Friday, January 18, 2008

A Few Thoughts for Friday

The sprouting book I've been reading is irritating me a bit. It totally poo-poos the use of jars for sprouting. Although I can see why baskets might be a good option, I've had really good luck with sprouting in jars. Plus, for me its about using what you have. For now, I plan to continue using jars despite their limitations. Although, I might try a batch of sprouts in one of my metal colanders just to see what happens.

I'm irritated lately by the waste that is all around us. I'm further irritated by the fact that very few people seem to notice it. What really makes me aggravated is sometimes I'm a part of it. Sure, I have my reusable grocery bags in the car but until very recently, I only brought them into the grocery store. Besides, grocery bags are only one piece of the puzzle.

How do you convince people to think beyond putting the garbage into the can or recycling bin? What about the things you buy weekly that are hard to break down (like the Silk containers that we go through so quickly)? Is it more eco-friendly to make your own soymilk? What about the great locally grown foods that are available only in plastic tubs? What trumps what? Does local in plastic beat non-local in bulk bins?

These are the things I'll be wrestling with. Although it seems daunting, I will not slide into inactivity. I feel like a pioneer of sorts.

Its funny that Ruthie seems to be experiencing similar angst. Check out her recent posts here and here.


Anonymous said...

It's funny: here, in Atlanta, when we tell people, "No thank you, we don't need a bag" at stores--where, let's face it, we usually buy 5 items or less and can carry them in our hands--they often look startled. On vacation, in Seattle and Vancouver, people 'got' it. They even said things like, "Oh, good for you" and smiled.

I try to think through the entire life cycle of a product when I'm deciding which way to purchase--and when I think about whether or not to use something in a package or make something that is local and doesn't involve a package, the latter should win.

Sometimes, though, convenience wins. I still use canned beans despite my knowledge that if I just plan a bit better and devote a bit more time, I can make dried beans from bulk more cheaply and with less waste.

I don't know if you have read her blog, but Emme at Simple Reduce delved into these issues well before she had to shut her blog down for safety reasons:

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie,

I wanted to stop by and tell you about a dinner I made last night. I had left over 8 bean soup. I added about a half cup of leftover black beans and a cup of leftover pasta. Not profound but the funny thing was that while I was doing it I realized I was thinking "This is what Katie would do!" It's funny how we learn from each other without realizing it. btw the soup was so much better then it had been before and I got three containers of leftovers out of my fridge with no waste. Thanks for what you share with all of us everyday.


Ruthie said...

Katie ~

Thanks for the links to my post. :-) I am feeling very good right now about the path we've taken. I feel like it's a path of waste-free and biodegradable living. I love the fact that I'm removing things from my life that won't be around indefinitely after I'm gone.

Though the decluttering started as a necessity it's been quite eye-opening as to what we've accumulated and what we can truly live without. :-)

Rock on

Chile said...

Katie, I just finished a week of dealing with rethinking the recycling triangle if you want to check it out. It is tough to find the best options definitely.

On a related note, my sweetie just planted seeds in about 20 Silk carton bottoms...

Patience said...

We go through SO much dairy-free milk alternative in my house, and so very quickly. I've taken to buying bulk powdered alternative (called 'DariFree', by Vance Foods -- purchasing 25 lbs at a time). It's quite handy. Far less packaging obviously, but also convenient being shelf-stable --I can make as much or as little as needed (it travels well too, for camping, etc -- just pack the powder and mix with water on site):

Katie said...

That sounds interesting but how's the taste?

Patience said...

We've been using it for years now and are quite happy with the taste.

It was once called 'Vegelicious', years ago, if that rings a bell (you can find ads for it thus named in old Vegetarian Times magazines). We used it back then even (mid '90's)-- but lost track of it for several years when the company was sold and the name changed to 'Dari-Free'. Was very thankful to have rediscovered it again a few years back -- it's all we ever use today (in fact, just noticed our supply's running low and will be needing to reorder soon)....

Patience said...

(P.S. furthermore, though while I've not actually priced Silk (nor the others --Edensoy, Pacific, etc) lately, I'm certain there is a cost savings as well....)