Well, a full time job and my own apartment is not something I’ve ever had the pleasure of having, believe it or not. I figured I might as well try it out for several months before I make a decision if it is right for me or if Rabbit Land is better.
This month’s gallery features some interesting eco conscious gems from the city: An all vegan grocery store, a “rain wise” yard, carpet mulch downtown, compostable pet poo bag dispenser, the “Sensational Saver Kit,” and the Footprint Apartments map. While looking for a studio apartment I found there are 12 properties in Seattle called the “Footprint Apartments” that are designed to lower your carbon footprint, very interesting. Their adds can be found amongst the adds for other “micro-studios” which are about 200 sq ft or less. I didn’t rent a footprint, but I found a nice micro-studio close to work.
My studio is about 200 sq ft, including the bathroom. There is a shared kitchen across the hall. I have my own bathroom with a bathtub and my own refrigerator! Oh my gosh so exciting! And what is more exciting is that I can afford it. I work a 10 minute walk from my studio. I won’t be riding in a bus or a car for at least a week! When I came to look at the place, I asked the landlord if there was compost. He said, “Not right at the moment, but we are going to start composting in the next few days. I have the cans downstairs, but I have to go get the right bags. The city is going to start charging a fine to all apartment complexes that don’t compost, so we’ll have compost by the time you move in.” The city is going to start charging a Fine to all apartment complexes that don’t compost!!! and the cans are all nicely labeled with what goes into each. “No napkins, paper towels, pizza boxes, or used compostable to-go food containers in the trash. They all go into the compost along with all the other food waste,” read a reminder email I received today from the landlord to all units in my building.
I found a lovely full time job at a co-op preschool! What!? I work at a co-op! It’s perfect for a little Rabbit like me. It is owned and run by the parents and families that bring their children to the preschool. The parents help out at the preschool by doing things like cleaning the classrooms, purchasing the food, web mastering, and working in the admin office. The committee that makes the decisions is called the “steering committee,” I very much like that name for the decision making body. We eat all organic and non-gmo food at “The Co-op” and dietary preferences vary from no dairy and no gluten kids and so fourth. It’s a peanut free environment so we eat almond butter and sunflower butter instead. I had not heard of sunflower butter. Every day the kids eat a gourmet snack in the afternoon. The first day I came for the interview they were having squash pasta for snack, I was flabbergasted. The children aren’t allowed to bring cake or sugary desserts for their birthday parties either so they bring things like chia pudding. Oh goodness, 2015, these are the days when even the Cookie Monster might stop eating cookies all together unless they are gluten free, vegan, and sweetened with stevia. It’s a community oriented, eco and health conscious place to spend 40 hrs per week. Accredited preschools are pretty rigorous in terms of health and cleanly standards of course, so they are not allowed to re-serve any leftovers.
Who gets to take home left over gourmet snacks from “The Co-op?” SunGee! Well of course no one really calls me that here, but I’ve found that when I talk to myself, I still call myself that. I spilled a little water in the kitchen the other day and told myself, “SunGee should be more careful.” In terms of food, there is also a food bank in the building below the preschool. Sometimes I like to look through the food bank’s food waste out back. You’d be amazed at what you’d find! Today’s catch is an organic Delicata squash with one rotten spot, an organic potato with a couple scratches, an organic orange with some spots on the peel, and an organic pear with one bruise. There is more waste produce than I could ever carry home, and from the food bank no less. Between preschool snack food waste and food bank food waste, I’ve been able to eat lunch and dinner for free for the past three days. I usually eat a green smoothie for breakfast though, which I did buy ingredients for. This week I’ve spent about $10 on breakfast smoothie food. Organic veggies are pretty cheap at Trader Joe’s and even then it was gift certificate money from a nice Christmas present. Besides the nearby Trader Joe’s and Safeway, there is also a farmer’s market every Saturday one block from my studio, all within a 15 min walk, and a PCC and a giant Whole Foods a 10 min bus ride away. For some household items there is a dollar store and a Goodwill in walking distance, but I don’t think I’d want to eat any of the food in the dollar store’s food section. I’ve taken to a new years resolution for the next few months for health reasons, and I’ve decided to try a diet of mostly vegetables, some fruits, some nuts, and of course shiitake mushrooms. I miss my 40 logs, but I bought a mushroom growing kit at the farmer’s market. No refined sugar, no processed food, no or very low gluten and grains, rarely meat and dairy and only if it is happy meat- raw and grass fed small animal like goat milk or lamb or fish maybe once per month. No cow and no pig. I think a diet like this for less than $25 per week within a 15 min walking distance would be impossible in Rabbit Land at this time of year, but for a “bottom feeder” like me, it is doable in my situation in the city. My mother endearingly calls me a “bottom feeder” because I eat, well, what falls to the bottom from the big fish up top and I am more wealthy and healthy than ever. I don’t even go to the food bank, I just look in their waste food. Although my co-worker says I could go to the food bank if I wanted to, you don’t need to show anything except a piece of ID and a piece of mail. Preschool teachers are probably considered low income in a high economy city like Seattle, but I feel like a queen making more than triple what my yearly income was in Rabbit Land. So far, I think I’ll buy my food other than the treasures I find out back, there is no long line at the food bank trash. Lol!
I share my kitchen with about 6 or 8 other units, and it’s a bit interesting to share in a city where people keep to themselves. I thought about putting up a notice about starting a dinner co-op, but I don’t think that would work for this lifestyle and other people’s eating habits and schedule. They probably think I am either an alien from another culture or some gourmet chef when they look at me cutting up my organic Delicata squash and potatoes as they briefly appear in the kitchen to remove their ready bake pizzas or pot pies from the oven or to use the microwave. I won’t tell them my organic healthy food was from the garbage can full of produce.