Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Challenges

You know I love to get inspired (and whipped into shape) by other eco bloggers. From APLS to SOWs to buying nada, here's what I am participating in at the moment around the blogosphere, in case you're looking for likeminded people to use the ol' green cattleprod on your behind:

Crunchy Chicken's at it again with an August edition of her Buy-Nothing Challenge! Sign up and force yourself to figure out how to deal with the back-to-school-frenzy in a creative, frugal way. Having to unburden your wasteful, consumeristic self each weekend's a powerful check on the ol' wallet.

I recently joined the APLS group on Facebook and there have been some great discussions about what it means to live sustainably, how to find and bond with likeminded people, and what it means to be Affluent People Living Simply. Thanks so much to GreenBeanDreams for setting up this group. If you're on Facebook, check it out. This is a useful application for that mysterious beast of a social networking site. "The premise is that if you're living in the "developed world" you're richer than you probably realize, and are therefore affluent. If you're also striving for a more sustainable lifestyle, count yourself among the APLS!" Here's the APLS blog if you'd like to participate in that format. Looks like they're setting up regional APLS groups (for information sharing and possibly equipment sharing, like canning apparatus). If you want to be part of the APLS blog carnival, the first topic is about living sustainably. You don't have to be a blogger to participate. If you'd like to write and submit a post, you can email it in and they'll post it on the APLS blog. Great way to be inclusive, folks! Love this group (I met Green Bean in California while out at BlogHer and I have to say, she's smart, real, and has the coolest eco avatar I've ever seen).

Chile Chews is a green blogger who first connected decluttering and being green for me. Since then, I have kept tabs with her challenges and half-participated. Well, this time around she offered the option of half-a$%ing it! Here's her August Discretionary Eating Challenge (Don't Eat What You Don't Need) - note that you can cut each category separately by a particular amount:

Buzz (alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, coffee) – cut caffeine by 100%
No coffee (decaf or not) and no chocolate; cut alcohol out entirely on weekdays no matter how early the children wake up. I'm not a caffeine or a chocolater so this one's pretty easy for me.

Café (deli food, frozen dinners, restaurants) – same as usual
No meals prepared by pros except when someone else is decision-making and letting me sleep (bless the person letting me sleep, and please know I would eat cardboard to get some extra zzzzs), or to respect others' celebratory impulses.

Lite (refined & processed foods) – same as usual
Continue with whole wheat & brown rice and whole-grain pasta.

Sugar (desserts, sugars, sweets) – cut by 25%
We don't have lots of sweets around the house except for the occasional dessert or ice cream shop visit. Will limit treats while at occasional movies and reduce candy stash inhome consumption to zero. Again, this is a cheater move. I am a salty not a sweet person.

SOW (second servings when not hungry) – eliminate
No seconds unless really hungry.

Vegan – 1/7 commitment
I'll have one entirely vegan day per week (for me) and have one vegan family meal; in addition to that vegan family meal, I will continue to increase the number of go-to vegetarian dinners we enjoy.

Finally, no discussion of cattle prods on ones's behind would be complete without a hat tip to Mrs. G and her kind yet firm Ass Project over at Derfwad Manor in which you have to commit to exercising and then posting a weekly picture of yourself (nonrecognizeable body parts acceptable) on the interwebs to keep yourself movin'. We all know I ain't posting much 'cause my camera's broken and, well, I can't buy another one until September (see point #1 above -- loooots of research to be done). I also know I am not heading towards a 5K like a lot of other Derfwads (woo hoo!) But hopefully I will get myself movin'! I still long for Linda Hamilton's Terminator II arms. Imagine a weekly shot of my biceps and wish me will power to lift something besides a 30 pound squirming toddler.


eco 'burban mom said...

Wow, you're going to be a busy girl. Though, that last one takes some serious cojones! No one really wants to see my jiggly behind, I'm pretty sure. I don't even want to see it! Oh, that's probably the cattle-prod you mentioned I might need! ;o)

Jessica McFadden said...

I am all about some of these, but HONEY, I have to admit that I sometimes need a glass of wine on weeknights. Not on yoga nights but on ohmygodtheyaresobadhubsworkinglate
nights! The other challenges? Totally considering!

Liz said...

Very cool. You have got to be quite organized. My summer challenge is making "green" things for you... I'll give you a little hint: I've got lots of friends collecting toothpaste tubes for me. Unfortunately I've only gotten two so far...

Green Bean said...

Thanks so much for plugging the APLS blog. I'm really hoping that we can turn it into a resouce for hooking up folks locally. :) Plus, you are right, there are some GREAT debates going on at the Facebook Group and it actually forced me to join a social network. Loved meeting you at Blogher - please come back out here to play again!

Susannah said...

Great post, as usual, MamaBird! I have a digital camera you can borrow if you want. The screen doesn't display b/c I dropped it while juggling a camera, a pen, a birthday card, and a water gun (saved all but the really expensive camera!!). "Great job, Mom," was the classic observation by my 4-year-old. The camera still takes great pictures, but you can't see how great til you hook it up to your computer.

Chile said...

Busy, busy, busy! You've picked a great bouquet of challenges to participate in this month.