Saturday, April 4, 2009

Products we love.

We are not a green family. We do not buy things labeled green, we do not frequent green businesses, we do not dye our hair green in a nod to the marketing frenzy that promises guilt free consumerism. In fact we are guilty of occasionally rolling our eyes at transparent claims of "green-ness". (yes, we are THOSE sort of people)

On the other hand, we are careful stewards of the resources we have. We keep an eye on our impact, making note of the niche products fill, the sustainability,and the amount of fuel used to get products to us. Will it save us money, last a while, and help us reduce our trash production?

So as I offer up products we love, it is not because we are trendy, or because we are cool. It is because they help round out our priorities and are aligned with our philosophies.

First item up for review is called the Twist European Sponge Cloth. They are thin sheets approximately half the size of a paper towel, and are very absorbent. The claim on the package is that one towel can outlast 17 rolls of paper towels. The towels are easily disinfected and cleaned by hand washing or throwing in the dishwasher. If you are really ookied out by post chicken cleanup (eeeeeeeew!) then you can sterilize the towel by boiling it.

They appear to be quite durable, and I anticipate they will hold up quite a while. The only thing I have been surprised about is that they dry quite stiff, but will soften up as soon as you start using it. I admit we still have our paper towels for some uses, but I am looking forward to training myself and the family to grab the sponge cloth first for cleanup. I did also notice that the Twist Clean company has quite a few other related products, and is based out of Boulder. (which means that there is less fuel needed to get it from the manufacturer to my kitchen, bonus) The final touch is that you can use the minimal packaging to make a bird feeder. Directions and lines to fold are all printed on the inside of the packaging.

The next products I am super excited about are 3B reusable produce bags. Reusable grocery bags are my obsession. I can't change the world, and I can't even change all of my bad habits at once, but I can use my reusable grocery bags every single time I shop. (and I do!) The missing link for me has been the produce bags. Most of my veggies can be purchased without a bag, but the checkers don't really love chasing loose apples rolling off of the scale. Even with our CSA in the summer, some items really need to be bagged. (can you imagine the mess of loose green beans in with loose salad greens in my bag?) I had an ambitious mental plan of sewing drawstring net bags (out of black tule I have left over from making skirts for the roller derby, no REALLY)last summer, but a sewing machine on the fritz stopped that plan.

So I stumbled across these bags at King Soopers last week. They come in a set of 3, are generously sized, and softer than my original plan would have been. Now I just need to remember the small bags every time I shop as well. I keep my large shopping bag collection in the car all the time, though I do have enough to leave some at home.

As an obsessive connoisseur of reusable grocery bags, I have to tell you my favorites are the square bottomed ones available for 99 cents at Whole Foods. They hold twice as much as most other bags, are very sturdy and able to securely hold a large number of heavy cans, and stay open as you load them. My second favorite are a spin off of this style. I love that they can be folded up into a palm sized package, making it ideal to keep tucked in your purse or pocket for the random purchases such as at the pharmacy or cosmetics counter. Slowly more and more cashiers are looking dumbfounded when I ask them to keep the plastic bag. ;)

Well, that is the view from the snow filled tree today. I am working on figuring out the Picasa picture links so I can show off the chickens again! Stay tuned.

And you know, we see that we have had 91 people have viewed the blog last month, but we only have had a few comments posted. (thanks April!) We very much want this to be a dialogue opportunity, so please let us know what you think of different topics!

1 comment:

  1. Those produce bags look great. Here's one thing we tried at our local food coop: a volunteer made small cloth bags (about 1/2 a pillow case size) out of old sheets, and we put them in a box to sell for 50 cents each. They were just a basic rectangle bag, with an open top. It wasn't even necessary to have a "closer" because the cloth could just twist shut at the top. These would be easy to make at home. I bought two, and have reused them over and over. They fit conveniently inside my larger reusable grocery bags.


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