Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Green Routine: Hygiene

Phase 2 of the plastics purge involves replacements for everyday items we've taken for granted.  Fortunately lots of other people are jumping on this bandwagon, and this stuff is easily available on Amazon.

Bamboo toilet brush, bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo and tampico fiber dish brushes, a bamboo comb, and an intriguing disposable dish scrubber at least partially made from walnut shells.  I had a little heartburn about parting ways with our Clorox toilet wand, but I'm now willing to make the sacrifice to keep a toilet brush clean.  The business end of this one is still plastic, but at least I don't throw the head away every week.  The bristles on the toothbrushes are still made of nylon, but it's a step in the right direction, and they were only $15 for four, which is supposed to be a year's supply.  The comb works as well as any other comb, though you have to take a little extra effort not to break it.

We also replaced our plastic broom with ye old fashioned model.  It's mostly for the porch, as I am not quite ready to let the Swiffer go.

By the way, I tried my first parchment paper produce bag the last time I bought a head of lettuce, and it worked like a dream.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Green Routine: Grocery Shopping

I've gone on anti-plastic tirades before, but this time I'm ready for a total lifestyle reboot.

I have officially had it with the self-important plastics in my life.  I'm sure plastics are indispensable in certain applications, but we've gone a little crazy with it.  There used to be a way to live without it, so I'm going to try to eliminate or at least minimize it in my daily routine.

First up, grocery shopping.

It's almost impossible to shop in a mainstream grocery store without bringing home a lot of disposable plastic and (my personal bugaboo) Styrofoam.  When possible, I buy whatever brand of eggs comes in the paperboard carton, and I am often faced with the agonizing debate over the many varieties of particular products in which no single brand qualifies best in all categories (non-toxic, no sugar added, sustainable, cheap).  At the end of the day, you can only do so much.  So, here's what I'm doing.

This is my solution to the plastic produce bags.  I might not have to be bothered at places like Mom's Organic Market, where they provide biodegradable bags, but for every other place I have my new PAPER accordion folder full of brown paper sandwich bags and homemade unbleached parchment paper bags (for lettuce, and other wet stuff).  I made the parchment paper bags by cutting a length off the roll, folding it over, and throwing some quick stitching along the seams with the sewing machine.  As an added bonus, the folder was 10% recycled; not great, but better than nothing.  The whole kit will stay in the car for ease of access on grocery days.

And, of course, I have my reusable shopping bags in the trunk.

(If anyone has any dirt on parchment paper, let me know, and I'll switch to wax paper.)

More installments to come very soon.