Archive for the 'eco city alexandria' Category

March of Time

Hello!  I have been selfish with my time lately, and away from here too often.  Perhaps I have been living alone too long, and my communication skills have deteriorated past the point of blogging.  I’m only taking one easy class this semester, my graduate school applications are all in (I’ll hear back anytime between now and early April), and work is busy, but not that busy.  It’s really just the selfish-about-my-time-thing.  Since I have so much of it back after the stress of last semester, I’m piddling it away on silly things for the sheer joy of having it to waste.

But, I am a month overdue on whatever challenge I was working on, and I’ll have some big life changes soon (this blog possibly won’t be partly Alexandria-related for much longer), and I do like the blogging life, and it has been a nice round two and a half years since I started this, so I have some nostalgia and plans and a few general thoughts to work through.  So!  Onward!

The January Challenge:  Eat all my food.  This was mostly a success.  I learned lots, anyway, like how I should just never, ever, ever buy milk.  No matter how small the carton, it’s not going to be drunk.  I’ve gotten the hang of finishing large bags of greenery, and looking in my fridge and pantry to finish fresh fruit and veggies before I just have cheese and crackers for dinner.  It’s been a good practice to integrate with trying to spend less on food, eat healthier, and prepare more meals for myself.  Not “cook” mind you, just “prepare meals”.

I’ve documented what I learned by creating a chart of “Foods I Eat” and listing foods that I can trust myself to finish all of.  This is helping me edit my grocery lists. For instance, buying avocados and peppers and apples are good, useful choices, but I shouldn’t buy potatoes or onions without a pressing reason, since I’ll probably forget to use them in time.

Forget a February challenge with the snow and such, my challenge was not going insane all alone in my apartment, and that pretty much worked except for a few days in the middle of the snowpocalypse week that were touch-and-go.

March is halfway over, and the challenge for the rest of the month is posting regularly.  Regularly will be defined as posting every other day at least.  This blog keeps me honest about my attempts to live more sustainably, and when I ignore it, my resolve slips.

As for the nostalgia part:  I’ve been writing this blog for two and a half years, during which time I’ve moved thrice (soon to be, er, fource?), switched jobs, begun a career change, and ended a relationship.  The blog is not responsible for all of that, but it helped me organize some thoughts on the career switch.  Following the Eco City Alexandria project got me thinking about planning more seriously.  This blog has changed the way I eat.  I’ve cut meat out almost entirely (though if I am a guest I eat what’s prepared for me, since my vegetarianism is not anyone else’s problem).  (And also sometimes I just want to eat a lamb.)  But I can go weeks happily avoiding meat, and this was inconceivable for me just a year ago.  I’m eating healthier because of it- just paying attention to what I eat causes me to consume more vegetables, which is a thing.

Typing through my environmental worries has also made me much more comfortable about setting my personal goals and boundaries.  There’s still plenty I need to work on- my relationship with water, some of the trash I create, my transportation methods- but I know now what’s easy for me to change, and I’ve changed most of that.  I don’t get a sense of paralyzing environmental guilt in grocery stores anymore when I see plastic packaging.  I’m happy trading off warmer, longer showers in winter for turning the heat lower.  I’m comfortable with my failures at gardening and composting- though I’m ready to try again, with time and hopefully help.  Also charts.

This comfort with my efforts and failures also leads me into ruts, yes, but I can work out of those.  By blogging more.  Starting now.

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Events All Over

In order of occurrence:

Alexandria Earth Day Celebration, Ben Brenman Park.  It’s this Saturday from 10-2- the park is right across from Beatley Library (the one with the five triangle peaks that bug me).  The theme is green transport, so bike (they have a bike valet, and the Holmes Run Trail is very convenient), take the free shuttle from King Street Metro, or take the AT8 bus.  I’ll be in class, so we can’t hang out, but there’s a tree sale and lots of booths!  Plus the Eco City people will be announcing their Phase II draft of our Environmental Plan.  More on that later.

Phoenix Bikes 2009 Bike Show.  April 30th, 7-9 at the Dome Theatre in Arlington- 1101 Wilson Blvd.  Tickets are $20 online, and $30 at the door.  Proceeds benefit the same bike repair/recycling and teaching shop that I got my little white Peugeot from a couple years ago- it’s a great program.  Plus, raffle.  And drinks, food, and smoothies, bicycle blended.  Also helmet tattoos.  Should be a thing!  See you there?

Eco City Open House- May 11, comment on the Action Plan Phase II draft.  Houston Rec Center, 901 Wythe, 6:30 to 9 again.  You know the drill!  Except a call to action, and citizen commitments.

Eco City Cafe Thursday Night

6:00, Lee Center, March 19th, another open session on the Eco-City plan medium and long-term goals.  Get all your ideas heard- they’re open until 9pm.  Check out the website for more details.

Green Building Forum Tonight

7-9pm, at the Washington Masonic Memorial.  There’s a presentation and some time for public comment on Alexandria’s Planning and Zoning Department draft plan, which is available here.  More details from the City of Alexandria website, should you wish.

See you there!

Eco-City Alexandria News

1) Recycle your christmas tree, if you can bear to take it down yet- just set it out, naked, in your curbside pickup area before 7am, January 17th (this Saturday morning).

2)  The city’s posted a list of their top ten biggest environmental accomplishments of 2008.

3) Tuesday (tomorrow), Alexandria’s Environmental Policy Comission will present their final draft of the first phase of the Environmental Action Plan for the city to the full Council.  Given their hard work and support from a few city council members, I’m betting it will be accepted.   You can find pdfs of the first phase and the EPC’s presentation to the council here.

4) On Wednesday January 28th, the city will hold a Green Building Forum from 7-9 in the Washington Masonic Memorial.  The draft proposal to be presented, along with an agenda and directions, can be found here.  If you haven’t been to the Masonic Memorial yet, it’s worth a trip for the building alone, and the possibility of finding the animatronic George Washington figure in the basement.  Yes, it talks.  Come along, I’m going, and I’m pretty sure EcoCheap is too!

5) OH SNAP Alexandria is having a restaurant week.  This is not necessarily Eco-City news, but shop local, eh?  From the list: Las Tapas is delicious; I was really looking forward to Bilbo Baggins but I found a bug in my appetizer the first time and never went back; Stardust is cute and tasty; and Pat Troy’s is way fun, but more for a big group of friends and $5 pints and sing-a-longs than a three course prix fixe.  Then again, I’ve only had the privilege of the late-night menu at Pat Troy’s, and that’s pretty hearty, so maybe I’m missing something.  And those are the only places I know and feel strongly about, so I have some sampling to do.

Reminder: Eco City Open House Tonight

It’s from 6:30 to 9:30 at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria VA. I can’t find a schedule for the meeting, and the posted flyer (that’s a .pdf file) I just saw asked for an RSVP by November 10th, which I certainly didn’t do.  So, I can’t tell if they want us to be there the entire time, or if I’m crashing, but I’ll check it out when I can.

The Eco-City Alexandria Blog has linked the drafts of the Environmental Action Plans we as citizens are supposed to be reviewing, so you can do your homework.  If you can’t make it, emailed suggestions are welcome (eco-cityalexandra (at) alexandriava.com).

See you there!

Eco City Action Plan Meeting November 17th

So’s you know- the Eco City Alexandria Initiative has hit that stage where the city has a Plan. There’s an Open House at the Lee Center Lee Center from 6:30 to 9:30 next Monday, where we can comment on their short-term Environmental Action Plan. If you’d like a say on what the city does to get an ecostart over the next three years, stop by- or email eco-cityalexandra (at) alexandriava.com.


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virescent.blog (at ) gmail.com

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