Friday, January 27, 2012
The Organic Anti-Martha Fesses Up
I like to think of myself as the Organic Anti-Martha. (Kinda has a ring to it, no?) Perhaps I'm being unfair to the venerable Ms. Stewart. After all, her media empire is a touch larger than mine, so she's definitely doing something right. However, every time I pick up one of her magazines, generally on my airport-induced magazine binge that starts every vacation, I am struck by the message that anything worth doing is worth doing absolutely perfectly. This message activates my OCD a little too much, and efforts to be perfect usually end with me in a weeping heap.
So, to be sure that my dear readers are not under the impression that I expect perfection either from them or from myself, I wanted to revisit a few of my favorite sustainability projects and fess up to how often I do them/use them/attempt them.
I make my own make-up remover wipes (ersatz cotton balls): I use these 100% of the time that I need a cotton ball at home, with the exception of working with ultra-staining things like nail polish/remover or sterilizing things, including new earrings or cuts and scrapes. I use disposable cotton balls on vacation.
I use homemade hankies: I use these about 80% of the time at home, with the exception of really bad colds of the sort that almost require you to sit with a box of tissues on your lap and then take bags of germ-laden tissues out to the garbage twice a day. Mr. FC&G uses hankies (although we buy his) almost 100% of the time.
I make my own laundry soap: I use this on all but the black load each week; that load gets special dark fabric detergent. So, all but one of the 5-7 loads each week get the homemade stuff. Additionally, Mr. FC&G will use store-bought detergent or individual use samples that I've tucked into his luggage when he is on a business trip and needs to do laundry. This is largely a function of the fact that his need to do laundry while away often comes as a surprise when the trip is extended from one week to two with very little notice.
I make my own bread: I make about 1/4 of all of our bread. Mr. FC&G regularly buys hamburger and hot dog buns, which I haven't gotten around to making, and we are in the habit of buying our rye bread, even though I know perfectly well how to make it. We almost never buy white bread or multi-grain/specialty bread.
I make my own sour cream: I make sour cream about 3/4 of the time that we need it. Usually, I will make it in bulk for a while when we are on a kick for chicken paprikash and homemade dumplings. However, occasionally Mr. FC&G will want to cook a Mexican dinner or will want some for dipping chips, and he doesn't hesitate to pick it up if there is no homemade.
I make my own blankets and quilts: I am happy to say I have not purchased a blanket for our bed or for the couches, etc., since we've been married. I've made them all. I continually have a fleece quilt I am piecing, and I crocheted the last mid-weight blanket we needed for our king size bed.
So there you have it. I'm not perfect. I try to do as much as I can for us, and I try to make the most sustainable decisions possible, but sometimes I fall back on options that aren't quite as good. I figure it is better to do something half or even a quarter of the time than to not do it at all. I don't know if Martha would agree, but then again she has a staff to help her out while she decorates her chicken coops with rafia bows.
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 11:28 AM