Friday, April 29, 2011

Summer in the Prairies - finding all my places again

It's quite the task - moving to a new place and having to re-discover where you can find quinoi and/or cranberries in bulk, and organic produce/bread without a plastic bag. Or, to figure out which places are ok with you bringing your own finding a container to bring in the first place (I only brought my abeego wrap and a reusable coffee mug with me). It's super overwhelming, and tempting to just want to grab the plastic/overpackaged goods... but I'm trying to stick to it...because at the end of the day, I really just don't want all that plastic and unnecessary excess. I'm here for four months (pursing the first half of my master in accounting) and I am going to have to make a bigger effort to continue on my "no waste" stream, but I'm up for the challenge.

I arrived in last night around 5:30pm...I've been in this city for approx 20hrs and 50 minutes and it seems like a really great city. However, and of course, I have some my enviro-thoughts - I can't help but pick apart what I experience, for its enviro aspects so, here it is:

The good:
-I acquired a bike today - thanks to the roomy for asking around her school for those with bikes to lend for the summer - seemed to be a lot of people who were willing to lend a bike - that's great! Nothing like a good community 
-grocery store - within walking/bike distance
-the roommate recycles
-small-town feel
-at the uni  there are bins for recycling
-met some awesome people thus far (this isn't enviro but should be said, just the same!)

The je-ne-sais-pas:
-the land is very spread out - the city appears to be quite difficult to get around in unless you have a car (very Calgary-esque) - doable for sure, on a bike, but the roads have shoulders that disappear at random, and semi's that drive by bringing loads of dust and debris with them... so...long story short - I'm a little scared to start biking everywhere... plus I realize I forget my LED bike light, in I will have to find one here. It is going to be ESPECIALLY useful, if not required, on these roads.
-as mentioned above, roommates recycle! YES! However, Saskatoon apparently does not recycle glass or plastic (seriously? it's 2011) BUT the roomy saves all that stuff and hauls it back to Edmonton whenever she goes back-that's dedication - high five roomy! 
-no compost. Though, not for a lack of interest. After asking my go-to question of "do you recycle" when trying to decide which place to pick in Sask - we talked about setting up one in the backyard when I came. I hope that can still happen, but for now there is bureaucratic dealings first...the condo community etc may be offended by such valuable food scraps-to-soil, we'll have to work on that one. Needless to say - I feel really guilty for the compost I've already created that has not made it to a proper compost area. Should I just go dig a hole in the backyard and bury my scraps there? Is that legal?
-at $72.41/month for a bus pas, the bus system gets two thumbs down. There is a so-called DART bus (Direct Access Rapid Transit) but it appears to only run on the hour or .5 hr and I have yet to actually see a bus.... will have more knowledge on that one later...

Yup - there's lots more green this city could take on (or that's left for me to discover), that's for sure. It's surprising to see that a city with such strong focus on agriculture not be as green ...or maybe the two don't coincide... that being said - you witness a a city surrounded with beautiful mountains/ocean inhabit those who show no regard for the who knows.

All in all - I'm excited for prairie sky sunsets, school life, and getting back to basics. In addition, I hope to acquire a lot more knowledge in the field (pun intended ;) ) of agriculture... I want to learn more about farming (specifically organic) and I'm going to look up some CSA's (community supported agriculture) and the like, that I can hopefully go visit and learn more!

Recap: compost: 0 garbage:1 - I need to change that asap.

Stay tuned.

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