Boat & Home

Walk Lightly on the Earth

My on-going study of the philosophy behind yoga has circled back to ahisma, non-violence, and one way I focused on implementing this last time was trying to cut down on waste. Now that Skye is potty-trained, a big source of waste, diapers, has been eliminated (we did cloth diaper her for a while, but kept switching back to disposables when we traveled), I’m looking for the next big way to cut down on our waste.

Where we’re living at the moment has some recycling, so food cans, La Croix cans, and many plastic containers go into the recycling, which is much better than the landfill. Cardboard and anything else that can be burned is in the pile to burn. I’m trying to figure out if one of our neighbors has a compost (we won’t be here long enough to establish our own) that I can contribute food scraps to.

Bigger picture, we’re considering purchasing some land and building (Geoff wants a home we can return to that is ours instead of crashing with my parents). As we were tossing around ideas, I realized that it would be simple here to build a completely off-grid home that has all the creature comforts. Making environmentally friendly choices in building material will help this project.

Which means waste comes back to what we consume each day and I’m always looking at new ways to cut down the waste. While using soap nuts for laundry detergent and remembering my reusable shopping bags makes some dent, my trash still fills up.

Another downside of living in the mountains is the increased use of fuel. While on the boat, I’d sold my car and, with the occasional exception of a rental car, I biked everywhere. It was not only eco-friendly, it was good for me. However, with town a good 20-minute drive from where we live, Skye’s school even further away, and even the nearest grocery store a good 8 minutes, I find myself driving a lot these days. I got a Subaru for it’s all wheel drive and roof racks instead of the gas-sipping Prius I considered.

I wonder if the hydroelectric system we hope to put in will produce enough power to charge a Tesla, if Tesla will ever make a car capable of handling rough mountain roads, and if this will even matter by the time we build (how far off is a complete uberization of car ownership anyways)?

I’m off topic though. Instead, I want to think of just one step, one thing I can change next, to reduce our impact further. Metal straws are trendy, but I’ve just stopped using straws altogether. I’ve switched to a shampoo bar, which I’m loving. I’ve been homemaking many of my cosmetics for years.

Which leads me back to staring at the trash can, wondering what else I can do. I see the top of a Styrofoam raman noodles container, something Geoff picked up while sick to try and eat. Not a good choice, but unlikely to be repeated. Some wet wipes Skye “cleaned” with. Maybe that’s what I’ll tackle next, the convenience and cleaning power of wet wipes in a reusable format….hello pinterest 🙂