Monday, September 29, 2014

Conservation Monday #8: Guilt Free Showers & Other Tales

Our move from the San Francisco Bay Area to Denver has meant many changes and adjustments, but today as I add to my Conservation Monday series I want to focus on what this move has meant for my conservation habits.

Guilt free showers. There is no drought here! I am keeping in place my shorter shower practices, but I don't feel bad if I need that extra minute of hot water to help me wake up. While we are in temporary housing we also don't have a balcony full of vegetables to water, so I don't have to stop up the tub while I shower in order to water the plants. Oh, and flushing the toilet without feeling guilty about all that water flowing down is priceless.

Recycling. I threw a recyclable drink cup in the garbage the other night because there was no recycling bin anywhere in the shopping center. After the 3 bin system instituted by SFSU (recycling, compost & garbage) this forced garbage feels unnatural. We do have recycling at our apartment, though it's so far out of the way that while Sean was here ahead of me he thought there was no recycling at all! I was determined to find it though, and I did. No more yogurt cups going in the garbage for us!

On the topic of recycling, Colorado also doesn't do a deposit on bottles. So, while in California we always saved bottles and cans to collect the CRV, those items just go into the single stream recycling here.

Packaging. This is more for us personally, rather than the area as a whole. Because of our temporary housing situation, and our sparsely populated kitchen cabinets, we are buying more packaged food and less from bulk bins. We just don't have the space for a lot of the cooking and baking we normally do from scratch. I'm looking forward to getting into a permanent house where we can unpack all of our kitchen supplies, and get back to baking bread, using the slow cooker, and all the things that are not possible right now. But for now, we'll get the precooked chicken fajita strips and deal with the fact that we're tossing plastic wrap in the garbage, and a plastic tray and cardboard wrap in the recycling. It makes me sad, but I know it's only temporary.

Plastic bags. Our county in California had outlawed plastic bags a while back, so it was always a bit of a shock on our summer road trip when a store would give us a "free" plastic bag. And here in the Denver area, stores will give us so many plastic bags. It's reminding me how wasteful free bags can be -- a bag for my toilet brush and nothing else? On the other hand, it's been nice to have all those bags on hand for cleaning the litter box, since I gave my old stash of bags awaiting reuse to my mom before we moved.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From the Bay to the Mountains

We've moved!

As everyone who knows us offline is aware, Sean and I have moved from the San Francisco area to Colorado! Sean had a great job opportunity come up, and before we knew it movers were packing up our life and suddenly we were here in a corporate apartment near Denver. It's been a huge adjustment so far -- I went from wearing shorts at home to staying bundled up near the gas fireplace in the apartment, then back to wearing shorts again! It's a great adventure, and I'm looking forward to really getting to know the area as we get settled in.

Some pictures from our first few weeks in Colorado:

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains
 the bottom unit is our temporary apartment

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains
 the patio of our temporary apartment

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains
 see the squirrel tail in the tree?

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains
 bunny!

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Living Design: From the Bay to the Mountains

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sketch a State: Maryland/DC

While staying in Maryland, we spend an afternoon in DC. Sean, Laurel and I went to the Smithsonian Botanical Gardens together and then had lunch. After we ate, we split up: Laurel went to the Museum of Natural History; Sean went to the Air and Space Museum; and I went to the National Gallery.

I love being in art museums alone. It gives me time to decompress and appreciate the things I find beautiful. I spent a bit of time sketching different paintings I loved, and then I sketched a woman who was copying one of the paintings.

Living Design Sketch a State DC Smithsonian


Monday, September 8, 2014

Sketch a State: Pennsylvania

We left New York joined by my sister Laurel, and drove down to the DC area to visit my great-uncle and great-aunt. We only stopped in Pennsylvania to eat lunch and get gas, and didn't even leave the toll road to do that, so I was only able to get a sketch of some of the scenery:

Living Design Sketch a State Pennsylvania

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sketch a State Bonus: Niagra Falls

While in New York visiting family, we took a day trip up to Niagra Falls. It was Sean's first time there! While waiting to meet up with my aunts and cousins, I did this quick sketch of the falls from the American side:
Living Design Sketch a State New York Niagra Falls

The whole family did the Maid of the Mist boat tour (I got incredibly sea sick) and then we had Indian food for lunch. After lunch some of us walked across the bridge to the Canadian side of the falls, while the others took the trolley around the American side. We finished off the day with Dinosaur BBQ in Buffalo, and on the drive back Grandma pointed out different places of family history.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sketch a State: New York

One of our big stops along our road trip was in Westfield, New York, where my mom's family lives. We had a wonderful visit, and I loved showing Sean around as he experienced western New York for the first time.

Because so much of our time was spent with family, I didn't get my Westfield sketch in until we were getting gas on our way out of town:

Living Design Sketch a State New York

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sketch a State: Ohio

Ohio was another state we passed through, but didn't get to really stop and experience. So, another day of sketching while Sean drove:
Living Design Sketch a State Ohio