2.24.2020

Further Shrinkage of the Eco Footprint

Deborah and I continued to shrink our ecological footprint this past weekend, in a couple of important ways.

We ordered a garden composter, as well as a small, stainless steel kitchen composter, so that we can begin to compost fruit and vegetable scraps and keep our plant-based organic waste out of the massive landfill on the east side of the city we live in. Deborah read something that said organic waste creates massive amounts of methane when it ferments in the landfill. Methane is a greenhouse gas. Since we are already eating vegan, we don't generate organic animal waste by-products, which shouldn't be composted for public health reasons anyway. So, we should be able to almost completely eliminate our household's export of organic material to the landfill. Instead, it will be turned into fertilizer for our garden(s) this year.

The other way in which we trimmed down our ecological impact was to buy a share in a local community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. In this farming model, which is growing in popularity, a number of family's purchases a "share" in the farm's growing season at the beginning of the year. This gives the farmer a phat infusion of cash to buy seed and machinery and whatnot to grow their crops for the year. In exchange for this, the shareholders get a weekly box of whatever the farm produces over the course of about 20 weeks, from about early June to mid-September (at least in Wisconsin). The farmer and the shareholders share in the risks and benefits of farming. Shareholders get locally grown, often organic farm products throughout the growing season at a reduced cost from buying the same products at the store. The products are also fresh, so they have a longer shelf life. Sometimes you get products you don't really need or use, but you can always give that stuff away.

The CSA farm we chose is not far from Madison and it is certified organic. As it turns out, this method of eco footprint shrinkage by buying local is not as amazingly impactful as you might think. There is a mistaken idea that buying local cuts down on greenhouses gases used to transport farm products long distances. While it does do that to a small extent, the transport ecological costs of bringing food from farm to table are actually a small fraction of the total ecological impacts (SOURCE). Eating organic and vegan though has a big impact on one's ecological footprint (SOURCE). So using an organic CSA farm is more important than the fact that it is a local farm. But the fact that it is local is just frosting on the vegan cake.

I am excited to start my first garden at our new house this Spring as well.

Have a great day!

2.15.2020

A V-Day Outing

Deborah and I decided to do our Valentine's Day on Saturday 2/15 (today), for a few good reasons. One is that the conventional V-Day fell on a Friday this year. So, rather than squeeze it into the evening, after work when we were tired, we just pushed it back a few hours and decided to give it a full day on Saturday. This also avoided the hordes of enamoured couples that were doing their thing on Friday night.

We hashed out a plan to go to the Garver Feed Mill on the east side of Madison WI, where the Dane County Winter Farmers Market is held, which we did. Also located there is one of the two locations of the vegan cafe called Surya. At the market, we scored some heads of greenhouse lettuce, some potatoes, and a type of weird looking mushroom called Lion's Mane, which is supposed to have a shrimp/lobster-ish flavor. I'm looking forward to experimenting with it in my cooking. We got a couple bottles of herbs and spices too. After our shopping spree, we weren't really that hungry for vegan food at Surya, so we just bought vegan hot cocoas there before heading over the nearby Olbrich(t) Gardens to mill about in the enclosed tropical terrarium area they have there.

On the trip home from there, we decided to go see a movie this afternoon, so we stopped at the Marcus Point Cinema we like to go to and redeemed some reduced price ticket coupons that Deborah got a couple months ago.

A write this during a brief interlude between Farmers Market and Movie. I'm going to practice a bit of music before we head out for the film.

2.13.2020

Navigating the Truth in This Election Year

There is a simple rule of thumb for navigating your way to the Truth in this 2020 election year.

1. Ignore any and all information generated by the Trump campaign (it's all fake).

2. Understand that any and all information from Democratic campaigns is only half the Truth (they are obviously only going to tell you what is good about them, not what's not good).

3. Get your information from more than one mainstream media news source.

If even that is too challenging for you, you are better off implementing a full mainstream media news and advertising fast. You are more likely to achieve the Truth using your own critical thinking skills than to rely on any external information.

Have a great day!