new green things

well, we had to buy a new car. kirk was in a little bit of a wreck last week, he's fine, but the car is not.
so, we did a little research (and by we, i mean kirk), narrowed it down to a few cars to test-drive, test-drove (and experienced a very snobby, insulting sales person at one place - she managed to insult my name, my job, and my personality in only a 20 minute time frame!), and today we bought a car (not from the snobby insulting lady). we decided on the prius. makes the most sense for all the driving i have to do, it's super reliable, and it comes highly recommended (thank you, meesh!). so, i can add that to my checklist of green-living changes i've made! get this: the color is called pearly blizzard, or snowy pearls, or something. it's basically white.
in other green news:
*kirk and i are now composting. we have yet to use any of it for our yard, it's not fully decomposed yet. i'm bothered by our "style" as really it's just a big pile of junk behind our garage. i really would rather have a compost bin or some sort of enclosed area. oh well. also, we're learning about what can and can't go into the bin. we eat a tone of citrus fruit, but it's not good to put to much citrus into the heap as it makes the soil very acidic (makes sense). worms don't like acid so they don't do the work they need to do to decompose the compostables. but, coffee grounds are good and we've even been given the "green light" (hahaha) to pilfer big bags of grounds from the alley behind our fave coffee shop (thank you to casey's old establishment and shannon's current). their flowers look way better than mine so hopefully there's something magic in these grounds! if you are a compost-er you should leave a comment with tips, i'm still just an infant.
*i had some sort of creature or fungi attacking my flowers (i know, i just planted them, like, 2 minutes ago) and some of the rose bush leaves were turning yellow as well as something was chewing through my lambs ear leaves and hibiscus leaves. so, a friend (thank you sara p!) recommended spraying the plants with dish soap diluted with water to kill any pests. i reused a washed out stain-remover bottle to make the concoction and sprayed away! i didn't kill my plants (i'll admit, i was a little worried that they would turn brown and wilt immediately...just my luck), so we'll see if it actually works to repel the pests! so, a natural, chemical-free solution in a reused bottle...2 gold stars for me.


Kyle said...

First, congrats on the Prius! One of my coworkers has one and loves it.

Secondly: composting. It's fun, a little bit of hard work, but totally worth it. Basically you want to strike a balance between carbon (about 60%) and nitrogen (40%). Don't ever put animal products, fats, or droppings in the compost bin (or else you'll have a collection of wild neighborhood animals on a 24/7 basis) and make sure to turn the compost over every once in a while. Amelia and I have a small compost bin and I haven't been the best at composting but when I do I always feel pretty good about it. It can definitely be a rewarding thing. Good luck!

Mendy said...

how do you know if you have a proper carbon/nitrogen balance??? look, i'm no chemist. ok, here's a question: can you compost things that have salt on them? like, sunflower seed shells? because rock salt can be used to kill weeds but it's pretty poisonous so i wonder how that works with composting...also what about fruit pits (avocado, peaches, cherries, etc)?

Paprika said...

Yikees on the crash! What happened!

Mendy said...

lots of rain and a wreck several cars ahead of kirk, cars swerving in front of kirk to avoid first wreck, kirk swerving to avoid swerve-ers, swerved right into the end of another car.

Kyle said...

Really I just try to get more brown than green in the compost bin. So let's say you empty a large bowl of fruit and vegetable scraps into the pile. Make sure that in the next couple of days you cover that with paper shreds, leaves, sticks, etc. and give it a good turn. It's kind of a check you have to do every once in a while. Also, do a "smell" test. Decomposing fruits and vegetables don't smell all that great so if your compost stinks, you likely don't have enough carbon in it to neutralize all the smelly stuff. And when your compost smells like fresh dirt after a rainstorm, you know you've hit a good balance. Speaking of rain, make sure your compost gets some water now and then. Given that you and Kirk have rain barrels you'll have another advantage in that the rain water probably has some good carbon content in it from running through any leaves and sticks that might be in your gutters.

As far as things with salt and the pits of fruit...hmmm. I'm not too sure about those questions. I've not yet tried composting fruit pits or seed shells. Sorry I'm not much help with that one.

Mendy said...

No, that is all very helpful! And makes a lot of sense. I like that Brown/Green Rule...that's easy enough to remember. That shouldn't be much of a problem because even though it feels like all I throw in there is from fruits/veggies that's just what comes from my kitchen. We also have TONS of leaves in the fall, grass clippings, shredding, coffee grounds, etc. I had read somewhere that it's important to think about balancing the "layers" so there's not too much of one type of thing in the same place. Thanks for the tips, Kyle!

I never know if I should comment on my own blog, but sometimes I just want it to be more of a conversation! Plus it makes it look like I have tons of commenters when really half of the comments come from me! Hahaha!