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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 month, 1 week 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.
3 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.
3 months, 4 weeks 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.
4 months, 3 weeks 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.
5 months, 2 weeks 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.
5 months, 3 weeks 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. :-)