Herb Garden Failure

I have something to admit.

I have now failed twice on our herb garden. First, we tried growing kitchen herbs from seedlings and they never made it.

Then we tried starter plants.

The cilantro was the first to go.

cilantro

Slowly others followed suit.

herbfailure1

Our apartment just does not get enough direct sunlight. Between the 3 story buildings and the leaves on the trees, there was only a very tiny bit of time where we got any real sun.

herbfailure2

At one point I started transferring them all outside to our fire escape when the sun started to lower in the late afternoon. It was not enough sun, but it was the best we could do with our location.

After a while of attempting that, I had to come to the conclusion that our second attempt at starting an herb garden was not successful either.

Unfortunately, our herbs destination will not be on our dinner plates, but instead in the compost bucket. Womp womp. I just had to accept that our space is not conducive for growing herbs that require good sunlight.

There will not be a third attempt at an herb garden. Now I need to focus on the other plant issues I have…

 

pokey failure

I am pretty sure this guy is suffering from a drainage issue

 

Best Buy: They Will Take Your Old Printer

I found a secret weapon for taking your unused, broken, and obsolete electronics off your hands and out of your closets.

 

close-up-of-a-huge-pile-of-com

Source: Greenpeace

 

Recycling electronics can be hard, I get it. Municipalities and local government usually hold electronic recycling or e-waste collection drives, but they are never convenient and always random.

They might take place once a season or once a month if you are lucky.

My parents have been hoarding old electronics for years and I had been holding on to them to recycle with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, but then the program was suspended and we weren’t sure what to do with them anymore.

Let me just hold on to the 6 different cords that came with my digital camera in 2006 just a little bit longer.

Another 4 months won’t hurt. Anything to make sure it does not end up in a landfill and that all hazardous materials are disposed of properly.

You know what is convenient? Getting rid of your old printer from college (that no longer prints) when you actually want to get rid of it.

And that is what you can do when you just take your electronics to Best Buy for recycling. They will take anything (almost), no matter where you bought it or how old it is.

best buy

You can even get discounts on new products for recycling your old products. I broke my broken Fitbit there when I purchased a new one.

Don’t worry about having to call your nearby Best Buy to see if they will take your e-junk. All U.S. stores offer the in-store programs, and they really want your stuff because…

Best Buy’s goal is to recycle 2 billion pounds of electronics by the end of 2020.

So far, Best Buy has collected and responsibly disposed of more than 1 billion pounds of electronics and appliances, making them the largest retail collection program in the U.S.

So go through your closet. Round up some of the stuff listed below and bring it to Best Buy to be taken care of properly.

  • rechargeable batteries
  • wires, cords, & cables
  • DVD players
  • headphones
  • remotes
  • VCRs
  • laptops
  • keyboards
  • web cams
  • tablets & e-readers
  • calculators
  • phone chargers
  • cell phones
  • shredders
  • vacuums
  • printer ink & toner
  • alarm clocks
  • CD players
  • iPods
  • speaker systems
  • curling irons
  • fans
  • hair dryers
  • hair straighteners
  • pedometers & heart monitors
  • video game consoles
  • binoculars
  • memory cards
  • digital cameras
  • camcorders
  • digital photo frames
  • GPS systems

Get going! You know you have at least 5 of these things lying around! 

Buying Local: Week 11

K picked up our CSA box this week and he took a page out of my book by bringing a bag to transfer the produce so we don’t have to bring the box home. He also purposefully did not bring any cash to the farmers market so he would not be tempted to make any impulse buys.

 

CSA4

This is K’s attempt at taking a cool artsy picture for me.

 

What We Bought (From the CSA):

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • New baby yukon potatoes
  • Bok Choi
  • Red Beets
  • Parisian Market Carrots
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Summer Squash
  • English Peas

What We Learned:

  • Since we failed on using the beets from the last box, K instantly used some of the gigantic beets we got to make a beet and berry smoothie and absolutely loved it
  • Blueberries and raspberries disappear just way too fast!
  • This may be the first box we actually fully finish!

Recycling My Running Shoes

Does anyone else hoard their running shoes? I keep them around forever and use them as my already-gross-don’t-care-if-they-get-any-grosser shoes.

After writing in a previous post about what to do with materials that are no longer usable to someone else, I learned about Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program that turns your completely destroyed shoes into Nike Grind materials for floor surfaces and new products.

nike recycle

Last week I popped over to our local Nike running store and dropped off one of my oldest pairs of running shoes. They have no cushion left and the heels are all torn up inside.  No one is going to want those, but Nike does, and they will give your Sole Mates a second life.

Gonna Be Composting at My Wedding

Yup. This is going to be a thing.

Let’s be honest. Weddings are quite wasteful. All that hullabaloo for just one day.

The biggest investment in our “special day” is feeding all of our guests. As a couple, we decided to avoid the detested dry chicken breast and sad, floppy asparagus in an unidentified sauce.

Instead, we are going for food that we love and that we know our guests will love. This will hopefully lead to less food waste since everyone will be cleaning their plates and filling their bellies.

But being realistic, everything will not be eaten. There will be food waste.

I have not yet researched into whether or not it is an option to donate unused food, but for now, I do know that composting is my number one option right now.

Healthy Soil Compost is a member of the Green Wedding Alliance and also the service that picks up my household compost. Since I love supporting my bicycle powered pick up service, it only makes sense that they come and collect any leftover taco bits from our reception.

Up front, I can already tell you that no, my guests will not be scraping their plates into an orange compost bucket. That should be taken care of by our caterer when cleaning up.

Either way, I am super excited to have this important element be a part of our important day!

Buying Local: Week 10

I am back in the workplace now and no longer working from home, so it has been a bit of an adjustment. Unfortunately, I can’t just pop over to Green City Market on a Wednesday unless I go at 7 AM before work.

My biggest challenge right now is incorporating all our produce into my lunches.

CSA3 week 2

What is left from last Saturday’s CSA box

What We Bought:

  • Oberweis milk from family farms around IL and WI
  • S. Rosen bread from Chicago, IL
  • To be honest, I don’t even remember what else (It’s my second week at a new job, give me a break!)

What We Learned:

  • Cherries are not the easiest snack to eat at work, but I do keep all the stems and pits in my glass container to bring home and compost. I’ve been eating them everyday.
  • Did not eat those beets fast enough, into the compost they went

The Plastic Wrapped Apples

So I went to Denver a couple weeks ago.

On the way to our gate, we stopped at the Home Run Inn to get something to eat before our flight.

As I stood in line waiting to order, I noticed an odd sight.

plastic apples

A basket full of individually wrapped apples……

plastic apples2

I thought that was #1 very strange and #2 very wasteful and unnecessary, so I did what any millennial would do:

Complain on Twitter.

I tweeted at both Home Run Inn and Midway airport about the oddness of the plastic wrapped apples.

 

pizza twitter

Before we had even taken off, Home Run Inn had responded. I hope something does come of this. It would probably be best to follow up.

Although I was not rewarded with any free pizza, I was pretty impressed with their quick response and demeanor.

Next time you are at Midway, hop into the Home Run Inn and see if the apples are free from their plastic wrap for me!

No More IKEA

The last piece of IKEA furniture is officially gone!

After much Craigslist searching, I finally found something that satisfied our needs. We have a lot of books and they need a home. This bookcase/TV stand was the perfect answer and at the perfect price, $80!

Within 24 hours, I replied to an ad, got a response, and had picked up our new TV stand.

new tv stand

We finally have a spot to keep all our cookbooks in one location. Before they had been scattered about the apartment wherever they could fit.

new tv stand2

Once it was set up, I was so excited that I just put books in any which way.

After a while, I added a few tchotchkes that were around the house elsewhere.

tv stand1

I am pretty happy with it right now!

Please disregard the mess of cords underneath, we have not gotten to organizing those yet!

Buying Local: Week 9 & 3rd CSA

Instead of hauling our box home this week, I brought a large canvas bag to transfer my produce into. This way I did not have to take the box back to the farmers market on Wednesday, I just left it with them to reuse again.

That will have to be my new routine because I am no longer going to be working from home anymore (I got a new job!) and can’t just pop over to the Wednesday market whenever I feel like it.

Although that is a bummer, I am excited to pack my lunches again and see what I can do with our produce.

CSA3

What We Bought  (From CSA box):

  • Red Beets
  • Fennel
  • Baby Carrots
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Head lettuce
  • Spigareillo
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • White onions
  • Raspberries
  • Tart cherries
  • Oberweis milk from family farms around IL and WI
  • Turano bread from Berwyn, IL

What We Learned:

  • K and I both like cherries!
  • We did not eat last weeks radishes fast enough, so into the compost bucket, they went…
  • So far two of my friends (outside of my enviro group of friends) have started composting! I am so thrilled!

The End of An Era: Goodbye Gomez

Not too long ago I posted about how I still drove the same car that I have had since high school.

Gomez2

My beloved 1998 Toyota Rav4, Gomez, with 197,000 miles on it

Our bond is just like the Liberty Mutual Insurance “Brad” commercial, except replace 4 years with 11, Brad with Gomez, and I did not total my car.

 

But really, nothing can replace Gomez. We legitimately have been through everything together.

I love my car so much that I am willing to share extremely embarrassing photos and memories of myself with Gomez through the years.

A Look Back

 

Gomez 2006 3

The first day of junior year of high school when I just got Gomez, 2006

 

Driving to Friday night high school football games.

 

Senior Year Gomez

Football game Friday

 

Jamming to burned CDs filled with super angsty teenage love songs.

 

Gomez 2007

The first day of senior year with Gomez in the background, 2007.

 

Still driving to school even though I tore ligaments in my right ankle and was wearing a boot, which I removed to drive.

Piling as many people as there were seatbelts inside since I was one of the first to get my license. 

 

 

Chauffeuring my brother & his friends around when he came home from college.

Trekking down to Bloomington, IN  for 5 years worth of trips back and forth.

 

Gomez 2010

Packed and ready for the drive to start Junior year of college, 2010

 

Filling Gomez to the brim with basically my entire life as I moved from house to house each year.

 

Gomez 2011

Off to senior year of college, 2011

Transporting bikes and equipment to the Little 500 track.

Also transporting multiple Redsteppers (college dance team) to the football stadium. 

 

Gomez 2013

Moving out of college for the last time, 2013

 

Hauling furniture and vintage pieces I’d find at garage sales.

 

Gomez 2014

In storage, waiting for me while I lived in Washington, DC, 2014

 

It breaks my heart to say that Gomez is up for sale (on Craigslist of course). I now drive a slightly newer Rav4, but it is definitely not the same.

We had a great run and I will never forget my first car.

Whoever buys you is going to get a car that is well-loved.