The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Transportation: burn fat, not fuel? October 21, 2009

Filed under: experiment — Alden @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , ,


I totally agree with the above statement. It totally make sense. Until you put it into practice!

Yesterday my main event was a conference near Penn Station. That’s on 34th street, which is 76 blocks away from my apartment. I suppose I could have put on tennis shoes (I really hate that look, tennis shoes with a professional outfit? It’s so DC.) and walked down there. That would take me an estimated hour and a half at a brisk walk. And I bet I would have smelled terrible once I got there.

So, like usual, I took the subway. The subway is a step down from walking or biking, and a step up from taking a cab. And lately, I have been forcing myself to take it, even when I really don’t want to. A couple nights ago I went out for a few beers with some friends. By the end of the night I was being really lame, yawning and not being able to hold up my end of the conversation. So I excused myself.

It was cold outside, and all I had was a light wrap. The subway was 6 blocks away. Luckily New York isn’t as scary as it used to be, but I still got a little nervous. Everytime a male got too close, I crossed my arms tightly and walked faster. Finally I was at the platform. The 1 took another 15 minutes to arrive.

But after all, it wasn’t that bad. I was tired, but the cold air had woken me up. I got in a bunch of reading on my ikindle while I waited, and I saved about $14.

All in all, I would always recommend the subway. It’s cheaper, and I’ve never felt threatened on it. At least… not yet.


No Trash Day! October 20, 2009

Filed under: experiment — Alden @ 1:35 pm
Tags: ,


I have a great aunt and uncle who live down in North Carolina on their farm. Aunt Sally saves everything. My mom told me once that when she had to mark out the property line around our house, Aunt Sally showed up with the white elastic bands cut out of Aunt Pat’s underwear to tie around the trees.

So that’s pretty cool, that she could find a use for everything. But it’s a little bit harder for me. I mean, she had this big house full of cabinets and baskets and boxes to store odds and ends in. I live in a tiny apartment in New York. She’s lived there all her adult life, which makes it easy to be a packrat. I, on the other hand, have moved to a new place almost every year for the past for years. When you move a lot, it’s not practical to haul around a bin of rags and popsicle sticks.

Then there is the question of food waste. I boiled eggs for my breakfast yesterday morning. What to do with the shells? I don’t have a compost, or a garbage disposal. The former is impractical, the latter is illegal. Even if I had an indoor composter (which costs hundreds of dollars by the way) where would I put the compost? On my two little potted plants? Ha.

Like Vicki said, “Who the heck has a composter in the city??” She’s probably right.

So in the trash went the eggshells, apple core, and wilted spinach. Also in there: a ruined paintbrush I found under the cabinet as I pulled out painting supplies, a clif bar wrapper, and a q-tip.

But it’s not like the day was a total failure. I was pulling out my nail polish stuff, when I realized, why the heck should I use cotton balls to strip away the polish? Earlier this week I had pulled on a pair of leggings, and then realized there was a hole in the butt. Great. But instead of tossing them I stuffed them in a box to use later for rags. So I cut off a piece and used that. When I was done, I threw it in the laundry. Aunt Sally would be proud!

It got me thinking about all the stuff we buy that is so silly. Cotton swabs? How many times have we thrown out cotton clothing like mismatched socks? Yet we pay money for cotton balls. Same thing for paper towels. It’s such a stupid system.

Today is transportation. Wish me luck!