greening the home beautiful

I just moved into my new apartment in the city! After a long winter and a lot of work, I found a great place in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. This neighborhood is kind of the Northampton of Chicago, which is perfect. It’s a small apartment with two bedrooms (one is the office/guest room), a small but very adequate kitchen, bath and living room (no separate dining area) with a tiny, sunless porch. It’s on the third (top!) floor of an early 1900s building that underwent renovations a bit over ten years ago. It has great basic elements and some fun details, like the cloud ceiling in the office.

It’s been three weeks and now I’m unpacked and starting to feel a bit like the the space is my own. I’m still looking for full time work, though I’m doing a few part time things to keep some money in my wallet and sanity in my brain. I have a bit more time on my hands than I’d like. But what a perfect time to think about what I want to be doing in this world and just do it!

On this blog, I’ve mostly written about my love for the local foods movement. That interest came from studying public health and working in the community to get food stamps to families who needed them. Food stamps are, in my opinion, part of holistic community wellness – along with affordable health care and safe housing. From there, I entered the food and health movement, and learned way more about it in the process. I’ve become passionate about how food and agriculture relate to the environment – the health of our world, and thus, of all of us humans who live here.

I want to be an actor in the move towards sustainability, and I want to start at home. I used to think that you weren’t going to make a difference unless you had political change and popular support, but now I believe we are at the point where we just can’t wait for that to happen. Politics is all well and good, but until we change the way we live our lives as consumers, we aren’t going to help the environment at all. So I’m starting here – in my new apartment. I don’t think that you need to live in a high-tech green building with solar panels and net-zero energy to live sustainably.

Here are some of the goals/projects that I am undertaking:
-Use less plastic. (An upcoming project will be making ‘plastic’ wrap with cloth and beeswax)
-Buy fewer items. But when things need buying, buy well made items that will last a long time (furniture, etc).
-Use less water. Run the dishwasher only once a week (saving water on daily handwashing) and be efficient with laundry.
-Compost and make soil for houseplants. The City of Chicago offers 50% rebates for compost materials!
-Bike everywhere.
-Try my hardest to grow food, even though my apartment gets very little direct sunlight.

I hope to add more projects and share what I’m doing to meet these goals. By sharing my work, I hope to teach others how to live sustainably – even in a city apartment with no backyard!