Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hmmmmmm...What's Enough?

DAY 323

Still working on the details of using my car less...I leave again soon - so I will start next week - practice riding the bus for one thing! I am excited - I think this is going to be a signficant change for the good...

Meanwhile, getting in the garden mode...for real! In February! I bought a book (used) called "Sufficient" by Tom Petherick...Sufficient as in self-reliant and as in enough - love it. Looks like some very interesting perspectives on sustainable living from a British perspective. Will do a book report when I am done :)

I am going to fancy up my garden a bit this year - make it bigger and replace the chicken wire with a fence (used wood!). I am hoping my compost will be ready this summer too...I have been adding "stuff" since the summer. Even in the dead of winter it seems to be churning - a little steam comes out when I go to dump in a new batch of eggshell/carrot parts/lettuce bits potpourri. Cool!

Still have a freezer full of local peaches and berries, my pesto and bread...need to start eating!

More to follow...need to go and get SUFFICIENT sleep :) Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Monday, February 14, 2011

Carbon Footprint - Size 16 Shoe

DAY 322

I ate 2 purple potato chips at a gourmet restaurant in Athens, GA over the weekend. Oops! Day 12 of no Coke – good AND I still need to keep limiting my sugar intake. I feel the need for a sugar detox after a weekend of sweet tea in the south! I was also forced to eat “Momma’s Pancake Breakfast” at the Cracker Barrel.

OK, I’ve decided my final challenge will be around reduced use of my car. I will track gas purchase and miles – should be interesting to see how much less I spend and what kind of extra time it takes. Thanks to Mandy and Becca for the inspiration! Be careful what you ask for – I solicited ideas and the car thing came at me twice!

Because I travel for work long distances – flying and driving – my carbon footprint is very (VERY) high – Sasquatch-sized. Our carbon footprint calculator estimates how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases our choices create each year.

In spite of my efforts to reduce in many other every areas of my life, the choices I make produce 34.22 metric tons of C02 a year. Nice. Not what I was expecting...I have not been thinking about the big items in my consumer life – car, flying, and utilities. Check out this website www.carbonfootprint.com for a nice little (well, big) reality check.

More stats on carbon footprint according to this site:

• Average for industrial nations is 11 metric tons
• The worldwide average is 4 metric tons
• The target to fight climate change is 2 metric tons

These other sites are good too – what sites have you seen out there?

I have a lot of work to do.

So, this month I *will* use my car less – I need to do some homework on the bus lines in Rochester AND look at some ways to share driving for some things – find a friend to go to the grocery store with – we could take turns driving. I also need to think hard about the work that I do – I flew 10 times in 2010 – 24, 450 miles and a C02 use of 3.88 metric tons. That alone is almost the average across the world for all aspects of consumption. Kristin Skarie – High Impact Girl. Not the Super Hero name I would have chosen for myself!

I will report on the car and other changes I will make– here are the suggestions from the site (the extreme ones):

• Buy used clothes
• Be vegan
• Recycle or compost EVERYTHING
• Eat only local food
• Grow all your own food
• Eat only foods that are in season in your area
• Participate in recreational activities with ZERO carbon footprint – bike & walk not eat out & go to the movies
• Get rid of your car.

OK. Not so easy!


I need to start now – not look for a convenient time to start riding the bus. It’s cold, I’m busy, I’m stressed, there are not enough hours in the day...AND I will start now.

Film at 11.

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Choice and Commitment

DAY 317

My Fashion Fast is over - I wore a bright pink sweater today - yay! A nice change from all the black I was wearing this month!

It took me about 20 minutes to figure out what to wear - why? I have not had to make any clothing decisions for 30 days! Also, the stuff in my closet seems foreign to me. Oh, and some (several, OK, many) do not fit because I have chosen to NOT exercise regularly for the past 6 months. Why am I surprised? Argh.

A very interesting experience to be sure - I think I will do it again in the summer...

This is Day 7 with no Coca Cola - or any soda for that matter. I think my sugar cravings are subsiding which is a good thing. My potato chip craving has not. So, I am done eating those now too. Really. Until March 19, 2011. For real.

I do want to have one more meaningful Motivation Month and am drawing a blank...ideas anyone? I will add exercise 3x a week starting tomorrow but I really want to try something big. All feedback welcome :)

More to follow - going to finish up and call it a night - Have a Nothing New Day!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Go Packers!

DAY 313

I will tell you right now, that I am adding one item of clothing for a few hours tomorrow evening - my one and only Green Bay Packers t-shirt! Mostly, I am so very done wearing this black sweater and even though I have just three days left of my Fashion Fast, I am anxious to move on to my last Motivation Month!

In case you were wondering where *your* GB shirt is that you will be wearing tomorrow, here is a tidbit to motivate you to get it out of storage. Green Bay won the first Superbowl in 1967, 35-10 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Nice. I am also in the middle of researching (because I apparently have so much free time) the rapidly spreading urban myth that the G logo for Green Bay actually stands for Greatness - lovely, except there is no real source minus the recent interviews by Tiki Barber now captured on a Yahoo Video, stating this as fact. I will keep you posted - no doubt you are pausing all socializing right now to consider this possible new finding. OK, well, I just found this:

"The famous Green Bay Packers G [logo] was designed to honor the original owner Curly Lambeau’s (as in Lambeau Field in GB) first wife; Grendal." Source: (Reverse the Call on the Field, The Secret History of the NFL, Doris Kearns Goodwin, ESPN Press 2010)

Perhaps you be discussing this tomorrow during the game. You do not need to credit me.

Note that I am an expert procrastinator - now that is Nothing New - hahahahaha - I am way funnier at night.

I will leave you now. Go Packers!

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

DAY 310

Hello! Had a great talk with the Rochester Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction about Nothing New this week - excellent meal, inspiring conversation and fun evening in spite of the snowy trek.

They had some great questions about my Year of (Mostly) Nothing New...thank you all for a nice chat!

Who else in my household is participating?
Curtis and Buddy (meow). We talked about it being more difficult if I had to get others on board with this. Oh yes. My friend Terry who gave me the idea - engaged her husband and kids into a year of this!!!

What's next after March 19, 2011?
I will continue some form of Nothing New...I will be careful to continue on this peaceful path of living within my means...I am thinking a bigger garden, better compost system, and maybe a swim suit.

Some other things I WANT:
Cross country ski boots - and new skis if I cannot find the right boots
Snow shoes
Cardigan (not black)
Pantsuit - for upcoming conference
Cell phone - I have a coupon!
ToGoWare - my fork broke
Light (or ceiling fan) for dining room
A sauna - what? Well, maybe someday...

Has this year affected my health?
Yes! for the good - the eating habits are great, award winning cholesterol score (good genes too - thanks Mom and Dad) - and except for Coca Cola, no real food vices...which with the NAWIC group as my witness, starting Feb 2, I removed all soda out of my life and therefore a huge chunk of my diet that is the evil....High Fructose Corn Syrup. A can of Coke has 140 calories and a 20oz bottle has 240! Today is my second day of NO COKE and so far, I crave sugar...not even the caffeine (as far as I know or can tell anyway...)

Have you saved money?
Good question - tough to answer! It is hard to measure what I did NOT spend money on...what I do know is how much debt I have been able to pay off...call me if you want details!

Here are my spending numbers as I make sense of them...what I bought new or would have bought new if I were not doing this:

$54 Wanted but did not buy
$30 Saved by getting item free or cheaper
$248 Bought new (caved to nephews, sunglasses I ran over, travel mug, plants)
$321 Christmas presents for 17 people
$64 Paint and supplies for painting bedroom "Frozen Pond"
$717 TOTAL (the amount I will be donating...)

PLUS these items which I did NEED:
$800 Snow tires
$350 Roof shingles for leaking back porch roof
$52 Plastic for winterizing old windows

Another INTERESTING Number...I spent $2501 on clothing March 2009-February 2010 and ONLY $194 March 2010-February 2011...WOW. Really??? Maybe I did have some kind of a problem...well. Yay for $194!!! Not only did I stay out of the MALL to get that and other A+ Scores, I did not set foot in Pier One, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Marshalls or Target (except for my great tasty Vitamin D with Calcium), etc...

More to come - I have some interesting gigs coming up where I get to talk more about Nothing New with smart cool and fun people in Georgia, Texas, and Maryland - what fun!

Have a Nothing New Day! Kristin