Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summertime Projects

It has been a long time since we updated the blog. We have been recovering from the eco-home tour and the first year of preschool. So after a few weekend vacations and some time to sit and read a book I am inspired to update on our environmental endeavors. First I would like to say how much we enjoyed talking with everyone who came to the eco-home tour. It was great to meet people who are inspired to make changes in their homes. Since the house was all cleaned up (which is a great feat when you have a 2 and 4 year old) we got a few pictures of our place to share.

Summer so far has been really fun. Some of our goals for the summer
  • drive less
  • make enough biodiesel to take us to Seattle and back
  • make some progress on the electric jeep
  • watch some good documentaries and read some good books
  • research SRI (socially responsible investments)

There are a few reasons we are trying to drive less, even though we run all our cars on biodiesel. Biodiesel is messy and a lot of work so if we can drive less it means less work for Dan. We are also trying to save fuel for a three week road trip in August to visit family in CA, Or, and WA. Also, walking and biking are healthy and a great way to know our neighborhood better. On that front we are all doing well as a family, Dan has biked to work in Alhambra (7 miles) at least two days a week for the past three weeks and enjoying it. He has found some back roads which makes his rides more enjoyable.

I have been walking with friends and all six of our kids (combined) to swim lessons (1.1 miles) a few times a week. The kids will start off on scooters or skitters and eventually end up in the stroller but they make a good effort. The pool, library, water park, ice cream shop, and lots of great friends are all within walking distance (1 mile) so we should have a good summer even if we don't drive as much. I don't mind walking in the heat too if I end up at a pool or ice cream. Ask me in August though to see how die hard I really am?

As for the other goals, so far Dan is doing really well with stocking up on fuel, and slowly all his parts are coming in for the jeep.

We have caught some good documentaries, Last week we saw The Corporation again ( a good overview on the positive and negative effect large corporations can have on people, the environment etc) , and we also saw King Corn. It follows 2 guys who raise an acre of corn in Iowa and try to follow through to where it will end up in our food. It explains how corn is so prevalent in our food and how government subsidies work (in a way that even I could understand). It is pretty interesting.

I am working on the SRI but am feeling a little less inspired to wrack my brain on that one right now. Maybe I will wait until winter on that one.

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