About 2 weeks ago the world started to change for me. With news of the coronavirus spreading, the cancellations started pouring in. First it was Cincinnati’s annual dance extravaganza, PigTown Fling, then the NCAA basketball tournament. These were sad but not life changing. Then meetings and talks I had scheduled started to be cancelled. Too bad, but it opened up some free time and I wrote an article titled Cancellations – The Gift of Time: What to do when Work, School, Church, Events, or Trips are cancelled? I also distributed a Coronavirus Pandemic Prayer to help put our current life trials in perspective.

But then the whole social distancing thing started to impact my daily life. Schools closed, places of worship cancelled services, businesses closed, and Covid-19 news dominated the airwaves more than politics. (Maybe the latter was a blessing.J)

My Lenten resolves took on a different face.
1. Eat a vegetarian diet – OK, that could pretty easily continue.
2. Avoid single use plastics – This also could continue since I didn’t need any.
3. Use more public transportation – I had already charted some bus routes but buses aren’t social distance friendly. It wasn’t essential. I’m dropping this for now.
4. Interact more directly with people in need – My weekly tutoring was cancelled (social distancing). I did continue to give out grocery gift cards to panhandlers though.
5. Continue to prune more stuff from my home – OK, I could still do this. A stranger took the desk chair that I put out on the sidewalk last week and I gave several reams of 3 hole paper to our son who was preparing take home packets for his inner-city school students.
But distribution was a problem for the blankets and stuffed animals I had collected. The homeless shelters said they were either closed or only took new blankets because of bed bugs.
However it is spring and I have a plethora of daffodils so I distributed flowers as a sign of hope to four neighbors.

So, in addition to minding my diet and looking for more things to give away, I decided to try two new environmental purchases.
Vogt tested SO YOU WON’T HAVE TO:
1. Tru Earth – Eco-strips for laundry detergent.
The eco value of these paper-like strips is that you avoid the plastic jug and the weight of transporting it to stores. But I wanted to test it out first to make sure it actually did an adequate job of cleaning clothes. The cheapest place to order 32 loads from was Amazon for $15. It worked, BUT it came in a plastic bubble wrap envelope which seemed to defeat the eco purpose. Once I knew it cleaned clothes well, I went directly to the Tru Earth distributor and signed up to the bi-monthly shipment which comes in a simple cardboard container. Total cost for the same 32 loads is only $13.00.

2. HelloTushy – a bidet like toilet attachment
I thought the eco-value of this bidet would be the elimination of toilet paper. (With toilet paper flying off store shelves these days, that’s a bonus.) Well, without giving you TMI, I can say that it doesn’t eliminate the need for toilet paper since you probably still want to pat yourself dry but it does reduce toilet paper – about 50% in my experience. Both my husband and I are very happy with the Tushy Classic bidet but it took me 1½ hr. to install it rather than the 10 they claim. It cost $79. It’ll take a while to break even. Contact me if you want more information.

BONUS – Does dusting count as getting rid of something? I’ve got some time. I’m counting it.