23 February 2013

Ten of Tens, March Update

Take-out happened this week -- twice -- but for the first time since the beginning of the year.  Virus also happened this week, and night-time asthma and vomiting, and an out-patient surgical procedure... so it was a more than usually stressful week.

I've been getting better about cooking on the weekends so as to have ample leftovers available for lunches, and for dinners on short notice, during the week.  And I'm ready to re-commit to avoiding take-out and all its trash.

This is all part of the ten of tens, in which I make the effort to change one thing each month that will make a positive environmental impact.  In January, I tried to eat more local food, but failed pretty thoroughly; I also stopped eating take-out, which wasn't the official plan for the month, but had been on my radar.

In February, I redoubled my efforts to eat more local food, but have largely failed again.  Recently, I recalled research on "food deserts," defined as urban areas more than one mile away from a supermarket.  In short, this research acknowledges that if food is more than a mile away in a place where people don't typically have cars, or more than ten miles in rural areas where it's assumed that they do, then it's difficult to deal with grocery shopping.

The nearest farmer's market, at Tompkins Square, is 1.3 miles away and operates only on Sunday; the bigger one at Union Square that's open four days a week is 2.3 miles.  On a warm spring or fall day, or even a steamy summer one, I'm quite happy to hop on my bike, load it up with produce, and ride back home.  But in the cold of winter ... particularly if there's precipitation ... the time required to put on all those layers and the energy required to face the temperatures has been defeating me.

However, I'll keep trying.  Aided by the fact that spring is on its way.  And for March, I'll work on limiting water use: shorter showers, less running water while washing dishes.  A nice easy goal, because I already know March is going to be a bear, with three of four weekends committed to travels of varying length.

Meanwhile, not eating takeout has become a good habit.  And with a few additions to freezer and pantry, it will be that much more solid.