One of the coolest things about writing, well, anything, is the increased awareness you gain about the subject your writing about. If it’s a family history or memoir, you invariably learn more about yourself or your family. If it’s fiction, which is what I write, I try to pick an underlying subject that stretches me, makes me learn more.
I selected a schooner as a setting for the first book in my Tropical Persuasions series, and in the process of writing it, I learned a lot about sailing. Even got to spend four days on a working schooner. For Northern Lights, I learned a lot about the Alaskan indigenous people. In Show Me, I learned about the resilience it takes for a family to survive cancer.
I’ve recently branched out from my romance genre and am working on a series that is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. The further into writing this series I get, the more I want to know about what I can do to help preserve this planet for future generations. So in my spare time (yeah, right, when do we have that???) I’ve been reading blogs and checking out ways to reduce my personal footprint on this earth. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to disappear, and I sure as heck want to be remembered when I’m gone. But I’ve wanted to know what things I can do to recycle, reuse, and protect.
We all know the usual stuff, like changing out light bulbs to more efficient ones, driving our cars less, turning the water off while we brush our teeth, or using a refillable water container. Below, I’ve listed a few things that either taught me something, were an idea I didn’t know, or just plain made me laugh.
- Stir your coffee with a stick of dry pasta (like spaghetti) instead of a stir stick.
- Take your car to the car wash (they use less water than washing at home)
- Use organic, homemade pesticides. Click here for one of many websites I found that talk about homemade pesticides.
- Soap nuts as laundry detergent – I’ve never tried this, never even heard of it, but these berry shells have saponin in them, which works as a natural surfactant. Click here to read an article that talks about them.
- Clean up with vinegar. It’s a natural way to kill bacteria, germs, and mold. Click here for an article that talks about all the ways you can use vinegar to clean.
- Bamboo, the fastest growing plant on earth, making it more sustainable, isn’t just for floors. It’s a biofuel, can be used to make clothing and towels, even disposable diapers. Eco-friendly diapers. Wow.
- Unplug what’s not being used. Plug things into a power strip you can turn off when not in use.
- Use glass, silicone or ceramic dishes in oven – more efficient and reduce cooking time.
- When landscaping, use native plants.
And my two favorite ideas for staying warm in winter…
- Invite friends over – they generate heat.
- Cuddle up with your honey or your pet.
It’s been fun reading about the different ways to help. I’m interested in trying the vinegar thing. Hoping it doesn’t make my whole house smell that way, though. And the soap nuts intrigue me. I might have to give them a try, too.
I hope you have a relaxing, sun-filled sun-filled summer and get a chance to enjoy everything that is good about our planet.