I moved this past weekend. Into an apartment. And after several days of lugging boxes up and down stairs, unpacking box upon box of books, selecting IKEA furniture, building IKEA furniture, I am ready to start shaping my new life in this wonderful apartment. My boyfriend and I had already agreed that we wanted to be living as eco-friendly as possible. And while we ideally want to be living in a house where we can recycle a million different ways and compost in the backyard, we aren’t there yet.
The night after we moved in, we ran over to the MOMs in Jessup to get the essentials we were missing. Two hours later we walked out with way more than we had planned but deliriously happy about our bags of goodies. The next day we stopped by Might Healthy Pet where we got eco-friendly toys and treats for my little Jack Russell Terrier named Stella. I’m working on getting her on more natural dog food but she has a very sensitive system and can have “issues” when I change anything up, even a little bit. Any ideas?
So how do we live as the “eco-warriors” we strive to be while being apartment dwellers? How do all of you handle supporting the environment in your various living situations?
Lilly works at Rockville MOM’s.
I invested in the biggest drying rack I could find – so I didn’t need to use a dryer. (Oy! Hauling wet clothes around was such a pain!) My rack was expensive – for me, at the time. But I’m not realizing it has dried every load of clothes and linens for me, for 20 years. (Full-disclosure: it has been bungee-corded together for at least a year.) Last autumn, I put in a Breeze Catcher in the backyard 🙂 (at my new-to-me house! Yay!)
As for the pup, I’m a huge fan of pumpkin puree. It’s full of fiber and stops both varieties of digestive upsets. Change food slowly – or add food slowly. A large variety of foods (yes, table scraps/vegetables) will actually increase Stella’s digestive capabilities. Restricting her to a limited diet, keeps her digestion limited. I’m also a fan of plain (unsweetened) yogurt – a teaspoon, no more – to increase the beneficial “stuff” in her digestive tract. (If you ask, I will talk forever on doggie nutrition. Or send you to good web sites.)
It is hard when living in an apartment, especially when my roommate could care less about recylcing. Baltimore Co is awesome about recycling so I try to do as much of that as possible and I have a secret compost pile behind our building.
I am going to second the pumpkin for the puppy and if you don’t want to give her dairy they sell probiotic packets at most pet stores.
Kevin Trudeau (the natural cures guy) was talking about pet health on his online radio show. You can listen to archived shows at http://www.ktradionetwork.com
The pet food show was on 2/23/11. He feeds his dog grass fed beef and gives him supplement from Cornucopia http://www.cornucopiapetfoods.com/?amigosid=2
The doctor/inventor was on the show and had some pretty incredible stories about animals that have been helped, including a lame horse that came back to perfect health. Kevin mentioned that his dog is always mistaken for younger than she is. I don’t have any pets but check out the show and decide for yourself. Best of luck 🙂
I transitioned my pitbull/boxer dog to a raw food diet with great results. My neighbor now has her standard poodle and tiny shitzu on a raw food diet, and another friend has successfully put her pomeranian on raw food. So it doesn’t matter how big or small the dog is. You can use the ground and prepared raw foods that are now sold at Mom’s and other health food stores. In the beginning stages, you can rinse the mound of food with boiling water (a quick swirl, to partially cook the surface and create a good aroma for the dog) and also add a supplement powder that has enzymes and probiotics (this is available at some dog food stores and veterinary offices such as the Veterinary Holistic Clinic in Bethesda, and it helps with digestion). Once your dog gets used to this, you can double his pleasure and halve the cost of the food by giving him pieces of meat and bone (uncooked bone is safe because it does not splinter) such as chicken necks (easy to crunch and swallow for an inexperienced dog), chicken backs and even legs, pieces of lamb, turkey, beef with bone (can cut through the bone with kitchen scissors). Adding a big of green powder with vitamins , grated carrot or other veggies can be good too as can supplementing once in a while with omega-3 fats. Look up (google) the veterinarian Billington (the father of the raw food prescription) and get other support from the clinic mentioned above. Your dog will never have a problem with overweight (not eating the carbs in processed food), with have a fresh mouth, good teeth, and low-odor non-mushy bowel movements. Good luck!
Our house is now a wrapping paper free zone! This past Christmas, we took made a decision as a family not to purchase any wrapping paper. Not even for the children’s presents. We now feel empowered to continue throughout the year, for birthdays, etc. Instead, we use newspaper comics, thrift store fabric, cloth bags and baskets decorated with fresh herbs from our garden instead of bows. I have also proposed alternatives to the dreaded annual gift wrap sale fundraiser at the local elementary schools.
I myself just moved into a tiny apartment in downtown Frederick with my boyfriend in December. We struggled for some time with this same issue; finding ways to be environmentally friendly when space is limited. We have come up with a couple of things…and we’re always finding ways to improve. First and foremost we tackled our direct energy use….we switched to energy efficient light bulbs, carefully watch our water consumption, and monitor the thermostat regularly to make sure were not excessive. Save laundry until you have huge loads to do, its hard to resist washing small loads so you can wear specific items because before, you had an entire family to fill out the washer, but its not impossible. We’ll even use the same towel several times before added it to the wash pile, while at my families home they have always insisted on a fresh towel for every shower. It might sound off-putting at first, but try to avoid flushing the toilet when possible. If you get a newspaper subscription, ask a neighbor if you can save them money by sharing yours with them…drop it at their door after your done reading. Our personal favorite is to check out Goodwill and other thrift stores for items that we can repurpose instead of buying new. Much of our kitchen things have come from such places…and I just love some of the fun retro things we find!
The prospect of being environmentally friendly in a new place is quite intimidating…but be optimistic! You and your boyfriend now have complete control over the products you place in your home, and much of your carbon footprint!