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I'm a Homewrecker

Thermometer Shield with and without bird nest

It's a hard realization, but if you can't be honest with yourself...
I recently built a simple thermometer shield to protect an outdoor thermometer from direct sunlight and reflected heat. I reused a section of white PVC pipe to provide additional cover for the outdoor sensor. A pair of nesting birds found the pipe and decided to move in.

Opening the Zia Station

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Few things seem to get people as excited as a train rolling into town. I wouldn't have thought that a public meeting about a commuter rail station would pack a school cafeteria full of concerned citizens. Yet, that was the scene on March 14th as neighbors came to find out more about the possible opening of the Zia Station for the Rail Runner Express.

A Home Grown Potluck

Uncle Sam Says Garden to Cut Food Costs

The Santa Fe Complex and Home Grown New Mexico are holding a First Community Homesteading Potluck Gathering on March 29th at 7pm at the Santa Fe Complex. The potlucks will continue through the summer on the fourth Tuesday of each month. The goal is to bring individuals together to organically create an environment of education between the different levels of experience.

Radio, It's Harder than it Sounds

Talk Radio

I have a new-found respect for the folks who work in live radio. I recently appeared on 'The Journey Home', a local radio show, for 'Sustainable Tuesday'. I can only use the well-worn metaphor comparing radio to a verbal high-wire act. Fortunately, the host - Diego Mulligan, was friendly and helped move the conversation along. I had fun and enjoyed the chance to introduce EcoDaddyo.com to the world of radio. Click here to listen to 'The Journey Home' with EcoDaddyo.com.

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Oh Poop!

Mule Poop

It takes a little planning and a few barnyard animals, but finding free fertilizer can be easy and cheap. A friend of mine who lives outside of town has mules ... and their byproducts. Mules are great animals, if you have the room for them, and they produce a considerable amount of fertilizer. Local stables can be a good source of livestock manure if you can haul it away and compost the stuff.

The Rugged Individual vs Fossil Fuels

Natural Gas Meter

Living in the American Southwest, many of us see ourselves as rugged individuals. Movies, books, songs, etc. have celebrated the image of the independent westerner blazing his/her own trail. But, bitterly cold weather has popped the illusion of independence for a great many New Mexicans. Very few of us realized that a power-outage in Texas could trigger natural gas outages for thousands of people across New Mexico.

Fussy Babies & Fussy Recipes

Fussy Recipe

I’m afraid my love affair with Cook’s Illustrated might be coming to an end. Unfortunately, fussy babies and fussy recipes do not mix.

I’m home with the little one and I’m looking for food that will sustain us during this winter’s bitter cold and can be made with either a child in arms or during nap-time. Surely, chili completely fits the bill--hearty, warming, freezes well, can perk along on the stove. That’s how I usually think of chili but not so at Cook’s Illustrated.

The Downside of Takeout

Trash Can, full of disposable packaging

Ours is usually a 'half-full trash bin' sort of family. Some of our neighbors roll out an overflowing trash bin each week while our bin usually holds one small bag. Our full recycling bins and compost account for some reduction in our trash output. I try to avoid excess packaging and waste, but we definitely aren't a zero-waste family. Our trash bag filled quickly this week when we ordered takeout food that was packaged in unrecyclable styrofoam clamshells.

Darn!

Darning wool socks

The more I learn about conservation and frugality, the more I re-discover what my grandparents knew. In this case it's darning. I vastly prefer the warmth and comfort of wool socks, glove liners and sweaters to cotton and most synthetics. Those same wool garments (especially socks) consistently wear out in the same places. Instead of throwing out mostly-good wool socks I've started darning (mending) them and extending their useful life.

Eco Resolutions and Results

Times Square New Year's Eve Ball

Like many folks, I made a New Year's Resolution last January. "That's my plan for 2010, make one dozen changes to burn less fossil fuel and eat more locally." According to Psychology Today, "setting specific goals, sharing our resolutions with others, and focusing on the benefits of achieving the resolution" are simple strategies towards sticking to resolutions. I hoped my goal was ambitious yet achievable and I shared it with EcoDaddyo readers. Now let's see how well I kept my resolutions.

2010 Resolution Results

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