earth day in the city

It's trash day here, and as often happens, we didn't really have any to put out.  Even our recycling bin has been half-empty the last few pickups, and they only come every other week.  Its funny how the little things add up:  buying in bulk, cooking from scratch, reusing items when possible, and of course composting.  We aren't aiming for zero-impact here by any means, it just turns out the things we like to do usually end up being pretty eco-friendly.

When we bought this house, it came with an old washing machine (still running!) and no dryer, but a clothesline.  We were poor and thrilled after apartment living to even have on-site laundry, so hanging out clothes was a no-brainer.  Though we eventually got a dryer, we caught the habit and continue line drying in all but wintertime.  We live in a 50s-era neighborhood, and I love that clotheslines are standard in every yard, and except for a few that are now grape arbors, many are still in use regularly.

another fan of the clothesline...

While Madison isn't some huge urban center we have mass transit and an awesome local food system that means we can walk or bike to multiple farmer's markets and co-ops.  We might not be as hip as Portland but we have a decent setup for biking to work, and we can feasibly go for long periods without driving if we choose to. 

This reminds me how living in town works for us, how in some ways its easier for us to live lighter on the earth in a more urban setting, and how fortunate we are to live in a place that supports this.  Its not that we've never had the fantasy of moving out to the country:  I would assume most people who enjoy the outdoors and love to grow food have considered taking the leap to a farm.  But to be honest, all of our crazy food growing/animal husbandry/local eating escapades were dreamed up right here on our city lot, and there's still plenty of grass left to dig up and plant before we run out of ideas.  

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  1. I love hanging the laundry outside -- it smells and feels so good. I am anxious for better weather so I can hang it out again.

    After buying a newish car this week, I envy your ability to live and work in Madison. I love my rural life, but I sure wish I could walk to work again as I did before I met Dan. Buying our house in rural Maine meant moving to the middle of our commutes -- a lovely little village, to be sure, but we each have a drive.

    Keep digging up the lawn and enjoy your life in town. Just save enough space for a clothesline!

  2. Its definitely a compromise, either way you end up. You have such lovely spot and home (and Dan seems good too, ha!) I think you made an excellent choice.

  3. I have you on the WI blog list on our site, but I don't have contact information for you. Could you shoot me an email so that I can put you on my blogger mailing list?


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