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.
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  1. I liked this post. A lot of the time I wont even try something because I'm pretty sure that I couldn't do it *right*.

    It's only recently that I've tried the *just do it, who cares, just have fun* method for doing stuff.


  2. Love the line of thinking. Being perfect isnt conducive to enjoying the things you do and enjoy to better your every day life. The points you have are great examples. Not to mention the pop tarts, better good than beautiful. :-)