the semi-reluctant hippie

Monday, May 26, 2008

Moving back to SK has caused us to make some changes (some mandatory, some not) that benefit the environment.

The mandatory:
* line-drying clothes -- clothes dryers are not common here. Supposedly, some people have washers that also dry. I think those are the rich people. We're not rich, so we hang our clothes. Matthew takes his dress shirts to the dry cleaners, so that get ironed all pretty-like.
* hand washing dishes -- dish washers are also considered a luxury. I'm not sure how much water/energy this actually saves, but I'll pretend that it's significant.
* composting (I think) -- food, at least "wet food" MUST go into a separate bag and then be placed in a separate bin in the garbage/recycling area outside our apartment building. I'm not really sure what happens to the food garbage, but I'll assume that it's composted, because that makes me feel good.
* recycling more -- Koreans are not as picky about recycling. We have to separate plastics, glass/metal, and paper, but beyond that the sorting is all done at the recycling center. More types of plastic are recycled here, too.

The voluntary:
* using public transportation -- We could get a car fairly cheaply, but we're not taking that option (at least at this point). We live very near the bus stop, which takes us anywhere on Sokcho's "main drag" quickly and cheaply. There are also an abundance of taxis (which in an American town of 80,000 would be highly unusual), which, again, are very inexpensive. When I have Liam and a heavy bag of groceries, a cab ride from the door of E-Mart to the door of my apartment building is worth the extra dollar (W 1,000) or so.
* cloth diapering -- I started off with cloth when Liam was born, but gave up because the inconvenience (of traditional flat folds) was overcome by the cheapness of diapers at big box stores. My guilt and the lack of bulk-buying opportunities here in SK convinced me to switch back to cloth. I'm using FuzziBunz (a pocket diaper) and they work great. I have 21 size mediums for Liam, so I wash diapers every 2 or 3 days. I'll buy smalls for the new baby, and we'll be set until potty training, assuming that baby #2 is a skinny little thing like Liam.

Maybe I'm finally living up to the words of my "Think Global, Act Local" t-shirt.


2 Responses to “the semi-reluctant hippie”
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re:recycling - I was used to the separate everything system in Vancouver - here is is pretty much "anything goes". We separate only glass and corrugated cardboard. Everything else all goes together. Convenient for us, but I don't know what happens after we leave the recyclers. Some things are better not known, I guess!

I've wanted to comment several times since I've been keeping up with you. Now I finally can!

Liam is gorgeous. Congratulations on your new little one to come.

I've tried and continue to try lots of different cloth diapers. Fuzzi Bunz really are one of the best.

Recycling restrictions here drive me batty.

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