trying to be green

Posted on 18.01.2017

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little celery sprout!

One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is be MORE green than I already am. In my new year’s goals for 2017, I mentioned not wanting to contribute to animal cruelty and go vegan in my cosmetics when possible. This is an extension of that: We also want to stop being so wasteful, in general.

We’ve done a great job of recycling as much as possible and not making as much waste. We’ve even mastered the phrase for ‘don’t you dare give me another fucking plastic bag‘ in Japanese (which is much more polite when spoken, hahah).

In the past few years since we’ve been here, I’ve been having some trouble with plants. It seems they don’t really want to grow or stay alive for me. Even my rosemary plant died, and those things are effing immortals. I think it has to do with the weather: the temperature inside my house is often the same as OUTSIDE my house, so a lot of plants can’t make it through the colder winter months.

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mustard, spinach and chervil

One thing I have managed to do well with so far has been regrowing food from scraps and cuttings, or getting things to grow back from just a few roots.

I’ve had a mint plant that was definitely dead in the planter come back to life (a tiny, tiny life) on my kitchen windowsill all winter. It’ll go back outside in the spring.

A lot of fresh herbs here come with the roots still attached, so lately my windowsill has looked a lot like a garden. The regrowing process is a lot slower in the winter, but it IS definitely happening.

Along with this, I’m not wasting as much food when I can pop the leftover spinach in a jar and keep it alive for longer. I’m making sure to buy ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes, to make sure I don’t have to throw anything away. I also keep a LOT of the glass containers we buy, to hold herbs, spices or plants.

If I was actually allowed to have a proper garden here, I would definitely consider buying one of those at-home compost machines. But we don’t have the space for it here, and the landlord basically told us to not put anything in the ground.

So while I was the queen of reviving dying orchids in Germany, here I’m the boss when it comes to regrowing food.

I hope that wherever we live next, I can do both of them. I do miss having flowers in the house. But green’s not such a bad color for our natural-colored, traditional Japanese house.

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