Friday, July 31, 2009

Square 44: Going greener

Square 044

Tomorrow is moving day, but then I will have lots of extra hands to help and it will be easy compared with what I have to do today: finish packing! This week in the midst of madness it has been good to continue focusing on why I'm doing this. It will be a change for the better in many ways.

For one thing I am going greener. I've been concerned about environmental issues since childhood when I formed a Nature Club with my neighbourhood friends. We tested Lake Erie for pollution (it was surprisingly clean where we lived) and went for hikes. Ranger Rick magazine inspired me to dig a compost pit (which didn't work very well because it didn't get enough air) and plant an organic vegetable garden. For the school science fair in grade eight I built models of a solar house and a geothermal generating station.

It's a long road from youthful idealism to adult practice. Growing up involves discovering the sacrifices involved in living according to your values. Even organic gardening has been a challenge, as I wrote about in Square 8. I'm the first to admit that I haven't always walked the talk.

The past few years as I have become more deeply rooted in my Guelph community and spent more time downtown. More and more frequently I've made that five-minute drive from my apartment. It's only a 40 minute walk or a $2.50 bus fare, but when you make the trip five or six times a week the time and cost add up. Driving costs, too, but that is easily ignored when considering the convenience. But my laziness about this issue has frequently pricked my conscience.

One of my main reasons for moving is to address this problem. I have lived closer to downtown before, and walked more frequently then, and the new apartment is closer still, so I know I'll take advantage of the opportunity to get more exercise and save the atmosphere from my emissions. So many things are within a 10 minute walk: the farmers' market, my pharmacy, several good café's, many good restaurants, my favourite bookstore, an excellent used book store, Out On The Shelf, and the list goes on.

So here's the question: how can you nudge your life toward living more responsibly on the Earth? Or maybe you recently took such an action. Tell me about it! Write about it, knit about it, and talk about it at your own knitting group.

Yarns in this square: green Lamb's Pride, anonymous blue-green yarn from St. Jacobs Farmers' Market, deep blue-green Patons, pale green yarn from Philosopher's Wool, some two-ply handspun purple and green yarn, bright green Létt-Lopi, olive Cascade, variegated gold and green Malabrigo, Tupa, handspun single-ply variegated sea-green yarn from The Black Lamb, grey and aqua Noro Silk Garden, and pale green Briggs and Little.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Welcome, Jennifer. Thanks for commenting. It's nice to know who is following my work.

  3. Hi There,
    Nice blog and we appreciate the "Ranger Rick" mention, as always. We are glad our magazine played some small role in your admirable environmental consciousness.

    Many thanks for the mention (again!) and all best wishes to you on your journey,

    Libby Schleichert, Sr. Editor
    Ranger Rick Magazine
    National Wildlife Federation
    Reston, Virginia

  4. Thanks Libby. Nice to hear from you again!