Today, the cats went green! Yes, it is official, we have switched over to 100% biodegradable, Eco-friendly cat litter. As I mentioned in Part 1 of "Baby Steps Toward A Greener Life"
, we will be trying out two kinds of litter side by side -- one made with wheat and one made with corn -- both pictured at left.
In terms of color, texture and smell -- they are virtually indistinguishable -- as you can see
here -- sorry, we are not a Scratch-N-Sniff blog at this point, so you can't smell
. World's Best Cat Litter is in the green box, Swheat Scoop is in the red box. They both smell very natural, like feeds for livestock on a farm. There was certainly a lot less dust when I poured them into the boxes, which was nice! As my Twitter
mentioned in the comments of the previous Part 1 post, we have already made note of the fact that World's Best (corn) costs twice as much as Swheat Scoop (wheat). The Swheat Scoop came in a 40lb. bag and the World's Best came in a 17lb. bag which cost almost the same price. Obviously, we will most likely stick with the Swheat Scoop in the future, but for the purpose of evaluation, etc. we are trying both right now. Thus far, the cats have liked (and used!) both boxes without any adjustment problems. Of course, we do have unusually cooperative, well-behaved cats so this does not surprise me too much. And, NO, that is not our bathtub -- we have a second bathroom that is designated as the Cat Bathroom -- where we keep the cat litters in the tub with a shower curtain drawn. This gives them a pleasing amount of privacy, keeps the boxes out of human sight, and more importantly, keeps cat litter from being all over our apartment (because it drops off of their paws as they jump out of the tub). We still use the toilet and sink in there -- which works out fine for everyone -- we just need to vacuum out the tub once or twice a week during our normal apartment cleaning activities...that sounds pretty funny now that I put it in writing...vacuuming out the tub!
Anyway, we are happy about this new transition. The urine appears to clump very well in both types of litter. And, as per Margalit's additional advice, we are not flushing our clumps (even though we do not have a low flush toilet) -- we have old newspapers saved under the bathroom sink -- I use 2-3 sheets of newspaper to scoop litter onto, and then, wrap up the waste into a 100% biodegradable packet that can go out with the trash. So, no more need for the plastic supermarket bags. Great!
Speaking of which, we used our new canvas bags at the supermarket last weekend. People did look at us funny at the registers which amused me, but also made me feel proud (?) in a weird way. In addition, we saved .03 cents per bag used on our grocery bill which is not much, but it still feels like a reward. Maybe this next thing is just a serendipitous coincidence, but I stopped into the supermarket again today -- and they are now selling reusable bags at the registers which were never there before! Were the supermarket managers (or workers) influenced to make this change by seeing us with our bags? Or was it already in the works?? I do not know and I do not need to know -- I am purely excited by the fact that it has happened -- whatever the cause! ;-D
Some other small changes we have implemented...in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic wrap and the number of Ziploc bags we use, we are washing out Ziploc bags and reusing them many times before disposal. Basically, we will be using them until they develop a hole or tear. It is amazing how long these suckers last -- which is why they are a problem in the first place, huh?
We have always had a Brita water filter container in our refrigerator, but we are making an effort to eliminate buying any bottled water when we are out and about. We have saved a few plastic bottles that we fill up at home and take with us rather than buying new ones. The idea of buying water has always been ridiculous -- so this is an easy thing to feel good about from a "saving money" standpoint as well as the plastic and waste issues.
Another recent change...for my intermittent struggle with Starbuck's Mocha Frappuccino addiction...I bought this reusable travel cup which will hold any grande-sized beverage purchased from my local pusher. It is easy enough to take it with me, eliminates the need for all of those wasted disposable plastic cups...AND, I save .10 cents off of my purchase when I bring my own cup! Cool beans, indeed.
We are also making a real effort to recycle properly by making it a more efficient, do-able task. We use the same canvas bags for the supermarket to keep purely recyclable-only items separate from the ones with refund deposits. When it is time to go to the supermarket again, we just grab the canvas bags as usual already filled with our presorts. This makes it very easy to dump the recyclables in the bins outside on the way to the car, and then, we take the deposit refund recyclables with us to the supermarket to get our money back. If we sort as we use and bind the new habit with a well-established habit (going to the store) -- it is much more likely that we will follow through consistently. Plus, it keeps the recycling under control -- nothing is worse than lugging 2-3 months worth of cans and bottles to the supermarket -- at least, until one has children to do that for exercise and spending money! ;-) LOLSemi-related side note:
Twitter friend, cwdaniels
made mention of our "Baby Steps" project post on his blog here
. Thanks, Wess! You can also read his great post
about his own efforts at more sustainable living. Or, check out the rest of his blog at http://gatheringinlight.com
for more good reads! :-DUnrelated side note:
Twitter friend, margalit
recently went to the hospital for another congestive heart failure incident -- if you would like to send her some kind-thought-vibes via Twitter or her blog at http://outtamymindwithworry.blogspot.com
, I am sure she would love to hear from you. She's very kind to strangers... ;-) Feel better, margalit!
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