Aug 03 2007
Actually, when I first read Meeta’s Monthly Mingle topic for August, I had these really fun flash-backs of when I was a child playing with my best friend Britt in her backyard and making “poshree du da” (one of our many made-up words). Poshree du da is you basic mixture of mud, rocks, and various other garden “ingredients” that you leave out at night to keep the “bad guys” away from your toys. But, I won’t make my entry about mud in a bowl…I actually have a really good earth recipe, but we’ll get to that at the end of this post.
I’m much more excited to talk about how I can help save the planet. Yes, we should all do our part, and it’s important to be conscious about what we do and what sorts of consequences they have, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it because I know I’m doing my fare share. Meeta asked us to share with our readers what we do to help save the earth, so, here we go:
- We don’t own or drive a car, instead we walk, bike, take the bus/subway, or rent a car when we really really need one
- We buy local: fruits, vegetables, and meats are all from local farmers and small family businesses and don’t spend hours on end in huge trucks being shipped across the country (we even buy local cat food!…and it’s less expensive than the more common brands)
- We recycle a plethora of materials (we have 5 different types of garbage), but the most important of all is the food recycling that the city composts and resells
- We don’t have air conditioning, instead, we enjoy the healthy breeze that comes through our apartment, and on the really really hot days, we turn a ceiling fan on in the room that we’re in
- We don’t leave the lights on in a room that we’re not in
- We wash everything on “eco” – our washer machine and dishwasher both have “eco” settings that take twice as long to wash, but save electricity and use much less water….my dishes and clothes also come out cleaner
- We don’t use a clothes dryer. We line dry, but in an emergency, my washer does have a built-in dryer that we use about 4 times a year.
- We don’t buy bottled water – we don’t need more packaging to throw into the dumps, besides, my tap water is quite yummy!
- We buy used – clothing, furniture, toys, dinnerware, etc.
- We don’t own a printer – we try to keep our documents digital, if we need something printed, we go to a print shop and pay 15 cents per page…it’s MUCH MUCH cheaper…just do the math
- Our shopping lists are digital – I use a PDA for reading electronic books as well as keeping my shopping lists
- We turn our computers off at night. Yes, you actually save money …a few cents a day add up at the end of the year. It also helps to lower you cooling bill if you have air conditioning (computers produce heat!!)
- I water my plants at night – there is less evaporation so I don’t have to water them twice a day
- I cloth my child (80% of the time) in cloth diapers
- I could keep going…but I think you get the point.
So, now, I am going to tell you where I can improve…I’m not perfect:
- I take 1 long airplane trip a year to go back home to the US and visit my family…airplanes emit a lot of carbon dioxide
- I should probably only run my dishwasher and washer machine at night time when energy prices are lower and in less demand
- I should collect rain water to water my plants at home
- I should use less dishes while cooking so that I don’t have to run the dish washer as often as I do
- I’m sure I’m missing quite a lot, but I’m currently drawing a blank…
And now, my Earth Food: Vegetable Soup with Pistou
1,5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1,5 Lbs of New Potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 Lb of Carrots, cut on the diagonal
1 Cup of Celery, sliced
1 pinch of Safron
1/2 Lb of Green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Lb Zucchini cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 Cups of Soup Noodles (uncooked)
Salt and Pepper
1/4 Cup of Parsley
1/2 Cup of Hazelnuts
2 Garlic cloves
3 Cups of fresh Basil
1 Tomato, peeled
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
In a large pot add potatoes, carrots, celery, and olive oil. Stir for 1 or 2 minutes, and then add 8 cups of water and saffron. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the green beans and continue to cook until the veggies are almost tender (~25 minutes). Add the zucchini and noodles and simmer until the noodles are tender (~10 additional minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
In a small skillet, toast the hazelnuts over medium-high heat, stirring often. While the nuts are warm, place them in a folded cloth or towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. Transfer the nuts to a food processor, add garlic cloves, and process until finely chopped. Add the basil, parsley, and tomato and process. Scrape down the sides as necessary until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Add water to thin it out as necessary. Transfer to a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and serve with soup.