Tuesday, May 2, 2017

50 Shades of GREEN

I couldn't resist!  Just a take off the book/movie 50 Shades of Grey (no I haven't read or seen).
Green means different things to everyone.

There are so many ideas and truthfully there are NO bad ideas about being green.

I try so hard, but boy do I have a long way to go.  I do reuse all that I can.  I do try to reduce my footprint on the earth.  I do recycle.

As you have all seen, I do love my clearance and closeout items that I add to my long term pantry - and YES they are most often in cans and have packaging.  This is my BAD!!!!!!  LOL
We do have a good recycling system here, and most everything can be taken to the recycling bins - that is my saving grace.  My weekly trash (pick-up) has drastically reduced over the past couple years.
This is something that I intend to work harder on each and every day.
Most everything can be taken to our recycling bins except Styrofoam.  There are shipping companies that will take that and reuse (in some forms).
REMEMBER - Styrofoam NEVER breaks down.

Here are a few ideas to think about.  It may require you asking your local grocer some questions, and asking if they can make changes!  If enough people do this, maybe we can benefit everyone and the earth.

Deli meats, cheeses, and salads all get wrapped or packaged in plastic. - BAD
See if they will use butcher paper to wrap your purchases!  ALSO check with them and see if you can bring your own containers!  I know this is a novel idea - but they can do a 'tare weight' (weigh your container prior to adding food).  You take home no waste, and can reuse your container over and over.  GOOD
Do NOT buy lunchmeat or cheese in those pre-packed plastic containers.  BAD
Do NOT buy meat that is prepackaged!  No matter that it is hamburger, seafood, pork, beef, etc.  It is packed in plastic and Styrofoam.  BAD
Buy those items from the butcher or from the butcher area of the store.  Ask them to use only butcher paper - No plastic.  GOOD

Cookies, candy, donuts/pastries, frozen breakfast treats, frozen burritos, chips, frozen pizza & snacks, granola bars, microwave popcorn, pot pies, frozen desserts, crackers, TV dinners, shredded cheeses, ...................................the list goes on and on
These are all wrapped in much plastic and cardboard.  BAD
Make your own from SCRATCH - GOOD

Nuts, chips, sugar, flour, most baking goods, pasta, pet treats, rice, dried beans, coconut, spices & herbs, etc.
These all come in small packages and much of it is plastic.  BAD
Buy from BULK BINS or buy in EXTRA large containers (like from wholesale clubs or ethnic shops)  and repackage at home in glass jars.  GOOD

Pet food - comes canned and bagged.  Treats can often be bought in bulk bins.  You CAN make your pet food, but most of us don't.  The cans are a low grade aluminum and most often can be recycled (make sure they are clean).  Bags are either paper or plastic coated.  Figure out a way to reuse them.  Plastic bags can be remade into reusable grocery bags or book bags.  Paper ones can often be recycled.  If I get paper ones - I use those for take out trash - as they will breakdown in the landfill.
Buy dry food in the LARGEST bags you can - you buy less often, have less refuse to worry with and often the product is cheaper.

Paper products can be reduced.  Some products just can't be deleted from your purchases.  TP is one of them.  YES, you can use washable wipes - but most folks just don't want to do that. (I am one).  Buy TP in large quantities.  Sams/Costco sell TP wrapped in paper and then boxed in a large cardboard boxes - I guess this would be most ideal - as those packaging items do break down and can be recycled.

Paper towels, Kleenex - BAD   Use rags for cleaning and hankies instead of tissue.  GOOD
Paper plates, plastic utensils and cups - BAD  Use the real thing!  (yes, you have to wash).  GOOD
I think we all need to keep a few plates, utensils and cups for those SHTF moments - when there may not be water available.  They are OK for emergencies. 
 Keep some inexpensive picnic dishes and utensils on hand for those times that you are afraid your good stuff might get broken.

Cleaning products are most often full of chemicals.  BAD  Learn how to make your own from natural ingredients  GOOD

Beauty supplies are often full of chemicals as well.  There is lots of plastic packaging as well.  BAD
Learn how you can make many of your own products or at least use less.  Learn new uses for things you have (conditioner instead of shaving cream - rain water instead of hair conditioner).  GOOD
If you must buy conditioner, shampoo, liquid soap, etc. - buy it in large containers and repackage at home.  Less expense and less waste.

Odds and ends:
*Use parchments paper instead of wax paper - wax is often made from petroleum products
*Air fresheners - don't buy aerosols cans - make your own.  Fruit scraps and spices in water is lovely.  Fresh flowers dried makes nice potpourri
*Window cleaner - make your own with vinegar (can reuse spray bottles)
*Foil - use glass containers for storage.  Foil can be recycled (when clean) with scrap metal
*Dryer sheets - use vinegar in your rinse
*Deodorant - toothpaste - learn to make your own
*Disposable bathroom cups - use a real cup
*Juice -if you can't make it fresh (takes a lot of fruit) - try to buy in glass bottles.  I very seldom find glass bottles - so I do buy frozen concentrate - (cardboard containers cleaned can be recycled)
*Learn how to make your own yogurt, sour cream, coffee creamer, etc.  They most often come in plastic containers (many can be recycled).  BONUS - you know what is in it!
*FRESH fruit and veggies - try to buy at farmer markets to avoid packaging.  Find stores that sell without all the packaging (many natural/health stores)


OVERWHELMED?????  Yeah, I know - me too.  In a perfect world we could all do ALL these things and more.  But as we all know neither the world nor ourselves are perfect!!!!
All we can do is start by making small changes and gradually do more and more.  This is an ongoing goal of mine.
I hope that you all make it a goal of yours as well.  TRY to make as many earth friendly changes as you can.  Talk to others about this as well.
MAYBE (it's a big maybe) someday, we can get the retailers to all make the changes that they should.  If we are all diligent and ask for changes at our local stores, just maybe they will listen!  IT CAN'T HURT TO TRY!!!!!!!

I don't know about 50 shades of grey - BUT 50 shades of green is downright alluring to me! 
Natural is beautiful!

THIS is what I am hoping to save and protect for future generations.  Won't you help? 


  1. I never thought about taking my own containers to the meat department or deli before but I just may give it a try!

    1. Debbie you might check with them before doing it - but it sure can't hurt!
      It all helps.

  2. Great list Cheryl. I have made draw string bags out of old net curtains. These live in my grocery shopping bags. I Can purchase various fruit and veg and not have the extra plastic going in my shopping. My grocery bags are made from old tablecloths and lined with an old sheet. They are very pretty and so very handy to leave in the car. At our local health food store they sell a lot of baking items, like spelt flour. I take in a container, it is plastic but it is being continuously used, it's weight is measured and then it is filled with flour. I can also purchase salt, bicarb soda and any number of dried beans this way. The food is a bit more expensive but the service is second to none and the organic food is simply delicious. I usually ride my trike with my little dog in the back. The staff all know and love Miss Cobber and one will stay with her whilst I shop. I'd like to lessen my footprint and am, like you, looking for ways that I can do that here.

    1. Jane it sounds like you are doing a great day. Our organic grocery is the same way. I wish I lived close enough to walk or bike.
      You grocery bags sound pretty. I have several and use them all the time.
      Keep up the good work!

  3. Thinking back on the changes I have made...packing lunch instead of buying out saves on packaging, re-usable tupperware...dog food bags become coal ash bags...plastic bags for meat scraps that we don't feed to the dog...and for trash can liners...cloth towels instead of paper in the kitchen...that vinegar and baking soda trick is really nice too for soap scum...an overnight soak and elbow grease for stuck on pans...definitely like the idea of bringing my own produce bags to the store, but how to tare them to take off the extra weight?

    1. Ellen you are doing great as well. Lots of things we can all do. Little changes equal big differences.
      The store would have to do the tare weight - not sure all stores have that ability. (or the concern)
      My produce bags weigh virtually zip - so I don't worry about it.
      Keep up all the good deeds!