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A topic close to my heart. I have way too many myself! And the ones that are near the check out...those cheap 99 cent ones that feel like cloth and are not....or those flimsy plastic ones (with all the cool graphics) that sell for $1.99 lure us like moths to a flame...don't they? Ahhh, then there are the cloth bags...sturdy...and wonderful. They all reside in my home, my car, everywhere and I have too many. I love the idea of giving them away. I love the idea of maybe starting a "free" pile at my local library. Or the senior center. I have a lovely looking t-shirt bag...but I don't care for it as much as the more rigid styles of canvas bags. Uses for those pesky cheap but enormous plastic "reUseable bags: They are great for giving oversized gifts in. And there will not be any waste. They are great for donating clothes and other goods to the thrift store. Use em to bring recyclables to the bin, or the center. You can even get through one growing season using the bags as planting "pots"...just fill with soil, and your plant. Really works well on a balcony garden, and less waste then all those pots, less to store away in winter.
1 year, 6 months ago on Beware the Reusable Bag Monster
Oil of cloves,peppermint, or vineger keeps the rice paste in longer mold- free working condition. If you make say half a cup and want it to last UP to a week in the frig you need a mold inhibitor. The paste will NOT permanently repel bugs such as silverfish, beetles, or roaches...for any length of time in terms of years. any type of paper, and natural based adhesives are attractants for insects and molds..especially if you live in a warm humid climate. Some rices are more sticky due to heavy starch content. If you are using a rice that says on the package to "wash 2-3 times" before cooking for food...that is a starchy grain. Again....try the jello as I posted previously. . especially with small kids....its fabulously sticky, and they love the flavors, and colors. plus, it sticks ANYTHING. Gelatin has historically been used for glue way before the Middle Ages.
1 year, 8 months ago on Want Plastic-Free Glue? Make Homemade Wheat Paste.
I am wondering if you have consulted any licensed dentists on all this. All I know is that my dentist told me I have literally scrubbed off the enamel on my teeth over the years. I grew up on brushing with bicarbonate. Just bicarbonate. Why is salt added to these recipes? Just curious on that one.
Any green eco dentists out there? I just wonder about all thiese various ingredients...as I have loss a lot of enamel. I would like to have them weigh in on the abrasives in these recipes.
1 year, 9 months ago on Natural Plastic-Free Toothpaste, Tooth Powder, Tooth Soap Ideas...
@Eileen05403 Its easy to bash corporations---I know I sometimes do it. However, behind the rules and regulations of selling food in public areas, there are health code laws. I think the issue is also to find ways for venders selling food products that are legal and safe. Plastic wrap, clamshell styro boxes, and bags currently are the norms for shipping and selling at much lower prices. If we can negate the corporations, then we all need to overhaul THE FDA laws requiring publicly sold foods to be handled and wrapped in certain ways. And what of wet items...creams, liquids, and all that which are sold? Not every consumer is willing to carry their own containers and wraps to a store. Not ever food seller is brave enough to skirt all the food loaws in place. We are a litigious society...just one stale, raw, or poisoned product serves the lawyers & media much fodder , and the companies being sued, great harm. There are different shades of "green" and all vendors as well as all customers at a Green festival come in all kinds of Green. I don't have one neat and tidy solution, but having given this topic a great deal opf thought, I can say, I cannot criticise anyone for trying just a little bit more, no matter how pale a "green" they might be.
1 year, 9 months ago on Are Plastic Ziploc Bags Suddenly Green or Greenwashed?
@BethTerry I did not think of that...! You basically are stuck with cooking various substances such as rice, or wheat, using synthetics, or...using heated wax. Tree resins...such as pine, or spruce, or compass plant or Prairie Dock could work...but not for paper....way too sticky and thick.
1 year, 10 months ago on Want Plastic-Free Glue? Make Homemade Wheat Paste.
Try the gelatin glue I posted above first. Its great for young children...whereas the cooked glues are more work, and less fun .
@Paul Robinson @BethTerry @Paul
recipes for this sort of thing abound on the internet. You can add various things like cinnamon or peppermint oil( or vineger) to these recipes... to repel insects. The Japanese use rice glue...and they are known for their beautiful work with papers, and book binding.
You can make a much better and easier glue Beth! Plain gelatin...in the packets...(Knox is usually the brand sold in grocery stores-- plastic free packaging too!) . You get some very hot water, and start by making very tiny bits....say, 1/4 cup of hot water, and sprinkle in some of the powdered gelatin in very very tiny amounts-- keeping the ratio as the instructions say.. Keep stirring til the powder dissolves. This is when you brush on the liquid and paste down. You can even make stickers, or coat papers with the solution. Let it dry. Moisten when you are ready to stick with a brush or sponge or tongue. Its a natural, safe glue...its really amazing. There is NO cooking. We use it at work when we make art with kids...but we make 1/2 cup for each table, and we use flavored colorful "jello" powders. It will stick down even glossy magazine pages, dried pressed leaves...its really sticky until it dries.
You only make what you can use within the hour...as it will jell solid and have to be tossed away. You can keep the working time longer by adding a tiny bit of very hot water and mixing. I have made collages with this stuff. Its really fun....there are few glues that will paste slippery glossy papers together. this stuff works! Don't know about the archival or acid free abilities of this glue. Since its protein based...I am sure its not the best for repairing any valuable books or papers.
@EcoCatLady I wonder if anyone has experimented with the beeswax/ tree oil cloth for freezing meats with? I would imagine a beeswax soaked cloth wrapped meat would do the trick.. there was a thread here about that a while ago.
1 year, 10 months ago on Are Plastic Ziploc Bags Suddenly Green or Greenwashed?
Again, my appologies...I cannot figure out HOW to keep all my paragraphs from running all together---- this is driving me CRAZY
Depends on where YOU LIVE In the Chicago Illinois area, all large grocery chain stores, as well as all Targets have bins for plastic film/bag recycling. the mixed plastics are baled and most likely shipped via returning cargo ships BACK TO china. These ships are the very same to bring back those huge containers of Chinese imported 'goods" we "all" seem to clamor for in this country. The ships used to go back home empty...after dumping their loads in our harbors...but now they are refilled with all kinds of materials that will be recycled. Where does China get all the raw materials to keep producing so much stuff for export? we ship back steel, iron, metals, computers, plastics, and so much more. But get this...China is starting to deny entry of garbage ships . They turned away 10 ships of England's garbage and England, who doe no recycling on the Island of Great Britain, was shocked, as they had no where to dump all the unwanted trash! I'd say..England...learn to start being more careful with your consumption, and recycle at home!The mixed plastics are cleaned and melted ...they pelletised for selling to resin makers for not only for synthetic lumber, but playground equipment. According to the American Plastic Bag Association.The plastic bag/film Industry is pairing with the recycling industry to create more avenues for reUSE...but of course, unless there is profit...they don't do it. I went for at least a year doubting that the film collection bins were honest attempts...I thought the stores just did it to create a good will with consumers...but in reality just tossed them all out in the back in the dumpsters. but since Trader Joe's and Whole foods is doing it along with so many others in our area...I just have to believe they are making honest attempts for all those mixed films and bags.
Honestly how do I KEEP my paragraphs separated ? This running all together is KILLING me. I have tried everything...Help
Handcraftedtravelers,I am not trying to be argumentative here. I agree basically with how the rest of the world lives bit...and oftentimes I am so ashamed of living in the richest country the world (well...outside the middle eastern oil nations, that is). But...we all much craft the environmental message NOT to scare less environmental Americans away from better choices and behaviors. When someone says we don't need freezers...that will really send the majority of Americans running AWAY from the 'green wackos." Imo a freezer is neccessary...at least where i live, and with the 86 year old grocery store shopaholic i live with...my widowed stepmom. The extremist views spouted in a superior, guilting tone is what turns off the minds of those that might be willing to change...but are frightened away. Americans...most of them...do not want to live like those in a thrid world country...despite it being easy, and doable. My point is then, how to come up with a way to get non greenies to embrace greener (not perfect...but that is ok too---little baby steps are ok!) lifestyles. Being made to feel I AM A "bad person" because I don't use old newspapers as paper towels , baking soda to wash my hair, or not use a freezer to keep food safe....will not win the green movement any WARM affections or interest. and I am WAY more environmentally conscious then the "average" person! Not sure we should espouse terribly different change of lifestyles (in a demanding guilt producing way)...are we not going to do better encouraging smaller steps...for a greater number of the population? Getting a larger group to start being environmentally conscious is more productive then scaring them all off--which makes them then close off minds to ANYTHING we have to say.
We live in a such a fast paced world...no doubt something is "out of date" as its published....but this book was published in 2012...LOL. Its a big book--- . Pick a chapter ...its all rich and you can read out of sequence...and the main ideas might shock some. The author is brilliant...I hope to hear him speak someday...perhaps a Ted talk or something.Probably the most import book I have ever read. Yes...I mean that. Puts EVERYTHING into perspective.
@Joyfully Green @EcoCatLady @bloodsdesire
That is an excellent book...I read that this past year. However, Bottle & can bills are continually shut down in many states....because those corporate lobbyists are very powerful. Now, the American Plastic Bag and film trade organizations lobbyists are legally fighting plastic bag bans...undoing city bans regardless of how much the people want them banned. They cite 'loss of livlihood" as one factor. You see, in America (and now Canada too) ...if you have loads of money, you can get a team of lawyers to fight for corporate rights to pollute, to destroy, etc. and win! Just google Toronto bans the plastic bag ban. there is plenty about this new legal maneuver that is no doubt going to be the new norm of mega trade organizations.
@SarahKathrynSchumm @bloodsdesire @EcoCatLady
But "green superiority" and guilting others doesn't help. what you can do is great...just because YOU can...don't guilt others...its not going to make them follow. maybe THey are doing something that you aren't. different shades of green...its all better.
I think we all have to be more constructive about these issues, and not be so quick to generalize. There is good and bad to everything...Yin and Yang so to speak. Ask any Central American, African, living in an impoverished rural region with little to no resources what he prefers to drink...tainted water, or a plastic bottle of Coke. Its Coke. In 3rd world countries...plastics have helped in some ways...but of course they destroy in easily understood other ways too. I really feel we need to get the public more involved with the corporations....we need to let them know we are willing to help them come up with real solutions....and see them as not strictly "bad" or "good" Unfortunately often corporations keep doing what they do unless we call them out. we need to get louder, bigger, and much more political. Now, as to the SF Green Festival...I still think they could cordon off the corporations in a separate grouping...maybe even a separate room.... Beth...have you found a contact person at that Green festival we all could individually contact? They need to hear all OUR constructive criticisms.
@Joyfully Green Got it...thank you!
@Joyfully Green @bloodsdesire @EcoCatLady There is also another issue here. I happen to know a woman who lives in a "food desert" region...which is a common problem: poor inner city area where no grocery stores (or any other type of store except for the corner one selling snacks , cigarettes, and licqour) are. she has no car. s=She travels via bus 2 hours each way to her low paying cashier job. She is a "lucky" one (has a job in her neighborhood)...but she cannot cart back all the food physically on the bus...and the corner store is 3 times as much in price for the basics like milk, and the simplest of packaged overly processed foods. Access to healthy food, or fresh produce is out of the question. For income in which every day is a struggle to get through...I doubt they spend much effort on these issues. For them reusing, upcycling, and repurposing is their way of life. Its a given. Perhaps this entire thread should shift away from the poor. focus on the educated wealthy and the middle class. They are the ones with the means and lifestyle to create real change in habits. \for example: my downstairs neighbor owns an Ace hardware store in town. Now, do you think he recycles anything at home here? Its shocking. He is a wealthy educated man. I constantly putting his throwaways into the recycle bin. Paper, cardboard, glass, and plastics... including the most monsterous size of tide detergent...don't even know how a person can lift those when they are full. He also leaves the lights on in the laundry room overnight. ************Its not just about education. There are statics about what products are advertised to low income people via radio and tv. None of the products, or foods are green, or eco concious. I truly think corporations should be responsible for their environmental pollutants. In the book "Green Illusions, they talk about how some European countries mandate a percentage of the cost of every item...be mandated towards environmental clean up issues. We do not have this in the USA. Imagine Green Giant responsible for their frozen plastic produce bags! Imagine Frito lay responsible for their plastic snack bags. Imagine every alcoholic beverage producer mandated to give a percentage of profits top cleaning up and recycling their bottles and cans! America falls way behind...because of powerful corporate lobbyists in washing DC. Now, the plastic bag lobbyists have found ways to sue towns that ban plastic bags! And or stop the bans. this is one case that just happened: google: Toronto plastic bag ban. *******************************Word to the wise also...those "reusuable bags" sold for 99 cents - $ 1.99 , in stores...they do not last long, and they definately are NOT recyclable...and they still are made of "plastic" in a polyester plabric sort of way....bad....and that is green washing at its finest.
@Joyfully Green 2012 published. :-)
@Joyfully Green Our library is part of a massive ranging inter library loan system...and if they do not have a book, they can order it ...they just let me know via internet. In fact...I order most of my books through the internet now...only going to the library to pick up the "hold" orders. Did you know that you can also ask a library to buy a book (or DVD, CD) for their shelves? On 2 occasions, I went over to the librarian in charge of ordering and told her why a certain item should be purchased...and she did it...even notifying when it came in so I could take it out!Librarians are very willing to order books on enviromentalism and green topics.
@EcoCatLady @Joyfully Green @bloodsdesire I agree with everything you said Ecocatlady. With one exception: "...disposable goods are neither cheaper, easier, nor more convenient." The whole world is based on disposable goods being all these very things! In order to understand the habits of non green consumer behaviors, we must put ourselves in their mindset. The very fact that disposable goods gratify our instant needs so easily do whatever job they were designed for so well, AND can be gotten rid of so effortlessly...is NOT to be ignored in our hopes for more greener behaviors form our fellow humans. We must learn to restructure our eco cause message (somehow) ...so we do not sound so "unbelievable" (although I understand what you mean, and the truth of it) . when we say "unbelievable" truths...that is what makes the guilty non greenies run away. They feel we are wackos with no basis in reality. (believe me, the multiple hours of arguments with my older brother about global warming (he dismisses it and all green issues) has taken much energy and ranting! When corporations design these disposable products...they do so with intent of making them irresistible, and user friendly. Also, branding is of key importance...in getting a customer for life. I highly doubt most folks would quit using plastic bags...even though they realize plastic is harmful, toxic, and a huge drain on the earths petroleum resources.
@Joyfully Green @bloodsdesire @EcoCatLady
Good grief...don't know why none of my paragraphs showed...I hate when everything runs together.
@turningclockbac I commend you on very wise words. :-) extremism turns the majority of folks off. We need to embrace more folks. I have given talks about the topic...you might be surprised at how many think greenies are "wack jobs." After years at this...I am learning to be gentler and less judgemental...it doesn't help change anything. At least for me it doesn't.
@Joyfully Green @bloodsdesire @EcoCatLady I have had a few hours to ponder this topic of economics , and social vs cultural "greeness," I really think we have to be very careful here. Its just easy to say the poor consume (and trash ) more...because it might be more visible in poor communities. However, the educated and wealthy...they consume enormous amounts....but its hidden....neatly stacked for the garbageman, and the recycle truck. I know alot of about people's consumption...as I am an artist who first started working with trash in the late 1990s...and I have lived all over the place. I have gone though many inner city neighborhoods (Chicago, and NYC) seeking out people's garbage. I also donate vast amounts of efforts in community cleanups. I have cleaned up rivers, beaches, forest preserves, and more. Now, I live with my step mom. We live in a vast suburban region of multimillion dollar homes. It embarresses me sometimes....the amount of non environmental consumerism going on in the lives of the rich. I know several "poor to moderate" income folks that ARE environmentally concious. They tend to buy the more expensive greener goods! There are many kinds of "poor" and many kinds of "wealthy." By its very term "wealthy" usually means...multiple homes, big cars, huge plots of landscaping, boats and yachts, loads of non eco friendly travel, and extreme consumerism....all hidden behind cleanliness and civility. Its my experience that wealth has nothing to do with being green! If it did, I would never ever seen enormous Hummers and other gas guzzling vehicles around here. 50,000 sq foot homes for a 2 person family! Don't get me started on the amount of poisons doused onto those great big spacious lawns, or the amount of toxins due to cleaning those huge homes, and all their furnishings.And the dry cleaners...there is only one green cleaner in these north shore burbs....all the rest make huge profits the old way. when I attend green festivals in the Chicago region, no one looks poor, and no one looks wealthy. there are all types.... but its a very dangerous judgement to equate greenenss with generalizations. A poor neighborhood might had loads of broken beer bottles, aluminum cans on the ground, and a lot of snack bags blowing in the wind....but that in no way compares to wealthy and corporate pollution on this earth. Don't let a nice looking "perfect" neighborhood fool you....and believe me when I say... I drive wealthy neighborhoods every garbage pick up day...and its shocking to see all the packaging, furniture, clothing, unwanted toys, etc. just sitting there. At least in a poor neighborhood...your trash never makes it to a landfill...because someone is taking it home within 5 minutes. In the wealthy neighborhood...they will call the police. Its forced to be all landfilled.
This is an excellent article about food storage in the various kinds of glass canning jars...I am learning a lot this morning! I hope its helpful to all of you too. http:www.pickyourown.org/canningjars.htmExcuse me for getting carried away on this...the thread is off course with all this talk of glass jars...I promise to stop now! :-)
This is good: try History of Weck canning jars from Kaufman Mercantilethere is some interesting info about the glass topped jars...which are used more in Europe than here. they have not been deemed "safe" by our own FDA ONLY because they have not been tested. I go with these...and the rubber seems to be real.
@bloodsdesire @EcoCatLady whoa Nutitout...I am quite uncomfortable with your generalizations about "poor people." Poorer people are the "highest consumers" ...not so. Many poor people have issues with cleaning?though I reread your comments...and am trying to understand your intentions...I am hindered by these and other extremist generalizations. It sounds like Mitt Romney generalizing "the 47%." You shouldn't do that. It doesn't help the situation to categorize people, culture, social economics like this. I have lived in both environments...extremely poor, crime ridden, and also very wealthy. They both have problems of consumption, waste, and ecological destruction. The only difference is the wealthy hide it better then the poor.
Oh here are a few links... I wanted to share along with my last comments above:
Please google history of the canning jar. wikipedia has a great article...but Livefyre doesn't allow me to "paste" the link here. thousands of people used to die from food poisoning....the canning jar...with all its various patents really saved the day. What you might actually want to use is the "Kilner jar....you can google that and come up with loads on Amazon. the "Kilner" style is sold everywhere (glass lid, and metal wire handle that seals it). However, ":rubber" nowadays is synthetic...and a form of petroleum based plastic. Just like most of our shoes...the soles are "synthetic" rubber. Even on dress shoes! Pretty much all rubber nowadays is 100% plastic.Anyways...they say the Kilner style is not as safe as the ball jar seal IF you can / store wet foods. Its very easy to bash products...but learning the history of how these patents came to be is important, and can help you make wise consumer choices.
@My journey with Plastic Exactly. If you have something at home...its not "green" to toss it out and buy something else new. Because EVERYTHING takes energy and resources to manufacture, ship, etc. Use your glass mason jars. Use what you have. Don't feel bad or guilty about it. Listen...consumerism has a great deal to do with all this ecological mess.
As for the mason jars....I am old enough to remember those non plastic lined jar lids. They corroded, and leeched toxic metals too after a while. Canning tomatoes, pickles, etc...would corrode the inner tops. Glass lids are excellent... but hard to come by.Here is a green solution...maybe a canning jar company should start manufacturing a non- plastic / non- corrosive replacement lid. If enough consumers ask for it loudly...someone will do it. The best were the old glass fitted lids. You would just get replacement rubber gaskets. Don't know if these are still available... as I don't can. My grandmother did on her farm back in the 1950s.
Oh..everyone should try and get their hands on this book...positively riveting:Green Illusions - Ozzie Zehner
Beth...I think you will want to review this one. Its a real eye opener on how companies greenwash, and advertising puts spin on their hidden agendas.I believe it came out in 2012. I got mine out of the library...but I will buy a copy.
@Joyfully Green You are welcome Joyfully GreenPlease post a link to your blog when you write it. I think the possibly of infusing green into society happens in many ways..a teeny tiny trickle is better then nothing. I hardly think shaming or guilting people into going greener is the most successful move...actually it can backfire.
I took this book out of our town's library. Its so good, I bought a gently used copy on Amazon. Thank you for diligently reviewing it Beth. I also took your book out of the library and read it too.
1 year, 10 months ago on Plastic: A Toxic Love Story Book Review
Actually perhaps Beth should have a booth next year at this festival too. Fight back with education.I also just has a thought about the clear little plastic bags. because they are clear, and little...psychologically, in consumers minds...they might not seem to exist. Anyone ever thought of this? Its like cigarette butts...which cause 1/3 of all outdoor pollution. People that toss butts on the ground...the butt is small, and it feels "invisible." Instead of ranting about who is green and who is not...lets try new ways...marketing eco concious behavior. We must use the same tactics the big corporations do. Pointing fingers , ranting, or judging will not open new willingness to change. I learned this during this last presidential election when I tried to get my non believing older brother to agree there is global warming. Beth...its time to become a non profit...and set up at all these green festivals. Go even more public in a hands on way. Then, your booth can be right next to the Zip loc booth!
What a fascinating thread this has turned out to be! Turningclockbac is correct...these Green Festivals are probably thinking exactly the same thing....not everyone is willing to be an eco warrior...but they might be open to enacting one small change in their daily life. this would explain the diversity of "shades of green" promoted at Green festivals. I can only hope though, that allowing corporate sponsors at Green festivals does not open up the flood gates.
Perhaps, we could start a letter writing campaign...or petition to the SF green festival. they can be the poster child for all other green festivals. Lets get everyone on board in letting them know. I have the same problem with anything with a pink ribbon on it. The Koman foundation getting huge corporate donations so they can keep making all the cancer producing goods. Its time we demand more transparency and honesty.
Wouldn't it be a great start to have SC Johnson see this entire thread. of comments and ideas. There needs to be more consumer input with these global corporations, AND the green festival organizers. Beth, can you get the issue of the SF Green Fest publicized? Make it very publicized...get on public radio, etc. so that other green festivals learn (corporations too).
Of course Utsie. Just making a point about "biodegradable...the word is used to sell more products...and dupe folks into believe that its ok to consume consume consume. My point was that green washing exists at every level.
Scientifically, a good landfill doesn't allow ANYTHING to biodegrade. Fruits and vegetables are found 40 years later...not degraded. Neither is paper.All the product packaging that says their item is "biodegradeable" is TOTAL green washing BS. Because, unless you toss all of it in your personal compost heap and aerate it once in a while...nothing biodegrades in modern commercial landfills. There was an entire scientific study lasting many decades on this topic. The book in on my bookshelf somewhere. My point is not arguing about plastics...just the point that we all are led to believe "biodegradable" items are good....when very little in a landfill ever changes regardless. The real issue at hand is consumerism. We consume too much.
1 year, 11 months ago on Are Plastic Ziploc Bags Suddenly Green or Greenwashed?
Oh boy this is a sticky one. Beth, is there any way to get a representative from the Green Festival to weigh in on why they allowed Ziploc? Would be interesting to get their perspective on this. I also think they need to know quite loudly...that this is very unwanted!These plastic bag companies are very powerful...and persuasive in charming their ways into green issues. I just spent a morning last week on these websites...the lobbyists for the plastic bag/ film industries...and read all their glossy public relations campaigns. Of course THEY feel they are going green. Its very little and very misleading IMO.
I have a very hard time with the concept of consumers getting "rewarded" to buy more plastic bags. Much of the USA does not even have plastic bag recycling! Although I think most humans are not ready to stop using plastic food bags over all states/ continents, and only a small percentage gets recycled into lumber....I could only celebrate plastic bags at a "Green festival" if the corporations were advertising their collecting all the bags from the Ocean plastic polution gyres, for example. New and INNOVATIVE ideas from the producers. Innovative ideas in the environmental clean up of their products. THAT is what they need to bring to a Green Festival. I am so embarressed to see that big display in the photo...who are they kidding?Personally I am tired of the recycling efforts always put onto the consumer.... as the producers are not involved in recycling nor conserving resources. Ziploc...c'mon...you can do way better then that. Be a industry leader...and get down to real enviromental business