Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Food Storage

So Sharon Astyk over at Casaubon’s Book has been posting a lot about food storage lately.

I wanted to have a summary of what I have stored at this time (and maybe, another at the end of the month to see how much I ate out of storage this month…)

Couple of things to remember:

~I’m a “starving” student, and while I have more money than most students, I’m still kinda broke. (I suppose I could say I’m a “hungry” student instead.)

~This month shall be rather tight. My SO isn’t making too much, and my hours at work got cut (oh the joys of post Consumermas retail). Fortunately he’s got a new job lined up, and we have Valentine’s day to boost sales come February – belt tightening is temporary.

~I experience anaphylaxia when I eat rice (any kind)

~Everything (‘cept the soup) is estimated to the best of my abilities

In our pantry:

~6kg of flour (13.2lbs)

~4kg of quick oats (8.8lbs)

~1.9kg of pasta (4.2lbs)

~2L of canola oil (0.5 gallons)

~1.5kg Margarine (3.3lbs)

~1lb dried Kidney beans

~1lb dried Mung beans

~1lb green Lentils

~0.5lbs Red Quinoa

~1kg Honey (2.2lbs)

~5kg White Sugar (11lbs)

~1.5kg Brown Sugar (3.3lbs)

~0.2L Vanilla Extract (0.05 gallons)

~0.5kg Baking Soda (1.1lbs)

~0.2kg Baking Powder (0.4lbs)

~11x284ml cans of creamy soup

~Some Pancake mix

~100 bags of tea (mostly white, some green, some black, few decaf/herbal)

~Various spices

I have a long way to go for a years worth according to about.com’s calculator. But as long as I go the right way (more added than eaten) I guess that counts for something.

Have you made an inventory of your storage?


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Very, very bad.

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When I was in high school, I had a shrink trying to analyze me and whatnot… and he asked me a question that really stuck with me through all these years. We were talking about how strict I am about adhering to schedules and he asked, “If I had called in sick today and your appointment had been canceled, how would you have reacted?”

And I thought about it for a minute and answered, “It would have ruined my day.” And it would have. Not because I was particularly desperate to see him, but because it would have thrown off my schedule.

Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten quite a bit more… spontaneous. Easy going. More able to roll with the punches.

All that being said, I was only mildly surprised to find myself walking, after class and unexpectedly, to a hill overlooking downtown for Earth Hour.

I am, to say the least, ashamed at how many lights where still on in the cityscape I could see.

Shame. Shame. Shame. Or something.

In all fairness it wasn’t very well promoted. I almost didn’t hear about it. Not that I don’t live under a rock, ’cause I so totally do, but still. The lack of turn out (off?) for Earth Hour is not the point of this post though. Read on!

As a society, we are so dependent on electricity that leaving the lights off for an hour is actually an event. An event! I was sitting with a friend, after we gave up watching downtown, in candle light and it was so… odd. It had romantic connotations. It brought some sort of natural disaster feel to the room too.

Think of the last time you did something by candle light. Either you were trying to set the mood, doing something religious/spiritual or were unable to turn the electric lights on. No, I’m not stalking you. Promise.

Our use of electricity stems from our need to run such odd hours — off of the sun’s time. I’m sure many of you have heard how there “aren’t enough hours in the day” and other cliched sayings to that effect. And it’s true in these times. I read it over at Get Rich Slowly. I can’t find the specific post right now (darn my lack of ‘google-fu’ … is it even still google-fu when you’re not searching in google?) but it was an interesting number about how we work longer hours, on average, than any culture before us.

To make the hours in the day we start burning midnight oil — or, much more likely, keeping the office or home lights on just a little bit later. It’s screwing with our sleep schedules (we’re so sleep deprived, as a society, that the number of car accidents SPIKES when we miss out on one hour of sleep due to daylight savings time). It’s alienating us from everyone: family, friends, neighbourhoods; Most people know their coworkers or classmates much better than they know their next door neighbours. It’s causing a host of stress related health problems in the population at large. It’s directly taking the time from us to do things for ourselves (grow food, slow clothing, etc.) which has resulted in a society completely dependent on corporations to fill their most basic needs.

We will need to make a lot of changes to adapt to a world without cheap oil and to minimize the human-caused aspects of climate change. Some will be easy, some will be difficult. Think of it this way: if the ability to have the lights on until midnight, three or five am is eliminated, and more people have to do things for themselves, the long work week should crumble into a faded memory. That’s got to be a positive thing. Unless you’re a workaholic, but I’m sure you could still find something to keep you busy, if you are.

(Why yes, I am procrastinating finishing my post on biofuels, why do you ask?)

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