What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Sunday, 28 February 2010

simple pleasures - a cast iron pan

I think one of my personal challenges is to allow myself to happily live a lifestyle that is less sustainable until I can make it more so. For some time I've been chafing to get back to cooking with cast iron. Not only is teflon carcinogenic but it requires some nasty chemical processing and is energy intensive besides. It is also fairly short lived compared to cast iron, an ancient technology that can be produced at the village scale and will outlive you if taken care of.

I had some cast iron cookware in America, some was my mothers, some my grandmothers. I left it behind. As I've been moving around quite alot since then I've been reluctant to haul around cast iron cookware, getting by with what I could find in thrift stores and garage sales.

Then just yesterday I was emptying the household rubbish and saw an interesting handle sticking up from the depths of the dumpster. I reached in and pulled out a lovely little cast iron frying pan, just right for an omelette. And the coolest bit is that it has an extra long keep-cool hollow handle that has obviously been retrofitted since initial manufacture. Somebody loved this pan! The sad part is that we're living with Jacq's mum at her sheltered housing complex and stuff gets thrown out when the residents die or get too feeble to use it. I'm happy to give this little pan a longer life. As I rescued it from oblivion Jacq looked at me askance and said "you aren't planning on taking that to America are you?" Nah, I've got some waiting there for me. This sweet little pan will give me loads of joy till we leave, I will take it to Devon with me. Then I'll try to find someone to pass it on to.

So I realized this evening after using it for the first time how content I felt to be scrubbing my little pan with salt, carefully drying it and storing it away. The satisfaction of taking one more step, Ok so it's a really small one, towards sustainability. Just one more thing I don't have to give myself grief about, simple pleasures.

If you're interested here is a good starting point

Thanks to the Cast Iron Society for the image.

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