A Simple Beginning

Intention set, now to begin.

I harkened a book that was influential to me early in my localvore-eating days. The book Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon which inspired me to eat locally, which lead me to greater awareness of the impact humans are ultimately having on our planet. I reopened it to find just what I was looking for…

“Herb Tea

1 leaf sage

1 leaf mint

Hot water

Place the fresh-picked leaves in a mug. Add water at a rolling boil. Steep for 6 minutes. A simple beginning.”

Sometimes my mind goes really swirly and I get overwhelmed by thoughts I cannot control, that bounce from one thing to the next and eventually result in me throwing my hands in the air and doing nothing, or procrastinating, or eating a bunch of marshmallows. That’s often what happens when I think about global warming. I don’t even know what I don’t even know and the problem is so big you can’t even find the edge of it, so where do we start or how can I even try and will it even matter?? Is it 5 o’clock wine time yet??

What seems to silence these overwhelming thoughts filled with self-doubt lies in the wisdom of this recipe: “A simple beginning.”

These first few days of 2017 in the Bay Area have brought us copious amounts of rain. Now normally I would have plunked my kids into wellies and snapped on their raincoats and embraced this glorious end to the drought with a puddle stomping splash fest! Buuuuut there were live power lines going down around us and their boots were literally FALLING APART into strips of rubber and our garage was taking on water that needed to be frequently pumped SO this mama opted for tamer indoor activities. We started painting with watercolors, and in this task, emerged my simple beginning.


In the days leading up to the start of the New Year, I had pondered our house’s recycling/compost/garbage/donate/chicken/worm situation. The way your household discards the unwanted and unneeded will undoubtedly differ from mine, but these are my categories. I wanted to change things around so that it would be easier to divert the most waste from the landfill as possible, and create more thought in every single thing that needed to be sent there. By refusing plastic, much of our garbage would be avoided and therefore less “central” to our disposal needs. While recycling and compost have always been a way of disposal in our home, I wanted to step this up and make it easier for everyone to do.

As it was, our garbage can was under the sink and our recycling bin was in the garage and not as readily accessible being through a door and down three stairs (stairs are a big deal to a 2 year old, and she recycles too!).

I switched them.

That’s it.

And then I painted two cute little signs to communicate the change the hubby and guests, and also because that was the rainy day activity at hand.

Under our sink, you can now easily recycle and compost, and if either of these bins will not suit your disposal needs, you need to bring it to the garage.


My simple beginning.

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