Was there some way to help townspeople actually cut down on their trash so PAYT wouldn't be so costly?
Flash forward to the curbside compost program. You purchase a container the right size for your household, and place in it all manner of degradable material, from clementine crates to meat bones to cat litter to regular kitchen scraps. Suddenly our trash bags were much lighter since much of it was now hauled away as compost. At the same time, the town started picking up recycling every week.
After a few years of this, the PAYT program started, with two sizes of bags. Given the effort to ramp up composting and recycling, the transition was fairly smooth. We use the $1 small bags, and we don't even generate enough trash for weekly pickup, so we only put it out every other week. We also diligently compost everything we can, and recycle cardboard, plastic, and cans every week. Because the compost program is working so well, having to pay fifty cents a week for a bag is a minor imposition.
Next month, Brattleboro rolls out yet another phase of the plan, reducing trash pickup to every other week. Essentially the populace has now been trained to focus on compost and recycling and reduce trash production. I'm impressed.
This is all a long introduction to my brilliant bathroom wastebasket solution.
Here's the problem: we were great at separating out compost from trash in the kitchen, but in the bathroom we still blended everything together. A wastebasket that was 90% tissues and cardboard cotton swabs would be deemed trash because there were, say, a few plastic dental flossers or adhesive bandages mixed in.
The solution? I divided our bathroom system into trash and compost, just like the kitchen. We use compostable Biobags for the larger container with all the tissues etc. We can just gather it up and put it in our compost bin. The other tiny container is for trash. I trim the handles off a plastic grocery bag to create a mini bin liner. We now have a miniscule amount of bathroom trash every week.
So now 90% of our bathroom waste is diverted from the trash stream into the compost stream, and just a dollop goes into our biweekly trash bag.
Isn't that amazing?? It's the little things, eh?
I devoured the book in one sitting because in addition to being slim, it was also fascinating and sometimes hilarious. The railroad line opened in 1880 and was closed down for good in 1936. The train had a disturbing tendency to derail. It was notoriously slow and late. The route ran up such a steep hill near Newfane that the train had to be hauled up in two sections. The railroad was said to run "try-daily," meaning it would head to Brattleboro in the morning and try to get back to South Londonderry that night. There are tons of other stories--I just ordered myself the book so I can revisit them.
To this day, while the tracks of the West River Railroad are long gone, you can see where the railroad left its mark on this corner of Vermont. Bridge piers are still standing in a few places along the West River. And the railbed itself is, in sections, a fantastic trail for hiking, biking, skiing... or running. So when I heard about the West River Trail Run, nicknamed "11 miles of trouble," it went right onto my to-do list of races for this year. I love trails, I love running, I love the West River Railroad's twisted history: perfect!
The West River Trail Run is in its 4th year and nicely organized. Since it's a point to point event it's recommended to park at the finish, Jamaica State Park, and a bus transports runners to the start in South Londonderry. (I'm talking about the longer 11-mile option, but there is also a 5k that starts and ends at JSP.)
- I still love trail running. It's so varied and pretty.
- 11 miles is a good distance for me. It was just long enough that it started to feel like work, but not, say, a 50k sufferfest. It felt just right. My legs are sore today, so I know I worked hard and will get stronger as a result.
- That said... I don't really want to run 50k in only 2 weeks. I don't have enough miles under my belt this season. I could try to clench my teeth and grit it out, but that sounds SO not-fun. I love being in the woods! I want to have fun! I want to revel in what my body can do, and not feel sad or uncomfortable about forcing something I may not be ready for.
- So... I've decided to drop down to a 25k for my next race. Fortunately this is an option, and it feels right. It feels like a relief!
Roadside rose at the race start in South Londonderry
|Chrysler Building view while I'm crossing the street|
This past week I was lucky enough to travel to New York City for work, going on Wednesday morning and coming back Friday evening. Another way of putting it is that I was in New York for three lunches and two dinners, and we did our best to try as many things as possible. (I sincerely appreciate my job for making this possible; 4 out of these 5 meals were with colleagues.)
Day 1: Lunch was a Cuban pork pressed sandwich plus salad, so good.
Dinner was at Rossini's, an old school classic Italian restaurant in Murray Hill complete with red and gold decor, a pianist playing Sinatra standards and show tunes, and a heavy leather-bound menu. We ordered a bunch of appetizers to share, most memorably a super-soft fresh mozzarella. I had scallops for my entree.
Day 2: For lunch we ordered a bunch of Indian food and ate it family style, including Chicken Tikka Masala, Saag Paneer, and Lamb Vindaloo. This was very exciting since Brattleboro has no Indian restaurant at the moment, so it's pretty much a required cuisine for Brattleburghers who travel.
After work, I had a great evening on my own that involved shopping at H&M, a fabulous Juilliard student concert of student work, and dinner at Molyvos, the Greek restaurant in my very own hotel. I adore Greek food and it's hard to find in New England.
|St. Patrick's Cathedral in the evening sun|
Do you have a required cuisine that you seek out when you travel? Or a favorite meal you've had on the road?
Also, we are eating dinner. Again. This seems to happen every day, and sometimes I don't quite know what to make. Today I had a piece of salmon and a red cabbage but no ideas, so I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. (Pinterest is basically a bulletin board of links to other places on the web, and I use it to find crafts, recipes, interior decorating, and clothing ideas.)
For the cabbage, I picked out Asian Slaw from Add a Pinch.
I didn't have green cabbage or sesame seeds, so I added fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice instead. That makes sense, right?
The food processor helped with the carrot & cabbage shredding.
Asian Slaw is ready to go!
For the salmon, I chose Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dijon by Natasha's Kitchen. Didn't have parsley for this one, so I skipped it.
Dijon mustard, lemon juice & garlic are part of the mix.
Popping in a super-hot oven to bake.
I also found a handy box of Near East quinoa blend in the cupboard, so that's our side dish.
Voila! Dinner is served.
PS, the salmon recipe blog makes a big point about putting foil under the fish. She's right. Not only does the foil make for easy clean-up, but the skin bakes to the foil meaning we could just peel the fillets right off. Perfect!
What about you, how do you solve dinner dilemmas? Do you like Pinterest?
This week I had a surprise! I got to spend $300, totally unplanned. Yes, that's three hundred spontaneous clams!! However, now that I've given it more thought, I would have preferred to spend that money in other ways. Here's what I'm thinking for an ideal layout of that much money:
DVDs of the first 2 seasons of Broad City ($30)
Small ceramic pitcher for milk or gravy ($10)
Gift of a therapeutic massage for a loved one ($80)
Sunday brunch with my family at duo restaurant ($80)
3 pairs of technical underwear (I like Ex Officio) ($60)
A new waffle maker, possibly that makes heart shaped waffles ($40)
Instead, somewhat under duress, I spent this money on a "front O2 sensor" for my Subaru. Also, I don't really have that money to spare, so I borrowed it from my daughter's college fund. But I'll pay her back next month, really!
What would you do with $300?
A big gorgeous tree in Washington Square park
Things AccomplishedWe attended a classic movie at the Film Forum (Jean Cocteau's Beauty & the Beast, 1946, black-and-white, in French with subtitles). We visited 4 different parks: Central, Bryant, Washington Square, and Union Square. Collectively we visited three mega-groceries/markets: Westerly Natural Market (several times), Whole Foods, and Eataly. Collectively we visited 9 restaurants/bars (lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch, dinner, lunch, drinks, other drinks, dinner). We saw about 30 canines, most of whom wore sweaters or jackets and sometimes shoes.
Food Consumed (my favorite!!!)
We stayed at the Wellington Hotel on 7th avenue just south of Central Park & Carnegie Hall. Modest, clean, efficient, centrally located--if you have AAA membership try booking through that site or check the hotel site for deals. This time our double bed was a full rather than a luxurious king like last time, but it'll do.
How is your February going?
I decided to break with tradition and make an EXTRA pie in 2016, as a special Valentine's gift to a certain someone who only likes one kind of pie. (APPLE!) Most years I only bake a rhubarb pie in the spring and an apple pie in the fall, so I am already way ahead of myself.