Monday, January 25, 2010

another small change

My intention for change this last month was to stop the influx of new plastic produce and other food bags into the home. So far.... it's working!! I'm not referring to what we bring the groceries home in, we have been using tote bags and boxes for years; I mean the bags for spinach and dried cherries. I am loving the Ecobags for kale, bulk beets and carrots, herbs, dried beans,.... and they are easy to wash. I am happy to report that I enjoy each time I do NOT reach for a plastic bag. So glad that I finally implemented this overdue change... and that I am no longer washing plastic bags. Ugh. With the addition of a portable dishwasher from J's parents (thank you thank you!), our kitchen is much cleaner. We have a great recycling business locally where I can retire the old plastic bags.

About a week into January, I was inspired by Suzy from HipMountainMama to bring back the family cloth.

Leaf was already using only cloth, a leftover habit from diapers, it only made sense to have the rest of the family on board. I decided to ease into it with just for #1 or for the final cleaning after #2. This can get graphic so I will leave it at that. We have both options set up in the bathroom and a small stainless trash can with a removable bucket for the used cloths. This way, guests can choose their own method, as well. I am pleased with this set-up. So far, our toilet paper consumption has significantly decreased, especially because I drink a lot of tea!

Now we move towards the next month and another small change. There has been a lot of discussion lately about research done on chemical additives in plastics and other products. Noteably, the book Slow Death by Rubber Duck. I am so glad that more people are talking about this. I missed the interview on the Diane Rehm show, but will look for the transcript.
While driving home last week, I began to think about what I have in my household that is "unknown plastic" to me. Not much, but one comment I did catch from the authors is the importance of keeping it away from consumables. Well, the only place we really have plastic is in the "tupperware cupboard." Re-usable food storage containers, or re-used yogurt and other containers. I don't know if these plastics contain harmful and leaching chemicals. Last summer, I moved to storing most leftovers in glass bowls (with plastic lids), and now I will be moving farther with the addition of stainless steel containers. I ordered some and hope to have them tomorrow. I don't think this will be our only change for the month, especially because there is a lot more I need to research, but it is another step. I question the use, procuring, and production of steel as well. With almost anything, I want to know everything I can about it before making a choice I feel I can promote to others. And sometimes all of this thought and time seems ridiculous to me because it feels like it is spent on things. Things that are insignificant in the long run. Not that protecting my family from toxins is insignificant, what I mean is why don't I just go out and carve a bowl from one of the fallen trees near our house? I can go so far with my thoughts that I need to just pull back and recognize that I need to take steps, too.

I will be pondering what other changes I can make towards a truly sustainable lifestyle.

Tonight, we enjoy another meal of leek greens we harvested last spring. Enjoy the picture from then and thoughts of the seeds that are busy within the earth. Now is a perfect time to dance outside, it helps to wake those seeds up and to honor mother earth. I recommend a good stomping dance to celebrate Imbolc!

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