Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Saving Paper

It has taken several seasons now, but we are finally in the more active phases of moving most of the remainder of our St. Augustine lawn towards beds serving other functions.

As a nod to who we are and how we grew up, we've preserved a rectangle of lawn that will be easily trimmed with a reel mower. We've replaced gas powered motors with electric blowers/trimmers to try and cut down on secondary emissions and noise pollution as we garden.

At the moment we have rocks piled here and there waiting to delineate some raised beds I hope to use to establish some culinary herbs. The herbs will be used in meal preparation as part of our attempt to eat more sustainably. We are using a Farmer's Market when we can, are on a waiting list for a community sustainable agriculture (CSA) share, and are trying to eat less meat, especially red meat.

A problem in our case is a lack of areas receiving several hours of direct sunlight that are also protected from local herds of deer who would happily devour many herbaceous plants. In the protected back yard, we are surrounded in large part by tall oaks, cedar and until we get their removal arranged, trashy hackberry trees.

Taking down trees - even trash trees like hackberries, is not something we do lightly. In our situation we need to add to rather than take away from the balance of open area to trees. We do so knowing even beautiful desirable trees will only thrive if they are not too crowded. Still, cutting down a tree just feels like moving in the wrong direction.

In order to try in some small way to make up for a relative short term loss in our arboreal canopy here are some paper saving hints:

1. Switch to paperless bank statements. This will also help deter identity theft.
2. Say no to the ATM receipt. If everyone did we'd save 2 billion feet of paper a year.
3. Pay your bills online. Most monthly bills can be received and paid online.
4. Double side your copies. If 1 in 4 of us did we'd save a stack of paper the diameter of the earth.
5. Bring your own coffee cup to Starbucks. Americans use 14 billion paper cups a year!

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Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.