Tag Archives: environment

Great While It Lasted

Open Windows

After a LONG, hot summer, we just had a short, sweet taste of Fall.  For 2 straight days, I turned off the air conditioning.  That’s right. Off.  Every window in the house was open.  Of course, it’s way too early to imagine that open windows will be the norm.  Around here, that won’t happen for at least another 3 weeks.  But, oh, how I love at the end of a season when the house has been all sealed up for months, to throw open all the windows and air things out.  Unfortunately, all I could hear with those windows wide open was the hum of everyone else’s air conditioner.

Who knew I was the green one?  Well, I suspected it.  (See this post).  I’m all about energy conservation, mainly because it saves you money.  See, we moved from New England a few months ago.  The cost of electricity and heating oil up there could have sent us to the poorhouse.  It’s cheaper down South where we live now, but we got used to being miserly about our energy consumption.  Our AC gets set at 79, and if the outside temp is anywhere below 82 or so, I shut off the AC.  Living in Hawaii with no central air and only the Trade Winds to keep us cool also conditioned us to enjoy moderate temperatures.

I’m not sure what’s up with all of our neighbors.  Maybe they are all severe allergy sufferers who can’t stand the fresh air.  Could they all be going through menopause and having hot flashes?  Not likely, given the number of preschoolers in the neighborhood.  It must be that they have never felt the pinch when the electric bill arrives in the mail.  I guess that’s one more hidden benefit to moving every 2 years.  I get to experience the varying utility costs around the country.

Today, though, the windows are closed tight, and the AC is cranked back on.  We have plenty more steamy days to come.  Those couple of gorgeous, fresh air days just might get me through until Fall arrives for good.  Ahhhh.

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The Uncommon Housewife Goes Green??

Well, green thumb maybe.  Today, I picked the first cucumber of the summer from my patio garden.  My sad little plant has taken off, and I’ll soon be setting up a table in the front yard to give cucumbers away.    I’m still waiting for my tomatoes and zucchini, but I did get a late start on my garden with our recent move.

I am 100% behind the drive to “eat local”.  I make several trips each week to my local farm stands to buy fruits and vegetables during these plentiful summer months.  Yes, it’s better for the environment because it doesn’t require trucking in vegetables from hundreds of miles away.  So my cucumbers have a tiny carbon footprint…blah, blah, blah.  My reasons for supporting local farmers are a lot simpler than that:

  • I believe that we show our love for God and His Creation by being responsible stewards of that Creation.  As Pope John Paul II wrote in his 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, the earth and its resources have a “…God-given purpose, which man can indeed develop but must not betray.”
  • My heritage includes a family farm.  My grandfather owned and operated a small dairy farm.  My mother spent many childhood years milking the cows each day.   Having heard the stories of the family farm, I understand the need to protect the livelihood of small, family run farms.
  • Last but not least, locally grown produce just tastes better!  The tomatoes don’t taste like plastic; the cucumbers aren’t coated with wax; and the peaches…Let’s just say, I refuse to buy grocery store peaches -ever- because there is no comparison.

So this suburban, conservative housewife does live green.  I plant my modest vegetable garden each year; I buy my produce from local farmers as often as possible; and I might even try composting.  Above all, I’ll be thanking God for His gift of the earth and all that it contains.

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