Why Do I Walk in the Winter?

by rebsnugs

My uncle has asked me several times over the last year if I was writing a blog, and if not when I was going to start. Truth be told, RebsNugs the blog has been around for a number of years, but regular, consistent posts are not my strong point. I decided recently that I wanted to share with the world some of my explorations in sustainability, and I am happy to start again with my foray into blogging.

Rebsnugs, the blog, has had many periods of focus since its creation in 2011. I have worn many hats as its writer and moderator, as an artist, musician, poet. Today I am writing with my original intention for “RebsNugs” in mind. I wanted to create somewhere to compile what I considered to be “Nuggets of Wisdom”, anecdotes on life and living that are helpful to me and hopefully to others as well.

 


 

Rebecca ready for the cold.Why Do I Walk in the Winter?

 

Today it is 6 degrees outside in my hometown of Sharon, Wisconsin, and I layered up for my daily walk to the post office. It is about 3/4 of a mile downtown and I had a 30-pound box of books to mail, so I decided to use my favorite lawn cart to roll downtown. It may have seemed overkill to have a small (but heavy!) box in a full-sized lawn cart, but after trying to use a smaller cart yesterday, I opted for the smooth-rolling wheels, long handle, and quiet wooden box of Ol’ Red.

This winter I have used the opportunity to go to the post office to enjoy a daily ritual of getting outside and experiencing what lies outdoors. Some days are brisk, like today, and I bundle up from head to toe when I leave home, sweating and unzipping coats by the time I walk back up the driveway. My mom has always been an advocate for winter walking and regularly walks 5-10 miles a day, year-round. She is an inspiration to me with her love of being outdoors, regardless of the temperature or precipitation, and has taught me that with the right layers and attitude, you can walk anywhere.

photo 2While I rolled down my street, I took notice of the recycling outside of people’s houses ready to be picked up tomorrow morning and made a mental note to stop and collect their cardboard to use in my garden this spring. Newspaper and cardboard, cut or folded into 2′ sections is excellent liner for underneath wood chips or straw when mulching rows between vegetables or trees and around the base of plants. I also keep an eye out for garbage and other litter when I am out walking, and today found an empty Dr. Pepper can that I will add to my collection of aluminum that will soon go to the metal recycling plant.

For whatever reason, I had a different time set in my brain for the hours of the Post Office, and found it to be closed when I arrived. No worries – I was out on a walk for the exercise and fresh air, as well as taking my package to be sent away. I snapped a photo of the hours of the Post Office Lobby and will try again tomorrow.

photo 5On my return trip home, I collected cardboard and newspaper from two households and found some styrofoam that someone was going to throw away as well. Styrofoam can not be recycled at most landfills and takes a long time to decompose (the jury is out on the actual time, ranging from 50 years to “never”). There is a recycling center near my house that collects styrofoam and processes it and after I get a bunch of foam together I’ll make a trip out there.

 

How can I be Winter-green?

– Don’t be afraid of the weather. Bundle up and enjoy the day, no matter the season.

– Replace a short car trip with a longer walk. You’ll experience your surroundings, maybe meet some neighbors, and get some exercise!

– Keep on the lookout for useful items in the garbage or recycling. Not only will you save garbage from entering the landfill, you will save money by repurposing something useful. Carry a bag or some twine so you can bring home your loot, or better yet, take a cart!

 

Additional Links:

Cardboard Gardening

How to Recycle Styrofoam

Recycle Center Search

 

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