Monday, March 1, 2010

One Small Change, February wrap up, March Aspiration

Today is March first. Time to ponder my One Small Change for March and last month's small change.

For February, my one small change was to have my oven multi-task in order to be more efficient with the liquid propane that it uses. I was able to achieve this by employing several tactics. First and foremost I tried to plan better. We bake our own bread which means that the oven is at a temp of 350 degrees for one hour, two or three times a week. On bread baking day, I would plan to bake something else in the oven while the bread was baking. Sometimes it was twice baked potatoes that needed to be baked for the first time. Other times, I would whip up a quick bread while the yeast bread was on it's second rise so that all the breads would be in the oven at the same time. I would also arrange the timing of the bread going into the oven if there was something that was going to be baked or roasted with dinner. I also resorted to batch baking; taking some of the recipes I use often and doubling them. I tried to increase the numbers of loaves of bread I would bake so that I would decrease the amount of times I turned on the oven on during the week. I also used the top of our woodstove more often to keep tea water always warm and at the ready, to slow cook beans during the day, to steam squash for soups and breads.

All in all, I think it went pretty well. I considered this month a great success when yesterday Mark was in the kitchen preparing his feast for St. Davids day. He had a batch of beer cooking on the woodstove, a pot of cawl cennin cooking on the wood stove and a batch of cyrmu cakes baking on the electric griddle. In about another month and a half we will not be using the woodstove so much. But we have an old cookstove that we use for sapping, summer canning and summer baking that we will put back into service.

For the month of March my one small change is to embrace the notion of reducing (one of the three R's) by tackling a mental block I have to the notion of mending.
Starting with these socks. They have been haunting me all winter. It is just so much fun to cast on for a new pair of socks. But these old wooly friends have served me well and still have a lot of life left in them, as well as a few well worn heels. So I will mend these beauties and wear them in my work boots this spring. This will also save the life of my newer socks.

I also have a basket full of mending. Little tears, seams that need reinforcing, work pants that just need one more patch. So I will diligently sit down at least once a week and whittle away at the pile.

By mending the clothing and socks I am giving my garments longer life and preserving some clothing from being relegated to the work clothes drawer. I am not adding to landfills with old clothing. I am not buying more clothes when the ones I have are just fine; even if they have more character than the ones found on the rack at the Goodwill.

So what is your change this month?


Witchy Mom's Homeschool said...

Happy March! I love the idea of doing one small change. I have been pondering this for a few minutes now as to what I could do! The past month, I have been reorganizing our home to simplify it. I've been trying to get rid of clutter and reorganize so that things can be more efficient on our home. I am still somewhat in the middle of this particular project. I have donated quite a large amount of clothing, toys, home items, etc. to Goodwill/Salvation army (depending on which drop-box was closest to me on my arrand-day drives). In my mind, as you said, it will save someone ELSE from buying new when they could recycle a gently used item. So I guess that means my one-small-change (reorganizing/decluttering to simplify our own home) could have a ripple effect for others.

This month, I plan to continue with my reorganizing/decluttering. If I were to add another small change to that list for the month, I guess it would be to eat out less, cook at home more, and eat up more leftovers before they go bad in the fridge. As you indicated, these changes often can be as simple as being better organized and better at planning ahead.

Thanks for the inspiration to keep on keepin' on!

Hip Mountain Mama said...

It was great to hear how Feb went! I have actually been thinking about this lately and am trying to designate one or two days to baking. In fact yesterday I spent a few hours in the kitchen just baking to get ready for the week!
It will feel so good to get your mending done. Enjoy!

6512 and growing said...

Your sanity preserving list 2009, is extraordinary! Congratulations on that!

Wendy said...

I, too, avoid mending--you've inspired me!