Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, January 25, 2008

You know you're a hard-core environmentalist when...

Composting outhouseScoring:
Give yourself 1 point for each of the following where you can agree with the statement made.

1. You use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper and dream of getting a composting toilet

2. You line dry your clothes even though you own a brand new dryer

3. When your family visits your house they claim that you can hang meat in there it's so cold

4. You spend your free time fantasizing about getting solar panels

5. You'd rather live in a small cabin off the grid with no plumbing than in a mega-mansion on the beach

6. You know all about raising chickens even if you've never even seen a live one

7. You have a huge stash of gardening porn that you hide from your significant other

8. You think that sweating over a hot canner for hours on end is super fun!

9. You follow everyone around the house, turning off lights

10. Greenpa's suggestions sound totally reasonable

If your total is:

0 - 3:  What are you doing reading this post? You better start from the beginning.
4 - 6:  Not a bad start. Review the Low Impact Week suggestions to increase your score.
7 - 8:  You are a nut job in training!
9 - 10:  Congratulations! You are a hard-core environmentalist!

How do you score?


Anonymous said...

LOL! I got a nine - but only because it is so warm here that we don't have a cold house... Hard-core, hey? I'd better up and move to the hills, I think!

Thanks for the laugh.

Riana Lagarde said...

lol, i am full on hardcore and greenpa has a GREAT idea!

we are dreaming of solar and wind. i want to build them ourselves too. with the new micro thin cells, i bet we totally could. I'll start with a weathervane first and then see if we can build a wind turbine, lol.

Unknown said...

haha! I got an 8 - my love affair with my dryer in the winter, and lack of gardening porn is holding me back. does it still count that my husband knows about it? :-)

Malva said...

I got an 8.

Cloth tp (I know, I know, what am I waiting for?) and OWNING a dryer is holding me back. I absolutely refuse to even own a dryer. Can I get 0.5 points for the dryer question? *puppy eyes*

Anonymous said...

I got an 8. Can't get my clothes to "dry" hanging them up outside in the cold and I'm still not on board with the cloth wipes. I'm with you on everything else!

Anonymous said...

I got a 9, even though I don't hide my gardening porn from my husband. What's holding me back is that we do in fact use our heater -- because I am just that big of a wuss. However, I feel I should get a bonus point for not just dreaming about a compost toilet -- I actually use one!

Anonymous said...

I got 6 points. Go me!

Magpie said...

5 or 6. I guess I've got work to do.

Rechelle said...

Crunchy - I think you were born about a hundred years too early.

Crunchy Chicken said...

malva - you get bonus points for not owning a dryer as long as you don't go to the laundromat and use theirs!

anonymous - I dry my clothes inside during the winter.

DC said...

Funny, Rechelle, that you think Crunchy was born 100 years too early. I was going to say that she was born 200 years too late. Anyway, I'm glad that she and all the rest of you are here on the planet now -- it needs you.

For those of you who yearn for a fancy indoor composting toilet but can't convince your significant other that a couple thousand bucks is worth the benefit of being the most envied person on this blog, I have a solution. As you know, Greenpa has the mother of all composting toilets -- I'm sure he has excess capacity he's not using. Those of us who are still urinating in water clean enough to drink could buy "outhouse offsets" from him for a nominal fee. It could be the newest type of "green tag" (or should it be "brown tag"). Anyway, I think this could really work.

BoysMom said...

Why would you hide your gardening porn? It's sooo much more fun shared!
"Look, honey! Do you think there's any way we could stretch the growing season here to grow watermelon?" Says me.
"Screw it. Let's move someplace warmer. Start packing." says him.

I think that means I can order watermelon, don't you? Although it'd probably be easier to wait a few months . . . I'm sure I'd misplace the box with the seeds in the chaos.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Brilliant idea, DC! Although if we start underwriting some of Greenpa's projects, will that defeat the purpose?

With all that extra cash, Greenpa might be tempted to trick out his outhouse with a new glittery paint job. Pretty soon it will be on haudralics, bumping up and down to some rap music with some fuzzy dice in the window.

BoysMom said...

Crunchy, how do you keep your kids from de-hanging wet clothes in the winter and using them to 'mop' the floor?
Or are yours just older than mine? (5,3,1)
Two I could always keep an eye on each, three, it seems like one gets away pretty frequently, and usually it's the littlest.

JacquiG said...

I'm pretty new to all this green environmental stuff, a newbie I suppose. So let's see ...

1 - sorry, not even close to that one!;
2 - give myself a half, I do it sometimes but the ironing in creates puts me off;
3 - I can't stand the cold, DH likes it colder than me so no points on this one;
4 - solar or wind turbines, if I could I would;
5 - oh yes please! I've wanted that for a long time!
6 - that's something I'm currently working on, so a point for me!
7 - I have books and seed catalogues but I don't hide them, do I still get a point? I gave myself half.
8 - I'd do it, but I'm not sure that at the height of summer I'd exactly call it fun! Half again.
9 - I have to admit that I'm bad on this one, but I'm working on it! Zero on this.
10 - Hmm .. I'd say reasonable for some, but for my life with my DH in where we live, sorry. Zero again.

4.5, yes definately a newbie. Guess I've got work to do!

Anonymous said...

No points for Diva Cup usage???

DC said...

Good points about the offset idea, Crunchy. We wouldn't want to turn on MTV one day and see Greenpa hosting a new program called "Pimp my Potty." There would definitely need to be some sort of monitoring involved to make sure he kept his end of the bargain -- are there any volunteers who want to monitor his outhouse? Anyone . . . ? No takers? It's worth a gagillion points on Crunchy's green quiz. Still nobody? Okay, we'll outsource that job to China.

So anyway, here's what you get if you buy a brown tag: (1) an autographed photo of Greenpa to hang over your standard water wasting toilet, (2) a bag of composted human manure, (3) an "I brake for mesophilic microbes" bumper sticker and (4) a solar powered soap box.

I haven't actually discussed this with Greenpa yet, but I'm sure he's game -- I think he's a closet capitalist at heart. Greenpa, are you ready to come out of the closet and turn brown into gr$$n?

Unknown said...

7. No, my wife & I read gardening porn in bed together.

9. Who leaves lights on?

Greenpa said...

Crunch and DC- youse guys are totally cracking me up. Thanks! :-)

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha, the Greenpa's potty business is cracking me up! Pimp my Potty, indeed.

I get a 9 because the garden porn is public at our house.

Do I get an extra half-point for the amount I know about raising goats and the scheming we're doing to try to get them onto our city lot? ;)

organicneedle said...

Head hanging in soggy shame. Not to whine, but in all fairness, there should be an urban version of the list for those of us space and garden challenged.

Green Bean said...

Oh no! I got an 8. If I could just get over the poop frontier, I'd truly be hardcore. :)

katecontinued said...

blr, No Impact Man pretty much disproved the space, urban argument.

But, I want to make a fuss over the scoring. All these comments about losing points for NOT hiding? Whacked. There should be bonus points for those who don't hide the garden porn. There should also be bonus points for those who talk about 1-10 to the people in your family, your work, your neighborhood and your life. And Crunchy is the best community builder I have read. Oh, I so wanted to score higher than 7.

Trina said...

8 for me too. I think the whole pimped out potty is a great way to encourage a whole new group of people to lower their impact. lol.

ruchi said...

Heh. My objection to 3 is my heat has been off all winter, but I live in Hell-A, ya know, where it never drops below 50. Do I get a point anyway?

And also, I don't know about number 9. I live alone. I don't have anyone to follow around!!

Oh, do I get a point for not using toilet paper, even if I use the spray bottle of water method and not the cloth wipe method? :)

crstn85 said...

7. I definitely want points for my diva cup. I fantasize about new plants, I just don't have paper versions to look at.

Anonymous said...

It was minus 5 here in Vermont this morning, but my off-the-grid cabin was warm and I didn't have to step into the cold to get to the composting toilet. (See "An End to Unsightly Floatables" at )

All the best,

DC said...

For all of you who were lining up to buy brown tags from Greenpa, I have some sad news. I couldn't find an outhouse monitor anywhere. Apparently, even China has some occupational health and safety standards that the monitor position would violate. Having someone in the outhouse 24 hours a day was not a problem. However, when I said that Greenpa might sit in there and look at "gardening porn" while humming Willie Nelson songs, the regulators started to get nervous. And when I told them that he also might use the outhouse as a storage facility for his gardening hoes, they just hung up. Who could have guessed that they were so touchy about digging tools? Maybe something got lost in translation -- I don't know.

I am so bummed out about this. I already had offers from several venture capitalists to clear cut the woods around the outhouse and expand the area into a giant factory farm style manure pit so more offsets could be sold. I was even thinking that there might be a Compost World theme park somewhere down the road. Big plans, I had big plans.

Well, that's okay. Even though he won't get paid to do it, I'm sure Greenpa will still be taking a lot of sh*t from people. Thanks for doing way more than your share for the environment Greenpa. I really do admire you.

Anonymous said...

I get an 8.5 since I dream of composting toilets but don't use cloth wipes and I get my gardening porn online (and nobody I have to hide it from!).

On the other hand, I just about bust a gut over the Pimp my Potty idea. Especially since here in the Alaska bush country, people actually do that. Don't believe me? Check this out:

(a link to Amazon that was way too hefty to insert)

(who really does have outhouse envy on Greenpa)

Anonymous said...

I have a dream, since the city won't let us have an outhouse - I want a cistern and a hand pump so I can flush with untreated rain water.

Elizabeth Foss said...

...when your 7-year-old gets mad at your 13-year-old and puts snowballs in his bed around four in the afternoon just to be mean. At midnight, when the 13-year-old goes to bed, he discovers...SNOWBALLS. Still. And he wakes you to tell affirm once and for all that we are all freezing our buns!

Anonymous said...

Hard core baby!

Chile said...

Well, now that's tough because of the way the questions are worded. Technically, I think I should get a 10 even though there are exceptions to damn near every one.

1. You bet.
2. Sold our dryer (name brand) when we moved in. House came with stacked washer/dryer. Only use dryer for air fluff.
3. Family doesn't visit. Doesn't get that cold in the desert...
4. What free time?!
5. Oh yeah.
6. We've raised chickens before and probably will again.
7. Significant other has the porn; I have NO interest in seeing those nasty pictures. ;0
8. Take away the 'sw' and you got a deal!
9. No one leaves the lights on.
10. I wished I lived closer to Greenpa so I could pick his brain!

Anonymous said...

My score is super sad. Do I get a point for reading Crunchy Chicken and maybe thinking about stuff?

Anonymous said...

Crunch & DC,

Let's just say. Laughing My A@# Off!
I'm seriously considering pimping the THWASPCO. Tell me what you think...
We have very lovely LED christmas lights that run off AAAs. Recharged daily on our solar panels. I will add animal fur seat covers. I think the deer hide I still have from a buck I shot twelve years ago and a few rabbit fur and squirrel accents will do nicely. We have a few whirly-gigs pipe toppers lying about from old buildings. I'll buff them up until they gleam and put them in the prevailing wind so they'll turn and shine straight into the eyes of any and all guests to our fine facilities.
I'm having a hard time thinking of hip-hop as green enough for our "Pimp-Mobile" so we have a lovely collection of wind chimes. Everything from delicate three-inch long chimes that ding like a tiny bell to four foot cathedral chimes. We've got wooden ones, bamboo ones and even a set made from agate. If I hang all of them from the THWASPCO the din should make the gyrating, pumping banger cars of large cities crunge with envy.
What do you think?

P.S. DC no Willy Nelson. Way over the top for GreenPa. We're more of the Paul WInter -Pete Seager- Laydsmith Black Mambaza type. Probably scarier if you think of it.
Notice I say nothing about the gardening tools. Well within the relm around here.

Deb G said...

Oh toooo funny!

I've been contemplating using the water coming out of the downspouts for flushing the toilet (since it probably shouldn't go on the veggies). Extra point? Then I could be a perfect 10 (I was a little liberal with the scoring-I've owned chickens and my dryer isn't new).

Crunchy Chicken said...

For those of you holding back on giving yourselves a point for sharing your gardening porn or just looking at it online (even more naughty!), you can go ahead and take the point.

Also if you live in a warm climate but don't use air conditioning then go ahead and add one, too.

Damn, I'm generous.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Spice - nice idea of green pimpin' it. But I hope it's not a little too rustic for my homeboy, Greenpa.

As long as he doesn't stop wearing a hairnet and calling you "beyatch", then it's probably okay.

It's hard out here for a (greenpa)pimp.

Jason C said...

I could barely keep my concentration after the mention of solar panels and raising chickens. Now if you put another one that is "fantasize about dual-flush toilets" or even a "toilet tank sink" like sinkpostive, then I'd really score high!

Great quiz - it was a great way to end my blog-reading day!


Anonymous said...

Proud "nut job in training"!!

Anonymous said...

I scored almost zero but definitely consider myself a hard core city living environmentalist. My husband's age and health mean that we will always be city dwellers. I would love to live off grid in the city if I could afford to get set up.
I agree with the comment that you should do an urban version. I do lots of things to lighten my family's footprint but none of them were on your list. I have used cloth pads for 18 years and my 11 year is using cloth too, handed down ones too.
What about transportation energy use, shouldn't how much you drive around be as important for environmentalists as canning or having garden porn? I don't garden very much but we get as much as we can from the farmer's market.
I love your blog but this poll put me in the beginner category when in reality I have been working at making green changes to my life since I became a parent over 20 years ago.

Rachel said...

I got 7. I suspect it won't be long before I'm make it to the ranks of hard core though!

Ditto what Jason said - I spend waaaaay too much time fantasizing about dual-flush toilets.

Anonymous said...

So. Done. With. Pimp. My. Potty!

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! I don't even know what Greenpa looks like, but him on an MTV special would make Ed Begley Jr. look like a beginner! Greenpa rocks! We should start a writing campaign! (Dear MTV -- have we got an idea for you!) If Ted Nugent can have his own reality show and that country and western station can have Pimp My Big Giant Truck, or whatever it's called -- us greenies should have our own show too! Pimp My Potty. Brilliant!

Let me know where to send my letter. I'm in!

And I think Greenpa would be humming a nice Billy Holiday tune. I see him as more of a jazz afficianado.

Anonymous said...


I promise to keep a good supply of hair nets around and maybe even get him a pair of pants he can pull around the knees.
I forgot to mention that the lights twinkle. Take Homie.

Anonymous said...

Got another one for your list.

11. You know you're a hard-core environmentalist when you white out the old writing in last-year's day timer and put in new dates so you can use it again this year.

"Well jeeze Mr. Mead I only wrote notes on a third of the days and already had a tube of white-out in the house. It would have been a waste of paper to buy a new one. Not to mention that loooovely faux leather cover that has 2007 embossed in silver!"

DC said...

I thought this whole outhouse credit thing was over, but I was soooo wrong. Since I told my contacts that Spice was on board, things have just completely turned around. People are now on a long waiting list to be the official outhouse monitor, and I've got Ecorazzi literally eating out of my hand. There's just one little catch: people wanted to know exactly which one of the Spice Girls was involved with the project. Specifically, they asked, whether it was the one married to soccer mega-superstar David Beckham. I finessed the answer a little bit by saying, "Yes."

So, all we need to do is pull a little My Fair Lady number on Greenpa and transform him into this.

I think we can do it, Spice. Are you up for it?

Crunchy Chicken said...

DC - Well, I'm not sure we can get Greenpa into this kind of shape. But, I'm pretty sure he has the abs for it with all that firewood chopping. And poopsicle golfing.

Greenbeckham just needs a little hydrogen peroxide and maybe a few tattoos and we're good to go. I'd start calling around now.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! I qualify as hardcore! (Despite the fact that I've been calling myself a softcore environmentalist throughout my entire challenge). The only thing I didn't get was the knowledge of chickens... I am totally lacking in foul wisdom. Other things I think you should add to the list: when you scrape fur off your bread and toast the crap out of it because the thought of wasting food haunts you; if you've tried to wash your hair with vinegar; if you've attempted to live without a fridge; and if the mere sight of someone using a Styrofoam container sends you into a panic attack...

Anonymous said...

Crunch & DC,

First of all I NEVER want to be one of the Spice Girls, but if it furthers the cause I guess I can deal with it. *Sigh*
We'd have a problem with the peroxide hair. GreenPa doesn't have much. But bald is in right now. I'll just have him shave everything that's left.
Soundtrack: "I'm too sexy for my hair..."
DC. You have to warn the ecorazzi that they might get photos of Smidgeon running around naked. I hear that's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

DC said...

Spice, don't worry, you don't have to pose as a Spice Girl. There are some things that I wouldn't ask anyone to do even to save the planet. Anyway, once everyone sees the new Greenbeckham, they'll forget all about Posh Spice. We'll just say Posh had to leave because she was having a hair emergency, and we'll pass you off as Beckham's personal trainer.

I thought it would be helpful to have an image of what we're shooting for, so I took Crunchy's photo of Beckham, applied the little information I know about Greenpa's existing appearance, and let the magic of technology do the rest of the work. I addressed the baldness issue, Spice, so don't worry about trying to shave Greenpa's head. I also added some tattoos that I thought would help market the brown tags.

So, with that introduction, here's my vision of the future Greenpa Becks. Professor Henry Higgins, eat your heart out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason, there's a great Instructable for making your own toilet-sink retrofit. Go to the instructables and look up "wash your hands with free water".

Greenpa said...

For the response from Greenpa - Barenekkid Chickens

your comments welcome... :-)