What’s Bringing You Joy in November?

Rachel:

I purchased those coffee tins at Trader Joe’s many years ago, and have been using them to store my coffee ever since

I’ll admit it, I’m a pumpkin-spice coffee fanatic and love drinking it once September hits. Something about the warm sweetness provides comfort, as the wind gets stronger and the temperatures drop lower. I have spent way too much money on this little habit. However, a few weeks ago, I found the above coffee at my favorite farmstand and haven’t looked back. I love the taste and it hits the spot, while also helping me save some dollars and waste at the drive-thru. I wish I could buy it via bulk, but I make sure to reuse the packaging as much as possible. Plus, I love supporting a local business who also tries to follow the guidelines of supporting other small farmers, organic, Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade practices.

My local library! I love to read but usually feel torn about buying new books. I absolutely believe that we need to support independent bookstores and authors, but can’t always afford my book habits and want to balance with taking care of the Earth. However I really dislike reading from a tablet and enjoy the feeling of holding a paper book. So I borrow from my library, save some money and protect the Earth at the same time. My girls and I have also been enjoying library-borrowed audiobooks in the car, which we listen to via Hoopla. If you haven’t used that app, get it now! It’s saved me so much money and we’ve enjoyed lots of American Girl Doll books thanks to that service. My girls even ask to listen at home, and will play the stories while coloring, building or crafting. (A note on the AGD books – don’t judge! At first glance, they may seem vapid but are actually filled with good messages and historical information. I’ve really enjoyed listening and learning from them. We’re currently reading the Kit series, and it talks about a lot of different ways people saved money during the Depression. A lot of those tips apply to a zero-waste lifestyle, as well.)

Hannah:

Aside from the obvious joy of learning we will soon have a President who not only acknowledges the imminent threat of climate change and other environmental issues, I am thrilled to be living in a country that has finally elected a female woman of color to a high office. We are finally entering the 21st century here in the United States! If you are still coming down from the election, here are some ways to convert that energy into positive change.

What’s bringing me joy in November locally? The garden. I used all my nervous energy surrounding the election to put my big vegetable garden “to bed” for the season, which is always a satisfying task. Unlike putting your kids “to bed”, the garden promises not to wake up and bother you tens times during the night, so it is a pleasant seasonal ritual. At the same time, I planted our yearly garlic crop, which is like planting hope for the new year. I love that those garlic cloves will lay dormant all winter, only to magically pop out in the spring.

I’ll write a proper post on this post-digging project soon.

And – spoiler alert – my husband has finally had time in the last week to put together the clothesline I’ve been dreaming of since re-reading How Bad Are Bananas? and learning how wasteful dryers are. Our daughters have been helping him to dig the holes and put the posts together and our son helped him dig up gravel to fill in around the posts (I consider these valid homeschooling lessons). Meanwhile, I cleaned out the garage and found three little mice hoping to over-winter in our birdseed. I suggested they move elsewhere, but it was a good reminder that our animal friends are also getting ready for the winter. May New Hampshire always have wonderful snowy winters!

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