Kids & Parents

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The Downside of Takeout

Trash Can, full of disposable packaging

Ours is usually a 'half-full trash bin' sort of family. Some of our neighbors roll out an overflowing trash bin each week while our bin usually holds one small bag. Our full recycling bins and compost account for some reduction in our trash output. I try to avoid excess packaging and waste, but we definitely aren't a zero-waste family. Our trash bag filled quickly this week when we ordered takeout food that was packaged in unrecyclable styrofoam clamshells.

Darn!

Darning wool socks

The more I learn about conservation and frugality, the more I re-discover what my grandparents knew. In this case it's darning. I vastly prefer the warmth and comfort of wool socks, glove liners and sweaters to cotton and most synthetics. Those same wool garments (especially socks) consistently wear out in the same places. Instead of throwing out mostly-good wool socks I've started darning (mending) them and extending their useful life.

Eco Resolutions and Results

Times Square New Year's Eve Ball

Like many folks, I made a New Year's Resolution last January. "That's my plan for 2010, make one dozen changes to burn less fossil fuel and eat more locally." According to Psychology Today, "setting specific goals, sharing our resolutions with others, and focusing on the benefits of achieving the resolution" are simple strategies towards sticking to resolutions. I hoped my goal was ambitious yet achievable and I shared it with EcoDaddyo readers. Now let's see how well I kept my resolutions.

2010 Resolution Results

Why I Garden #18

French Tarragon, drying

We had the first hard freeze of the season last week. There were no light frosts, the low temps went solidly below zero (Celsius) in one night. The local meteorologist gave us ample warning so we pulled up tomato plants, harvested squash and chile and tender herbs. It was an exciting end to a full year of watering, weeding and tending. Tomatoes and tomatillos are slowly ripening, herbs are hanging to dry in the kitchen and apples are being sauced or fermented.

A Perfect 10/10/10

350.org 10/10/10 Global Work Party

So, do you have big plans for the weekend yet? If your Sunday is still open, check out the 350.org 10/10/10 Global Work Party to see if there are any events in your area. There are 10/10/10 events planned worldwide that range from group bike rides to trash clean ups and tree plantings. Santa Fe is home to a Skill-Share event and a long bike ride to join the Albuquerque event.

A Wild Time in Rocky Mountain National Park

Red Fox in Rocky Mountain National Park

In celebration of our upcoming anniversary, my wife and I visited Rocky Mountain National Park this fall. We love camping and neither of us had seen this great example of accessible wildness. Our trip turned out to be much more educational and exciting than expected. We had close encounters with wildlife, a tour of a lodgepole forest ravaged by pine beetles and a brush with wildfire all while surrounded by a gorgeous landscape.

Looking Back in Time

Farmers' Market on the Santa Fe Plaza Bandstand circa 1886

Have you ever wished you could go back in time? Well, until physical time travel is invented and perfected (I don't care to be a beta tester) looking at old photos is a reasonable substitute. The Third View is a recent project to document the west of the past and today. Third View revisited the sites of 1860's and 1970's western American landscape photographs. The project made new photographs in the late 1990's, kept a field diary and collected materials useful in interpreting the scenes, change and the passage of time.

Why I Garden #17

New Mexico Hops

I planted New Mexico Hops (Humulus lupulus L. var. neomexicanus) in the backyard several years ago and they have flowered prolifically this year. Each year these perennial vines spread further and are close to covering the fence they grow over. Hop flowers aren't likely to win a beauty contest but they are wonderfully fragrant in a way that few IPA lovers can resist. Now it's time to visit the local home brewing store and find a beer recipe to go with wild hops!

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Behold, the Majestic Plastic Bag

A little Monday humor, especially if you've watched a few too many nature documentaries like I have.

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Have McLeod - Will Travel

IMBA Trailbuilding School in the Santa Fe National Forest

I've been a trail user for years, hiking, biking and skiing trails across the nation. Over the years I've seen many good and bad examples of trail design and building. Now thanks to the International Mountain Bicycling Association, I have some formal training in how trails should be built and maintained. The IMBA Trailbuilding School rolled through Santa Fe and provided a day of indoor education and outdoor application of trail maintenance techniques.

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