November 13, 2007

Still Life with Ironing Board

A quick update on our green(er) living. It's amazing how quickly you can get used to any new living pattern, just as long as you force yourself to do it for a couple of weeks. It just becomes second nature after that. We are sticking to all the things we worked on so far, and also:

Still Life with Iron

No more dry cleaning. We actually had a lot of it, because of how dressed up Misha has to be for work. But from now on, it's all about the trusty iron my mom gave us. I love that thing, but it also terrifies me, so all ironing is done strictly when Lara is asleep and then the iron is quickly spirited away to a distant shelf.

We've switched to Seventh Generation diapers, which I love, and am sort of kicking myself for not having been using this whole time.

Every Wednesday all through the winter we will be the delighted recipients of a box of farm goodies from Highland Orchards. We picked up the first box last week, and it confirmed the excellence of the decision to sign up for the farm share. We'll be kept in yummy soups for a long time to come.

Also we have signed up to get all of our electricity from wind energy. It costs a little more, and knowing that has prompted us to try to conserve energy more. I know there are issues with wind farms and birds, but I did recently hear an interview with bird advocate Scott Weidensaul, interviewed on WHYY's Radio Times, and even he admitted that well-placed wind collectors would pose minimal threat.

And finally, I'm still persisting in the Sisyphean task of trying to get the junk mail to stop, catalog by unwanted catalog. The speed with which they proliferate is kind of amazing - as soon as I cancel one, three new ones come. The key is to mandate that they do not sell or trade your name to other companies - there are apparently separate lists for one and the other. Yeesh!


adrienne said...

The catalog problem does get better with persistence. We registered with mail preference to keep the unsolicited junk mail out. Then we went through the process of calling catalog after catalog.

Now you can cancel some online. I started asked every customer service representative that their company create an option for online shoppers to opt out of direct mail. I don't know if it's made any difference, but maybe if enough of us ask...

Magazine companies are particularly evil about selling your name- so make sure you've opted out with all of them. Some kids subscription companies (e.g. book of the month) are equally eager to sell you and your child's information.

Companies like Mimi and Motherhood Maternity will gather your information to sell to other parties (offering you discounts in exchange).

I've even heard that listing a birth announcement in a local paper can cause your name to be added to direct mail lists.

It soooo nice to get less mail...


Jay said...

My new favorite website:

Fill in the codes on the catalogs you want to stop and they'll stop them.

I love it.

Anna said...

Adrienne - I hate calling them so much! I've started emailing the customer service email I find under "contact us". That seems to be doing the trick without the annoying chitchat.

Jay - True enough, and I've been using them also, but they don't take the crucial "don't sell/trade my name" step, which is why new catalogs just keep on coming. So sneaky!

kendra said...

This time of year is especially bad for catalogs isn't it? My recycling bin fills up so much faster. I will have to try and just plain old contacting the companies too.

Aren't seventh generation diapers the best? I love them too. Usually I use cloth diapers...ever thought about using them?

Just before daylight savings I replaced our most frequently used lightbulbs with the new compact florescent ones, hopefully that will help too.