May 4, 2016

Live And Let Live



I don't promote stuff on my blog, and I wouldn't buy one for myself, but when I saw this innovative bug catcher I loved the idea, and how it might represent a larger picture where we are beginning to honour all life.

I like this idea so much that I tried to find out who invented it. I didn't find out who the inventor was, but I am sure she was a Jain. If not, it must have at least been someone that knows it is better to live and let live.

A Jain's goal is to live a life of harmlessness. Practicing non-violence, Jains will sweep the ground ahead of them so they do not step on any living things. A covering over the mouth and nose insures that no bugs are inhaled. They don't eat left overs because there is an increased chance of microorganisms growing in the food, which they don't want to harm.

Jains also practice living responsibly. There are no gods or spiritual beings that will save humans from themselves.

There are other ways of catching and releasing crawly things in your home, but this one is pretty neat. It is a vast improvement over grabbing a rolled up newspaper, or spraying poison.

It's a Jain-approved bug relocation device.





May 2, 2016

Most Efficient Dishwasher Ever




In recent years the appliance industry has greenwashed their dishwashers quite successfully. It is now commonly understood that a human could never do dishes as efficiently as that magical mechanical servant under your counter. I am skeptical. 

But then, I am a fan of hand washing my dishes. It is one of my simple pleasures.

I don't want to ever be too busy to do dishes, or to cook my own food, or grow a garden, or write a letter, or simply do nothing. Maybe dishwashers make us feel more stressed, rather than less, in that they give us more time to do things less healthy and stress-relieving as a good session of hand washing dishes.

While I may use more water than an ultra-efficient dishwasher (or do I?), I do not use any additional electricity in the washing or the drying. 

Another irritant for me is the noise dishwashers make. Doosh, doosh, doosh, doosh, doosh...click, whirr... How am I supposed to hear the birds singing, or wind blowing with all that mechanically malevolent mumbo jumbo?





Today's dishwashers sure have cleaned up their reputation as energy hogs. Now they are the green way to go, so if you don't have time, or don't like to hand wash, you can use your under counter dishwasher without guilt. 

I'm still skeptical. I think the most efficient dishwasher ever is the one you don't use. Super efficient and green, just like hand washing. 

That is why my dishwasher is more of a closet than a mechanical kitchen "aide". It is very efficient in keeping the clutter off my counter tops.





April 30, 2016

New Neighbours



In many places in Consumerland there aren't neighbours any more. Since we are too busy working and consuming to get to know the people that share our locality, we now have something more like "residential proximity associates".

Linda and I spent a decade living in a housing cooperative in Edmonton, AB. Not only did we know our immediate neighbours, we knew everyone in the entire 60 unit intentional community. We worked and played together, and it was the best neighbour situation we have ever had the pleasure of living in.

Since moving to Nova Scotia 2 years ago, we have discovered that our neighbours are one of the best parts of our  new living situation. This week we are celebrating getting even newer neighbours. Our small community on the old potato farm is growing, and we welcome the expanding diversity.

We didn't see when they set up house right next to ours. Packing light, they burrowed in and settled down seemingly overnight, possibly to raise a family. If so, we can expect 2 to 8 baby neighbours to emerge from their eco-friendly earthship home any time now.

Soon Linda and I will go over with a nice plate of roots, tubers and insects, introduce ourselves and welcome the new residents to the neighbourhood.


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