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It's about time!

Yeah, yeah, I'm embarrassed to say I'm still a little addicted to paper.  I like receipts, I like holding a paid bill in my hand, I love filing things away.  But finally I signed up for paper statements for nearly all of my recurring mail.  I proved to myself last year that I could manage keeping track of and paying an online bill so the rest should have followed suit a while ago.  The worst offender was the bank statement - I barely even look at those!  Better late than never, I guess?

I also signed up today for the ConEd Solutions Green Energy plan, something that has mystified me for a while and I'm still not totally clear on.  Deregulation has made it so that you can choose an energy supplier - in New York City, ConEd stays the deliverer - and some of these suppliers are green suppliers, using wind, biomass, etc.  I've known about this since long before Fix but somehow never got around to doing it and every time I tried got intimidated by ConEd's terribly designed website and an overload of information.  Feeling a little reckless, today I chose ConEd Solutions, vaguely reassured by the fact that they are a ConEd company (I'm sure it doesn't make a damn bit of difference), therefore putting my money behind alternative energy.  What I think is going to happen is that I will continue to get a ConEd bill, with both ConEd's and ConEd Solution's charges on it, and my power will cost approximately 2-3 cents more per kilowatt hour.  ($4-5 more per bill, but the taxes are waived, which are about $2...so $3 total per bill?  We'll see.)  

Continuing the trend of spring greening, I bought a tomato plant this weekend at the farmer's market.  I wasn't going to do the tomatoes this summer because I didn't want to have to find a ride to the Bronx to get the plants and then buy a bunch of soil that I would have to throw out or store for the winter.  But since they were right there and looked so beautiful and strong and smelled so delicious - a tomato plant has the most distinctive smell! - I went ahead and grabbed one.  I've got my PayDirt from the LESEC (made from my own kitchen scraps?) and the pots from last year, so I guess I'm good to go.  Now if it will only warm up a little!  If you haven't already, read Michael Pollen's sweet little plea to plant a garden this year.

In more "it's about time!" news, my building management has finally put out two little recycling bins in a hard-to-reach and unmarked spot in the garbage area!  The paper bin was full of construction crap and the plastic/metal one had maybe one can and a plastic bottle.  In a rare appearance, the porter was taking care of the trash when I was down there and blamed the cans' misuse on "them" (meaning the tenants).  "They just throw whatever wherever."  Yeah, I'll bet.  The tenants just throw the construction debris from the apartment the management renovated into the recycling bin.  Whatever, it's a start.   

Honestly, following up on all these little things is of course good for the environment and generally more efficient for my life, but feel a little boring compared to the challenge of not buying anything new for a year.  In some ways, it's easier to be an Environmental Super Hero, as arduous puts it, than to put into motion all these piddly little changes.  Even One Local Summer, a blogosphere challenge that requires making one meal entirely from local ingredients per week feels kind of small enough not to commit to doing it...I do that sometimes anyway, right?  Wouldn't One Local Week or One Local Month feel more hard-core and maybe more rewarding?  We'll see: I'd like to do some kind of Eating Good in the Hood series this summer...stay tuned.   

Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 at 07:18PM by Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf | Comments4 Comments

Reader Comments (4)

Yeah, it's hard for me to do the little things too. Like the asking people if they have to give you a receipt? I hate that. I'd rather drive one fewer day than constantly have to ask people not to give me a receipt.

I know the little stuff adds up, but it sometimes feels like when you are trying to make money by collecting bottles and cans to get a refund. You go to all that effort and then it's like, oh, here's a dollar. (Now I just hand my bottles and cans to one of the many homeless people who hang out at the recycling center, and I let them deal with the sorting and in return, they get the money.)

May 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterarduous

I'm doing one local summer (and I did the similar dark days challenge this winter)...just because i already cook mostly local meals and blog about it, so it's more a chance to share my cooking and get ideas from others. the rules for OLS are stricter than DDC, so it will be a challenge in that sense...maybe it'll finally get me to make my own pasta from scratch with local flour, which i've always wanted to do, instead of relying on storebought pasta.

Actually, Julia - it was your blog that directed me to the One Local Summer challenge. I'm not that strict about the local cooking, and I'm worried that the challenge will make me find all kinds of ways to get out of it...but I could use an excuse to cook for different friends once a week. I'll keep thinking about it - I guess I have to decide by Sunday, right? Thanks so much for (unknowingly) bringing it to my attention.

May 20, 2008 | Registered CommenterMegan Metcalf

Yes, I'm also trying to reduce my wastage of paper. I registered with the DMA and the major creditors union to eliminate the vast majority of my junk mail. In addition, I'm going to be canceling almost all of my catalog subscriptions, with the exception of say, DHC and Ulta (sad, I know, but I'm a sucker for samples and coupons!).

May 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMandyPandy

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