Our blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
http://www.mayhemandmoxie.com
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Taking Green To An Extreme

My husband is a man of many layers. When busy at work, our household runs very smoothly. I am in charge of things at home and he focuses on what he needs to do. However, with the downturn in the economy, my man seems to have a bit more time on his hands than usual.

This is rarely a good thing.

Last weekend, my husband announced that our household was going to become a bit more environmental...more green, if you will. I nodded and didn't give the proclamation much thought. However, while taking out the trash yesterday, I noticed these in our backyard:

Kidding! Actually, ours are much more fashionable and modern. The latest in barrel design, really. See for yourself...

Yes, it seems that we are now collecting rainwater. At first, I was concerned that my husband wanted me to use the water inside our home. However, he assured me that the water will only be used in our yard.

I remain suspect, though. As a guy who feverently believes that bigger is better, I am sure it won't be long before he is trying to convince me of the benefits to changing our lifestyle so that we can be more like Colin Beavan and his family, a threesome who are trying to live for a year without creating any waste. What does this mean for the Beavan family exactly? For starters, no electricity, no transportation (including even public transportation), and no food that does not come from within a 250 mile radius of their hut, I mean home.

Actually, the Beavan family hasn't changed their residence since they embarked on their little journey. They are still living in New York, as opposed to the "earthship" made of tires that I am sure my family and I will be moving to in Taos, New Mexico before too long.

I wonder how much rainwater we would be able to collect in our barrels there?

I was also happy to read on Colin's blog that he and his family have not become part of the freeganism movement. Have you heard of this? Freeganism is an off-shoot of veganism, meaning that most followers avoid all products made from animals. What's more, the “free” part of their descriptor refers to how freegans get their victuals. What is the preferred method for finding free food you might ask? The answer to that question is simple: digging through the dumpster.

On the upside, dumpster diving is not as bad as you might imagine. Those that partake aren’t homeless, and many of them have 9-to-5 jobs. Freegans eat pretty well too, chowing down on practically fresh veggies, day-old bread, and canned goods.

They even have cool tee-shirts.

-Francesca

Bookmark and Share

71 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I didn't realize you were a do-goody tree hugger. I might have to rethink our relationship. I hate the earth, and seek to destroy it.

Mrs Cooper said...

So what's in the barrel? Beer, Water or wine??? I love that. Believe it or not I collect rain water in the summer time to feed my plants. They love it. It's better than miracle grow. Now I have a mini forrest in my house.

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby said...

Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee...you may just laugh me into labor!! :)

Kameron said...

I think that's a great idea. I know you get a good ammount of rain in SF and all of that water would just flow into the storm drains if you don't collect it!

Heather said...

I think if we would become freegans, I still wouldn't be able to get anyone to eat vegetables. Actually even less of a chance. My husband is so picky, he wouldn't eat anything from a dumpster.

Jillene said...

Dumpster diving?! REALLY?! That is the most disgusting thing EVER!!

missy said...

very interesting!!!!!
not my cup of tea...but still very interesting!!!!

Abra said...

Collecting rainwater is good... dumpster diving... skeptical...wearing a t-shirt proclaiming yourself to be a dumpster diver...now that's just plain boasting and bragging and you need to rethink your values! :)

jennykate77 said...

Wow. I'm definitely not doing my part...I thought recycling and reusing and changing all my light bulbs to those low-energy things was doing a pretty decent job, but now I'm realizing I'm a big time slacker. Thanks. Very nifty barrels...glad that isn't your new form of drinking water!

Melissa said...

I'm afraid I draw the line at dumpster diving. I'm sure they save lots of money and stuff... but, um... yeah. I have no problem buying food. Maybe I'm the weird one...

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

My husband wants to get one of these but I told him to see if he could find one that wasn't blue. You think they could make one that was brick colored or at least a nice shade of tan! That blue is just so....BLUE!

TrueLoveIsaMama said...

I had no idea the freegans were vegans! Wouldn't the rain water be used in your yard anyway by raining? Just wondering.....

Donnetta said...

I DESPERATELY want a rain barrel! We're in GA and are under ridiculously insane restrictions. My plants need love too!

He And Me + 3 said...

That is so funny....but your hubby is onto something I beleive. I have totally heard of the freegan movement. Not a bad idea...Hmmm If you can get it before it actually hits the dumpster. Yuck.

Counselormama said...

I actually like this idea of collecting rainwater, good for your yard, like you hubs said.
And, is that real? Freegans? I can't even walk by a dumpster without gagging, let alone picture myself rooting around in one!

Vickie said...

That is a very good idea! We just had a bunch of rain over the weekend and yesterday. We could have collected a lot and have it ready for the summer.

I heard about those freegan people. I watch it on Oprah once. Yeah, not going dumpster diving.

Mainly a midwife said...

I'd have to draw the line at dumpster diving..but I did try to talk my husband into collecting rain water. Let's just say it's the very last thing on his list.

Hillbilly Duhn said...

Okay. Well, as a hillbilly, I have actually tried Dumpster Diving. Though not for food, (that made me throw up a little in my mouth), but for things, like people like to throw away darn near new shelves, or stands, planters, lamps, etc. that with just a bit of elbow grit, you can make them into beauties again.

My family has successfully gone without paper towels for almost six months. I've gotten the boys to use fabric napkins instead, and we don't seem to miss them at all.

Catching rain water, we've done that a few times to water my house plants, they loved it.

Julie said...

Hmm...not sure how to respond to that one. Going green is good...to an extent. I'm not sure on the dumpster diving part. I'm not graceful & would probably never get back out.

Barbaloot said...

Why, for the LOVE of blogging, would one want to live a lifestyle free of animal food? That would be WAY too big a sacrifice.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I've done my fair share of dumpster diving in my lifetime. I also thought about the rain barrel thing but you would have to have a ton of rainbarrels to store enough water to make any difference at all whatsoever--my plants love water!

Deb said...

I can't do it. I'm sorry, I love the earth, but I can't dumpster dive for food.

The rain barrels I could do, except I live in the land of mosquitoes...

The Blonde Duck said...

Somebody give these hippies a cheeseburger and leather purse. I grew up in Austin, so I'm all about saving the salamanders and trees. But if you expect me not to wear my boots and quit eating ribs without air conditioning in the 110 degree summers in South Texas, you can kiss my grits. Why do these people take it to extremes?

And tell the tire folks that Roswell is 50 miles that way.

mommaof4wife2r said...

are you hugging a tree right now?? just kidding...u may not get too much rain in the desert, but here in the midwest, i could fill that barrel in a week.

Amy said...

This sounds like something my husband would want to pull off. You should see us when we go for walks he is picking up every can he can find. He has gotten me doing it also. I get in there and grab a can that is stuck way in the dirt or under a car. He says to me "Just leave it?" Me, "NO I thought we are picking up the cans."

Have a great day. How are the twins doing?

SO said...

I have heard of freegans they confuse me. But in this economy I'm thinking that their following is going to explode.

Oh and it's illegal in Utah to collect rainwater (well on a large scale). Stupid huh? Don't believe me? Here's a link.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/09/utah-officials-keeping-rainwater-illegal.php

peewee said...

uh oh, it was bound to happen sooner or later...The Northern Cal Hippie rears it's ugly head...here's the thing...do you have to ever WASH out those blue things? I mean, don't they eventually get moldy or something?

I mean, GOOD FOR YOU!!! Happy happy earth earth!

And lastly, VEGAN dumpster diving?? I mean, REALLY, can you be SURE that piece of broccoli doesn't have KFC grease run-off? Can you? Free-gan! Humph. I'm gonna be a ME-gan...as in, I will only eat food that someone buys for ME.

Trina said...

Do they have a 10 day rule (vs. 10 second rule on a dirty floor) or anything? The thought of food spoilage is grossing me out. What if someone through dirty diapers in there? People can be so psycho- But at least they're getting those leafy greans down them right? And at least their free. Well, until you consider the $600 emergency room visit for food poisoning.

Jeannie said...

I used to have a rain barrel until my son and his friends took it to play Jackass and never brought it back.

Jessica said...

The other thing you need to start doing is dressing your children in organic things, like leaves, or let them run around au natral. It has nothing to do with the environment, I'm just sick of laundry.

Parenthood For Me said...

Dumpster diving sounds scary. I like the rain catchers though. We are going to install those this summer. But, anything can be taken too far. Let's try and find a happy medium- I shop with my coach purse and those reusable shopping bags!

SE'LAH... said...

This post is hilarious !!! Thanks for the laugh today.

amanda said...

i would totally come visit you in your new hut.

Jo said...

Your hubby is lucky to have married a long suffering woman! Whatever you do, don't let him read the Integral Urban House.
http://www.amazon.com/Integral-Urban-House-Self-Reliant-Living/dp/0871562138

Debbie said...

Oh, we love our rain barrels. We think they are very chic:)

Helene said...

What a brilliant idea!!! I never thought of collecting the rain water to use for my yard!! But it's such a simple way to be economical...too bad he didn't think of it sooner, like 3 weeks ago, when it rained cats and dogs for 10 days straight!!

Rachel said...

I think the rain water thing is great. That would save a lot on water. Usually here during the summer we are put on a water ban so we can't really water our yards. This would be a great alternative.

The dumpster diving made me a little sick to my stomach.

Yaya said...

Wow....Freeganism...are you serious?

That Girl in Brazil said...

When green becomes scary ....

Also - be careful with those rain barrels in the summer. They're breeding grounds for mosquitos!

blueviolet said...

I saw a show on those freak-ans before and they really do eat produce from those dumpsters and what not. That just sounds like an invitation to all kinds of evil ailments.

joanofalltrades said...

You know some times we just have to let our husbands be the free spirits that they are even if it means losing a bit of our own sanity. Is that you diving in that dumpster ;)

Monica said...

I need more than a rain barrel this week, like a rain olympic size pool.

Kathy B! said...

Rainwater recycling is all the rage out here in the boonies of NC. Welcome to the club!

Just be careful. After awhile the plants start to grow really fast. I swear I saw one move the other day when I popped into the garden unexpectedly. And one of the twins has been missing for a couple days, but I'm sure she's just playing... Yep, gotta love those rain barrels : )

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

My mom has been collecting rain for years. She uses it to water her plants. She swears there's nothing better.
As for dumpster diving, well, I'm gonna stick to shopping at the dollar store.

BlogBaby said...

If it's FREE I'll take TEN.....seriously you had me at FREE...dumpster or no dumpster.

BlogBaby

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

Being a tree hugger myself (sorry Kristina P.) we're going to start collecting rain water as well, living in the desert and all. But I love how the barrels are up on blocks. That just makes it so much classier! Love it! ;o)

Kerri said...

I think collecting rain water is a great idea! Now I want to go check out that family tht is not creating any waste.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I can definitely see the benefit in collecting rain water for the outside stuff...my hubby is still talking about rigging some sort of pump system to our well (since our house was built in 1817, the original source of water was the hand-dug well) to water all the plants, grass, trees - and yes, my multitudes of fruit trees and grape vines I planted to make wine (and sometimes jam) with...(grin!) I'm all for that, but I do have to draw the line at dumpster diving...I don't think I could get into that... ;)

wenbren explains it all said...

I thought only people that collected cans dug around the dumpsters; ugh even that's disgusting I can't imagine what freegans do in there! My husband explained the whole barrel collecting water deal; I get it now very smart!

Cathy said...

Ok, I just thought I had heard it all, but that takes the cake. Wonder if they can find cake in dumpsters? Good luck with the rainwater.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

I just threw up in my mouth a little. Ewww at the Dumpster food. Is this REAL?

The barrels seem like a great idea, though, instead of using "good" water for the plants and grass - they're not exactly picky drinkers.

And... yeah, like I said, Ryan Ashley Stupid. At least now Monsoon has lots of pre-cut colors to practice gluing and snipping! That's right - we're not wasting paper around here. Far from living in spare tires.

Shimmermeblue said...

I've given you a bloggy award. Check my blog to see it.

Gibby said...

Your pictures are so funny! My in-laws have a rain barrel, but I think they just use it to water the lawn. Hopefully they won't take it too much further, because I might have to cut down on my visits. Kidding!!

Quiskaeya said...

I laughed so hard reading this I spit the juice out of mouth! Not cute at all - but this post was hilarious! Well you know I'm all for living more natural. But I'm gonna have to pass on the freeganism. That dumpster diving just won't cut it. Hope the water collecting works out okay though.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Hmm. My husband has been thinking about a rain barrel too. Should I show him this post? Or not? :)

I saw a show on freegans. Now, I love getting stuff for free, but there was a couple that pulled *ice cream* out of a dumpster. I think if you're going to live that kind of lifestyle, you better have good health insurance and a healthy immune system.

Tranquility said...

Oh my... I didn't realize anyone was practicing any of these alternate lifestyles by choice! Huh, something to think about. ;)

Nadine said...

My husband wants to collect rain water for the garden too!

Dumpster diving? Gross!

Wifey said...

Love the barrels.

The rain water is probably safer than everything we drink ... I remember back in the day when everybody played in the yard and drank out of the hose. Damn, I'm old.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

LiLu said...

Ohhhh, that dumpster picture is VILE. And that barrel would definitely be holding beer at our place... not water... we're klassy like that.

david mcmahon said...

Came here from Fat Frumpy & Fifty. Thoroughly enjoyed your writing style.

Greetings from sunny Australia ....

Kailey said...

The collecting rainwater I can get behind. Dumpster diving, however, unhealthy no matter who tells me otherwise.

Jenni Jiggety said...

If you start dumpster diving, you really need to start a blog telling us where all the best spots are...

Technodoll said...

Oh lordy - I'd never heard of Freeganism! Is it really for real?

*goes to take the trash out to encourage the weirdos*

Twinmomwv said...

I saw a report by Lisa Ling on Freeganism on Oprah one time. Actually, I think it was the last time I ever watched Oprah...I think collecting rainwater for your outside needs is great, I do it in the summer for my garden. I hadn't heard about that family not trying to create any waste though....very extreme. BTW, Taos is in New Mexico not Arizona!

Megan said...

Please don't start dumpster diving. I don't think we could be friends. I would never know where the food was coming from that you were feeding me on my visits to CA.

Connie said...

I can't see taking food from dumpsters... sorry, too many risks. But, as someone who worked in a grocery store... long, long, long time ago... we would set 'good' stuff out of the dumpsters. Legally we could NOT give it away, but we didn't like the thought of people in the dumpsters either. So we accidentally left the still-edibles on the side.

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

I have heard of this! It's not for me, though I'd love to get my hands on a t-shirt. :)

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Dumpster Diving. I saw a whole show about that on Oprah. Although I'm thinking Oprah won't be doing it. It is pretty amazing the stuff that gets thrown out.

BTW... good idea about collecting the rain water!

Francesca, thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Heather of the EO said...

In my past life, BK (before kids) I was a social worker. My clients would talk about dumpster diving all the time. With pride. I have to admit that they had some great finds. I was tempted. But scared of the rats and other gross stuff. :)

susannah said...

first the pizza oven, now the rain barrels....you guys are certainly busy in that backyard!

ps my bro is SUCH a dumpster diver. he got me a brand new microwave once that way ;)

Anonymous said...

I think the next step should be a total re-plumbing of your home so that you can incorporate "grey water" into your watering system.

In Davis, CA, it's the wave of the future!