Monday, April 20, 2009

The Accidental Eco-ist

When we first arrived in Brazil, I experienced a lot of culture shock. I suppose that's to be expected. When you're from Texas, any place OUTSIDE of The Lone Star State seems like foreign country - this was the Real Deal.
We did not live lavishly prior to moving here, but we, like many other Americans, took for granted the amenities many homes in The States have to offer. Things like dishwashers, garbage disposals and central air and heat are just a few.
At first, living without those conveniences regularly set me into "WHY can't this Country just . Be. Normal?" mode, but as time has gone by, I realize we just might have turned into Accidental Eco-ists.

Previously, I wasn't the most fastidious about remembering my reusable grocery bags - but when I saw these very "designerly" totes in the Brazilian supermarket, I was converted!
So, yes, I still miss a garbage disposal terribly, but what is my loss is our garden's gain. Whatever fruit/vegetable scraps, leftovers, coffee grounds (they are fabulous soil-enrichers, ya know!) we have get blended up into a scrumptious soil concoction...
Looks downright yummy, huh? ;) Yeah, I wouldn't go near it with a ten-foot straw, but our plants LOVE IT! Not exactly traditional composting, but who cares? Check out my "kitchen garden!"
Rarely have I had lavender that survived, much less bloomed!
And the rosemary....oh, the rosemary!
We've even had some surprise newbies pop up - the result of onion, ginger, and cilantro remnants taking root!
Don't get me wrong, this is not a pat on the back for me. Given the choice, I'll still take an SUV (OK, maybe a Crossover) any day over a Smartcar. All I'm saying is, without any noble intent, we've become "greener", and the thing is I DIG it! Not because I feel holier-than-thou or some idiotic sense of empowerment (because I don't), it's just nice to know we can adapt - we ARE facing unique challenges - and we (and our garden!) are thriving just the same...

P.S. - Guess who had a project-filled weekend? Yessir, now that (I'm declaring) the Rainy Season over - the paint cans and tools were bustin' a move!
Remember this ol' guy?
...And this little chula?
Should have some fun "after" pics for ya by Wednesday!


Anonymous said...

Good for you! And your garden! I didn't realize coffee grounds were so good for the soil. You learn something new everyday! I will definitely be trying all of these with my plants. Can't wait to see the lamp and chest!

corine said...

First, I think the idea of grinding your waste and using it in the garden is pure genius.

Second: do we have the same piece of furniture. Mine and yours look separated at birth. I can't believe you're daring enough to paint it and I can't wait to see the results

Under a Green Roof said...

Look at how great your garden is! That is fantastic and what a good way to be more kind to the planet. I really should be more eco-conscious.

btw, I love your blog! I have added you to my reader and I am really enjoying your adventures! Thanks for sharing your fun with me!!!

Haven and Home said...

I really want a kitchen garden. It is neat that after living without that stuff for a while you just get used to it and you are doing something good for the earth. I can't wait to see the after pictures of your projects!