with electricity as currently supplied by coal-burning power plants (least expensive choice), 2) opt for 50/50 hydro/wind (more expensive), 3) opt for all wind (most expensive.) I chose option 3 and was prepared to take the hit in my monthly bill, especially in summer when I ran the air-conditioning all the time. As it turned out, my non-AC season bill went up $5 per month, and, much to my astonishment and delight, I saw no discernible difference in my summer bill (if there was a difference, it was pennies.)

    In 2008, I moved to a three-story all-electric townhouse in suburban Boston, which used conventional coal-burning power sources. I immediately switched to an all-wind supplier, and the bill actually went down. I love my $64/month bill for 8 1/2 months of the year!

    My sole remaining fossil-fuel consumer is my car, still a 19th century technology internal combustion engine. The next car will be at least a hybrid, if not all electric. My water heater is dying and I am looking forward to investing in a Rinnai tankless water heater, so I don’t have to waste gallons of cold water waiting for the hot water to come up every single time I turn on the hot water faucet.

    Every little thing that each of us does contributes; either to the solution or to the problem. Whether you believe in human-caused climate change or not, I think we can all agree that we live in a closed, finite system. All we have is what is contained inside our own atmosphere. We have lived as exploiters and takers for millions of years, and continue to this day. That has a consequence and a price.

    Stephanie Bowens

    On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 8:56 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:

    > Joana posted: “When it comes global warming, I wish we could get past the > arguments over whether or not it’s man-generated and instead focus on ways > to care for our planet. I certainly haven’t been an earth-mother, granola > type in the past, but with the string of warm ” >

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my blog post about greener living! We’ve considered switching over to wind energy several times, but each time I’ve researched the switch, I get leery of doing it because it sounds like the providers (supposedly under the umbrella of ConEd) have little oversight and your bill can fluctuate a lot. I read one horror story online about someone who had switched and their bills went skyrocketing, but because they were not officially with ConEd, they had no recourse. After reading your comment, I may consider doing it again.

      I’m envious that you got to live in Paris for a year! I love Paris and think it would be so wonderful to live in such a spectacularly beautiful city. After being there two summers ago, NYC looked a lot less clean, pretty and cultured to me. But I DO love living in NY – so I just try to infuse little touches of “Paris” into my daily life. Living more mindfully of the environment is one way. I also now make my own yogurt each week, and I try to have fresh flowers in the house when I can. I regularly pare down my wardrobe (lots of trips to the Goodwill) to eliminate things I don’t wear or that look tired/out of style, and when I shop, I try to buy only things of quality and good fit. Sometimes I feel like I spend my life cleaning public bathrooms, but I figure that it takes little effort to pick up a stray paper towel or wipe the sink…and my hope is that maybe someone will be that much more thoughtful if they encounter a neat space. 🙂

      I hope you enjoy the extra hour we get today!

      With all best wishes, Joana

      On Sat, Nov 4, 2017 at 3:34 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:

      > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > New comment on JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO > > * Stephanie Bowens commented on My Favorite Things – Embracing My Inner > Earth Mother > > * > > I’m embracing my inner earth mother, and here’s why (and how)… > > Love your green tips. I first began using French “string bags” for > groceries in the mid-70s, a practice I brought back to the US after having > lived in Paris for a year. Over the years, this collection has been > expanded by canvas and other bags. > > I lived in NY for 31 years, and walked to and from work during all that > time. In 2005, when I was still in NY, I switched to all wind power for the > electricity to my studio-loft apartment. This was at the invitation of Con > Ed at the time. The options Con Ed actually offered were 1) continue with > electricity as currently supplied by coal-burning power plants (least > expensive choice), 2) opt for 50/50 hydro/wind (more expensive), 3) opt for > all wind (most expensive.) I chose option 3 and was prepared to take the > hit in my monthly bill, especially in summer when I ran the > air-conditioning all the time. As it turned out, my non-AC season bill went > up $5 per month, and, much to my astonishment and delight, I saw no > discernible difference in my summer bill (if there was a difference, it was > pennies.) > > In 2008, I moved to a three-story all-electric townhouse in suburban > Boston, which used conventional coal-burning power sources. I immediately > switched to an all-wind supplier, and the bill actually went down. I love > my $64/month bill for 8 1/2 months of the year! > > My sole remaining fossil-fuel consumer is my car, still a 19th century > technology internal combustion engine. The next car will be at least a > hybrid, if not all electric. My water heater is dying and I am looking > forward to investing in a Rinnai tankless water heater, so I don’t have to > waste gallons of cold water waiting for the hot water to come up every > single time I turn on the hot water faucet. > > Every little thing that each of us does contributes; either to the > solution or to the problem. Whether you believe in human-caused climate > change or not, I think we can all agree that we live in a closed, finite > system. All we have is what is contained inside our own atmosphere. We have > lived as exploiters and takers for millions of years, and continue to this > day. That has a consequence and a price. > > Stephanie Bowens > >

  3. Sharon Miranda

    Wow. I am so impressed by all these ideas and comments! I’m humbled. I thought I was doing a good job….sigh…
    I compost as much as I can all year round. I have 3 compost heaps in my garden and I sieve the compost every so often and use the garden gold in the garden.
    I hang out the wash all spring, summer and fall so that I don’t use the dryer. In the winter I hang out some wash (sheets) on a line in the basement.
    I recycle as many plastic bags as I can. The used and slightly soiled bags get put in a bag and go to drugmart where they have a recycling bin. I try not to throw away plastic bags.
    I recycle fluorescent lightbulbs at the hardware store in town.
    I have a water barrel in my garden and I use rain water to water my plants. Plants love rain water.
    I walk to town as much as possible.
    I lower the heat in the house at night to 60 and keep it pretty low during the day.(64º)
    I do not have AC.
    I contribute to several environmental agencies: 350.org, Pesticide Action Network, Union of Concerned Scientists,Environmental Working Group, among others.
    Of course, our little town has a nice curbside recycling program which I use.
    Every little bit helps, but maybe there are a few more little bits we can all do!
    Great post, kiddo!
    love, MM

    • You are the Queen of Green, Ma! Not only have you never had AC, but there’s always been just one family car. (And all those years without TV must have contributed to at least a little savings on electricity, right?)

      My next frontier is to see if I can move away from all the sandwich bags we use. The Eating Well magazine you sent had an ad for paper/non-waxed sandwich bags. Maybe they sell those at Whole Foods now? I recycle any plastic shopping bags we end up with for our trash can liners. That counts, right?

      XOX – Recyling J

      On Sun, Nov 5, 2017 at 11:01 AM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:

      >

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