Helping Save the Planet, 50 Steps at a Time

I like to make an effort to lessen my carbon footprint. There are countless possibilities to do your part and frankly it can get daunting. It can even get to the point where you stop doing anything at all because let’s face it, does it really matter? Well, yes, it does. Duh. I found a great and simple site tonight called 50 Ways to Help and it’s exactly what it sounds like: 50 simple tips on what you can do to help and very short explanations on just exactly how it is you’re helping. Unless you’re completely illiterate, it’s a very easy read. Below I posted my top 5 ways that I like helping best.

50 ways

1. Plastic Bags Suck – They really, truly do. I was so disheartened when the Plastic Bag Ban didn’t pass in my little home town. I really couldn’t, and still can’t, understand why. How difficult is it to bring a bag to the store with you? In fact, I use it as an excuse to get those super cute cotton bags that are super cheap and come in hundreds if not thousands of patterns. This perfectly adorable one was on Etsy.

I'll hold all your grocery needs!

I’ll hold all your grocery needs!

2. Pay Bills Online – One reason I have always disliked paying my bills is the terrible waiting period for my check to clear. Not everyone is a super great money budgeter (God knows I wish I was though) so there was always a 50/50 chance I’d have a little check-bouncy problem. And that’s just lame. Plus, paying bills online takes less than 30 seconds. That’s less time than writing a check, finding your stamps again because you rarely use them, then, if you live where I do, having to drive to the post office to send them off. Bleh. Be done with it.

3. Recycle Aluminum & Glass – I know, I know, Blaine County doesn’t recycle glass. I constantly shake my head about this but they do “reuse glass as cover material at the Inert Materials Pit (at Ohio Gulch) where items that don’t decompose can safely and legally be disposed.” Direct quote from 5B Recycles. Also on the pro side of this, less petrol is used to ship the glass. So there’s that. I also know how messy it can get living where I live when you have to separate every stupid thing or else the recyclables won’t even make it where you intend for them to go. It really is enough to make you say, ‘Enough already!’ but please keep at it.I’m keeping my fingers crossed that eventually in the near future this will change.

Ha ha! There's that bag again!

Ha ha! There’s that bag again!

4. Wash in Cold or Warm Water – This is something I’ve done for years. I do ALL of my laundry in cold water and it has never been a problem for me. I also use the Trader Joe’s version of Oxiclean for every load and my clothes, towels and linens are just as great as the day I got them. When you put your clothes in the dryer you don’t have to use high heat either. I have found that the Permanent Press option dries my clothes just as well. I’ll even take it a step further and dry my clothes on a rack rather than stick them in the dryer. Both of these methods make not only a huge impact on ‘doing your part’ but also will add years to your fabrics. All the hot water and high heat breaks clothes and dyes down pretty quickly over time. So this tip’s really a win-win-win. 😉

This rack from IKEA, my fav place, is super cheap and very versatile.

This rack from IKEA, my fav place, is super cheap and very versatile.

And finally…

5. Shower With Your Partner – This is my favorite one for obvious reasons. Who doesn’t like to see a   sweet bum at every opportunity? ♥ And because my hot water lasts all of 30 seconds, we’re in and out of there super fast while both getting clean. It really makes bathing time that much more enjoyable while doing something good.

So there you have it. My good deed for the day, sharing these great and easy tips. I really hope that you find a couple that you can incorporate into your life without it taking over. Let me know what some of your favorites are!

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My Impending 30th Birthday – It’s Happening. Ugh.

Well, I think the title says it all. If you didn’t already know, this year is it – I am turning the big 3-0. I’ve managed to keep the fear and loathing at bay for the majority of the of the last 362 days, but I can’t fight it anymore. Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

 

I still can’t believe it. Rather than wallow in old maid misery though, I’ve decided to actually accomplish something on this benchmark day. I am going to – drumroll please! – climb Mt. Borah.

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Mt. Borah

‘Why are you doing this?’, you may be asking yourself. ‘Why not have a large shindig, complete with friends, family and obnoxious 30 year old decorations?’ Well, to be honest, it’s been done. Don’t misunderstand, I love me a big party complete with good food and beer, but I’ve done it before. I did it last year, the year before, and the year before that. This birthday is more of a milestone to me than any others. I have friends and family who never made it to their 30th birthdays, and the fact that I did is very important to me. It’s much more important than a party.

I’ve come to realize that the closer I’ve been getting to 30, the more important it is for me to challenge myself both physically and mentally. It’s what will keep me alive and energetic. I must keep my body as active as my mind; it will be the physical version of doing Soduko.

Climbing this giant mountain is going to be grueling, I know this, but when I reach the top, it will probably be one of the most exhilarating moments of my life, and I honestly can’t wait! This will be the best birthday present that I’ve given myself ever.

A Success!

I know, I know. I promised live coverage on Saturday, but I was just having too much fun! I arrived at Festival Field feeling excited, nervous, jittery, but mostly happy. It was a perfect day; sunny with a slight breeze to keep the sweat from dripping. People were riding and walking up and down the bike path that runs along the field as I was walking towards all the excitement.

Let me put on the brakes real quick. I mentioned before that this event, Fight to Survive, was a charitable event, and that I would give the info about it. Well, here it is. FTS is put on by the Valley’s fire departments. They had all come together to put on amazing demonstrations ranging from showing how a victim is rescued from a car, how important a fire sprinkler is, to how to fight over a ball on a cable with the fire hoses! So, yes, it was a fun-filled day! The registration contributions from the folks that competed in the Crossfit portion of the day were donated to the Higher Ground program. This group helps rehabilitates wounded veterans in an intimate, camp-like setting. It’s such a great cause!

veterans, assistance, charity, war, soldiers

Anyways, the day was beautiful, as I mentioned, and people were in high spirits! I competed in the super scaled division which was 20 minutes AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout. It included tossing 3 twenty pound sand bags over a 7′ wall, scaling that wall, then doing as many times as possible, five 115 pound deadlifts, 10 bar jump burpees, and 15 20″ box jumps. I did 8 rounds, which is more than 2 + rounds I did in the gym a week before. I am innately slow, so for me that was a huge improvement! I can’t wait until next year to try it to scale (which will be three 40 # bags and 155 pound deadlift) and be faster! I plan on representing 5B Crossfit and making them proud!

My New Bike – Yay!

About a month ago one of the many local bike shops had a bike swap. This wasn’t a ‘bring in your junky bike and swap it for another junky bike’ kind of event. Oh no – this was a sale of top of the line bikes that people had loved and nurtured before getting the New Bike itch. There were tons of bikes that were easily over 1k, and those were the ones I wanted of course.

A. I don’t have that kind of cheddar.
B. I don’t have those kind of skills.
C. I don’t know the first thing about the kind of upkeep a bike of that stature would require.

I didn’t have a lot of time to look around and ask a ton of questions, and even if I did, the place was packed!! There were parents there with their cute little kids, buying their first ‘big girl/boy’ bikes. There were people there I recognized as ‘professional’ road bikers. It seemed like everyone was there! Needless to say, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all my options. I am a beginner. I hadn’t ridden more than 2 miles since I was a kid and distances only mattered if you were trying to get home for dinner.

And then, there she was…… Lined up with all the other bikes. And red! I tried lifting it – very light. I tried sitting on it – just about perfect height. I squeezed the brakes – brand new pads. I looked at the price tag – affordable!! Sold, to the girl looking super stoked! It’s a Trek 900 series, and it’s awesome. Just see for yourself!

red trek bicycle, brand new, bike swap

Red Bike

Some of you who know me on a personal level know that I bought a bike last year as well. ‘Why would you need a new so soon?’ you may be wondering. I’ll tell you, while I love that bike so, so much, it’s just not practical for longer distance riding. It’s incredibly heavy and slows me down so much. The seat seems to be really close to the handle bars, making long rides fairly uncomfortable. And, overall, it’s just not that kind of bike. This one is. My goal for this summer is to ride this bike to and from work once a week; that’s a total of 36 miles! I know I can do it, and I know this bike can too.

New Bebe Chicks

My guy and I raise chickens. We eat their eggs and we use their poo as fertilizer for our worm composted dirt. We also love to watch them run around the yard, scratching for food, taking ‘dirt’ baths, and just enjoying the sunshine when it comes.

Until yesterday, we had two full grown Australorp hens, Clucky and Chicken Little, and a younger gang of 2 month old chick-teens. Amelia (Leghorn), Ingrid (Golden Sexlink), Pumpkin (Australorp), and Emma aka Fagga Beefey (Rhode Island Red).

With that second batch, we had originally purchased 14 chicks knowing that some would make it, and others would not. That is just how life goes. Well, as one can tell with basic math skills, we lost 10 of them. Hence the four ladies. When this tragedy occurred, we immediately ordered 8 more chicks to fill in our brood, and the date to pick them up was yesterday, 5/17/11. We were excited! Our chickens are our little lovelies, so my guy took off to pick up the little babes.

I got a text from my guy later that afternoon, ‘They gave us 18.’ ‘What?!’ I responded. He has an old phone, so I assumed he accidentally hit the number 1. Well, he called. It was no typo. They gave us 18 chicks. I guess they had too many or something and had to get rid of them. We weren’t going to turn our backs on these hopeless, hapless hen-lings! So he brought them home, and they are so adorable! If you’ve never held a day old chicklet, you haven’t lived. The breeds we got in this round are the Leghorn, Golden Sexlink, Rhode Island Red, and Barred Plymouth Rock. The Leghorns are the little yellow ones and the Barred Plymouths are the black ones. They’ll grow up to be beautiful black and white chickens.

Aren’t they sweet!

All Grow'd Up

18 in the Box

Hello world!

Hello world indeed! Everyday is a new day, and every new day is an opportunity to change something in your life you want to change. My change today is to drive less and use the bike and public transport more.

Like most other people around the globe, I need to save more and spend less! And this is one great way that saves me a little dough, while staying in amazing shape. Meet my Big Blue Schwinn. Not only is this bike beautiful, but it was used which saved me money again. It’s great for quick little jaunts that get me around town, or just to the bus stop.

Think about how great you would feel mentally, physically, and spiritually if you use one of our many week days to get around using a method besides the car.

Big Blue Schwinn

One way to work