Sunday, September 25, 2011

Carrying My Own Bags

I know that there are more people out there who keep buying reusable grocery bags and leaving them at home! It drives me nuts.  The reusable bags are great especially when carrying heavy cans. You can also carry a lot more stuff in fewer bags which means less trips to and from the car once you get home! Whoo Hooo!  I have started storing the bags in my car which has helped immensely unfortunately I sometimes forget to put them back in the car. I will use my reusable bags every time if I have to write it on a sticky note and place it on my steering wheel.  I seem to remember to take a reusable bag if I am walking to the store or riding my bike.  I guess it is a necessity then because a plastic bag wouldn't make the walk home and if I am riding my bike I have to use my backpack.  If I try to use any other bag on my bike it swings around to the front of my body and almost topples me over.  It has been a good thirty two years since I fell of my bike and scrapped my knees (I am knocking on wood) and I would like to keep it that way.

We all know that making plastic bags uses huge amounts of oil and that they kill marine animals who mistake them for food but there are many more reasons not to use them.  One of the things that irritates me most about plastic bags is that they are everywhere they are not meant to be. There are two high up in the tree tops outside my front door.  I saw one today on my walk home from the auto shop that was hanging in a bush.  I noticed it because it looked just like a longhorn skull.

I am even worse when it comes to the produce bags!  I have bought lingerie bags to use for produce but I am embarrassed to say that I haven't actually used them yet. I do however try to use less of those plastic produce bags.  For example, I have put two kinds of peppers in one bag or cilantro and parsley in the same bag. I make sure to tell the person checking me out that there is a variety in there and that I am not trying to rip them off just save the world one less bag at a time.  I am not sure if they are recyclable like the plastic grocery bags but do admit to shoving the plastic produce bags into the middle of the plastic grocery bags that I recycle.  With my luck doing this ruins the whole batch and I am someone speeding up global warming.

One day I proudly toted my recycled grocery bag into the store (I was cheering to myself  "I remembered I remembered!") but my self promotion soon fizzled when I realized I forgot my lingerie err "produce" bags. It wasn't until I was home and unpacked my groceries when I realized the "produce" bags were in the recycled grocery bag the whole time. One day I WILL get it right!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Recycled Crafts

Our homemade mouse from one of my old T-shirts and leftover curtain fabric.

When I was a kid I would find things I wanted to create in my favorite book - The Everything Book.
I would immediately pick an activity or project and ask my mom if we had this or that. My mom would tell me to make a list of supplies I needed and on our next trip to the store we would pick them up. In theory it sounded good but I wanted to make something NOW! I didn't want to wait or plan.   Back then  I had to get creative and look through drawers and closets for things that I could use.  I had to improvise and think outside the box. I am happy to say that after more than a few decades things haven't changed a bit! This is extremely beneficial since we live 75 miles from the nearest art supply store or big box store! Addyson and I have really enjoyed walking through town and visiting the local thrift store. It is a great place to buy arts and craft supplies as well as office supplies.  It supports our local hospital, saves us money and reuses things that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Addy stuffing a toy cow we made from left over fabric.

Addy and I have painted and repainted this canvas many many times.

Sea creatures and cat (I guess) made from a skirt and a shirt that I was going to take to the thrift store. The skirt had six big blue buttons (octopus eyes) that I am keeping for other projects. Now I look at old clothes with a whole new eye.

Preschool Snacks - Planet and Kid Friendly

Miss Addyson just started preschool and because her name starts with A she was first on the list to bring a snack. I scoured the Internet for creative and fun ideas. I found a "Go Fish" idea that sounded awesome. Yes, it is obvious that I am way more excited about preschool snacks that Addy is. Many of the ideas I liked required plates, cups or small dishes. It was important to me to try and be eco-conscious.  I looked at the paper plates, paper cups and all the other possible options. I decided on blue plastic reusable bowls and tiny plastic containers with lids.  There are fourteen kids in her class and the blue bowls were three for a dollar  and eight small containers with lids for a dollar.  I am sure both were made in China and not BPA free but since I was not microwaving or serving anything hot in them I figured it was fairly safe.  I can't wait to create a cool October snack!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to the Start

Chipotle Mexican Grill has a mission - Food With Integrity.  Check out this short little animated video
about going back to the start.  Music by Willie Nelson.

I copied the following excerpt from Chipotle's website.  Of course if you read the fine print you will find that  not all of their 700 restaurants have meat from family farms but at least they are heading in the right direction.  All seven restaurants in the Seattle area do use sustainably raised meat.

It means serving the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, great nutrition and great value.
It means that we support and sustain family farmers who respect the land and the animals in their care.
It means that whenever possible we use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.
And it means that we source organic and local produce when practical. And that we use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones.
Food With Integrity is a journey that started more than a decade ago and one that will never end.