Ask all the supplement companies you buy from to use glass instead of plastic bottles. Glass can be recycled. One local health food store did talk a supplement company to start using glass bottles instead of plastic. Also ask them to keep magnesium stearate out of their products. It creates bio-films and is not a good "other" ingredient. It is used as a flow agent yet does not really need to be used. It is in way too many supplements including many probiotics.
Encourage your local grocery or farmers market to sell mesh produce bags. They are available from the Gourmet Seed Co online. They're very cost effective and could eliminate plastic bags in the produce section. I've expermented with cloth bags but mesh is better. Light weight and see thru. I made a prototype from a 25 lb onion bag that I simply sewed to size and left the drawstring at the top. The onion bag is made of the same material as bailing twine. The high school kids in the area have started collecting and recycling the twine so the bag could be recycled when it's worn out. Like the fabric shopping bags, mesh bags can be profitable if they're sold at the market. Hope this helps.
PS There's a pic on my page of the onion bag.
A political group in my area sells mesh produce bags at our farmers market to raise money for their political group and to gave people a better option over using plastic. It is a good way to raise money and help the planet at the same time.
Does anyone know the best way for storing fresh vegetables in the refrigerator without the use of plastic bags?
I need to stop storing lettuce cilantro and other fresh vegetables in plastic bags.
I have glass containers for storing leftovers in. Crate and Barrel has the best prices on glass storage containers for the refrigerator - way better than most retail stores. They come with glass lids rather than plastic and you can reheat the leftovers in the oven in the glass containers too.
Cotton cloth bags are great for storing lettuce etc in the crisper. I like to take a dishtowel and fold it into a a pillowcase then sew the edges. Dampen the towel, slip the greens in and they even seem to last a little longer. Gourmet Seed Co sells a cotton bag with a drawstring top. This reminds me, I have spinach and mesclun to plant. Happy Gardening!
Thanks Erin I will sew some dishtowels up too. Do you use the thin cotton ones or the thicker terry ones for better results with storing the lettuce? I have been wondering how to stop using plastic bags for refrigerator storage for some time.. it is good to get the answer finally. I do eat and store a lot of lettuce.
This idea is easy to implement if you live in a small town or have a community or art center where you live. An old bookcase can be used for people to put their used magazines and or books in. My town has one for magazines and I get lots of good current recycled magazines there. Some I read and some I use for collage. Also a free clothes bookcase or box is a nice way to recycle unwanted clothes and to clean out closets.
Here are some ideas my husband and I practice or at least have tried to incorporate into our daily living.
Avoid buying as many prepackaged items as you can, food or otherwise--reduces what you send to the landfill.
Always recycle old clothes. The goodwill also can be a good place to buy some of your clothes and other
Reduce the number of cleaning products you buy--bleach, ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda are good for just about every cleaning need (and takes up less space in the cabinets) and don't forget to use old rags to clean instead of
Avoid Styrofoam containers from fast food places they do not breakdown when they get to the landfill.
Use your own travel mug instead of buying a new cup every time you go to the "quick stop" convenient store.
Newspaper works great to clean and shine windows. Diluted vinegar or ammonia in a spray bottle cuts the grime.
Make your own toothpaste with baking soda and pepperment oil. (after several years, I just use baking soda--it's easier)
Olive oil makes a nice skin moisturizer and is cheaper than high priced cosmetics,
add essential oils if you want that feeling of luxury.
You can also recycle bath water to water plants (this can be used out of the tub or drained into a holding tank outdoors. Save rain water too--the old rain barrel had a use in it's day--and still works. Cool water takes less energy too.
We have a timer on the hot water heater to heat 3 hours in evening and 3 hours in the morning--for showers, laundry, and washing dishes. That is 18 hours of not using electricity. If your water heater is insulated that helps retain heat.
(Solar heat and other alternative methods to heat water are also good ways to use less energy)
An old fashion clothes line saves energy. And the clothes smell soooo good. (However, I do like my washable business clothes in the dryer--they are less stiff and wrinkle free) Sheets, blankets, underwear, rugs, etc. all do well on the line.
Hot boiling water from canning or cooking can also be poured over weeds to kill them. It may not be the answer for many weeds but can work for a small area.
Drying fruits and veggies saves energy. Canning isn't always cheaper (especially at the onset) but quality is under your control. You can usually pick up used canning jars at auctions. Clean well and check for chips and go can something.
Save your garden seed, the less you have to buy next year. Cow manure makes good fertilizer but are high in weed
seed content--either compost or use manure tea. (Manure tea--consists of a shovel of manure and a bucket of water. Drain water on to plants.)
If you have a small yard you can trade in the gas mower and go for the old fashioned reel mower-it worked perfect for me--no motors to maintain. (now, we have 5 acres and a tractor.) But, we let some of the grass grow to make hay for winter feeding of our 2-3 cows we raise each year. They also LOVE the culls from the apple trees too.
Pigs make wonderful composting machines and don't take up much space. Recycle all your garbage.
We raise about 3-5 a year for family and friends, all in a 50x50 ft. fenced yard with a small shelter--in the fall we
put up our own meat.
Make car trips count make a list of your needs before you go town. Learn to entertain yourself at home. Make "green" (or otherwise) projects at home your weekend entertainment. This week hubby is making a small chicken house, of course--using old recycled boards. A coat of paint will make it look like new.
I hope these suggestions can be utilized by a few of you, we have done them all and more, although I have abandoned some due to time constraints and other excuses. Some, I have returned to as my lifestyle changes. The point is doing
what you can, not that you have or can do it all. Every little bit helps.
This is a beginning list . . . there are so many little ways to walk lightly on our planet.
My good friend John Vasconcellos and I often think/talk about this important question. Based on the way complex adaptive systems (such as the ecosystem of this planet) work, a lot of people doing some of the right small things can make a big difference. Here are some things you can do without asking permission. If they seem uncomfortable, that's probably a good thing. As Oscar Wilde said, “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”
Avoid eating like locusts and breeding like rabbits.
Get smart/active about trans-national conglomerates buying up fresh water rights globally - need blue to make green right?
Eat [real] food, not a lot, mostly plants. - Michael Pollan, In Defense of Real Food
Throw $ @ good lawyers to help enforce existing laws against gross-polluters. (e.g. www.nelonline.org)
Stop buying/using unnecessary pharmaceuticals & they're nearly all unnecessary.
Take control of your carbon footprint - buy a hybrid, power your house with solar, become a micro-power plant over time.
Keep asking and answering this question + get kids to do the same.
I like this comment "Avoid eating like locusts and breeding like rabbits."
I honestly don't know if hybrid are safe with their EMF out puts.. something to think about before buying one. I heard no one should have their child or pet sit by the battery in the back.. that kind of warning makes one wonder..
Not sure what safe means in light of our current regulatory undersight for everything from food to drug and product safety. One thing is clear - burning dinosaurs, no matter how effeciently, is a bad idea at the scale and growth rate of the human population. Hydrogen won't be here anytime soon as it requires both car manufacturers and the infrastructure component to shift at the same time. That leaves electricity. The first working electric car was built between 1832-9 - you can see one at the Tech Museum in San Jose. GM killed the EV-1 after getting it to work in 2000. Getting electric cars right isn't just an option - it's critical to breaking a marketing-driven global oil addiction.
when I first married,my wife and I lived in a small seaside cottage about three miles from the nearest public utility grid,and we pumped water from a well using a windmill,and ran our lights and radio using an old car generator with a two blade propeller, mounted on the roof.
Since I built my house, I promised myself that I would include my own power supply which consists of a 1KW wind turbine and 12 solar panels with battery backup, and this is 28 years later. I collect cow manure from a local farm, and mown grass from the roadside, make compost and grow our own herbs and vegetables.
Our domestic drain water runs out in pipes buried under the lawn and flower beds.
My dream is to generate enough power from the sun and wind to be able to sell the excess to the local grid as a source of retirement income, and cut down on the amount of oil burnt power the grid uses in the process.
One of the main things we can do is to demand the legalization of hemp. Hemp can be made into approximately 20,000 natural products that are biodegradable including paper and plastic. It is a long-grain, no-till crop requiring little or no fertilizer, little water and can be grown in poor soil. It is also a source of food in the form of hempburgers, cereal, etc., and is a good source of protein.