Boos and Yahoos
It's September, and MBT has its first environmental challenge up for BlogHers Act Canada - to reduce packaging.
So I went out shopping yesterday, and came away with two things I was pleased to see (as well as one non-environmental thing that put a damper on my kid's-clothes shopping fun), and I thought I'd share today. Also, I thought I'd take a look at how I am doing with it in my own daily life and projects.
Yahoo! for the fact that they gave me not a plastic bag or a paper bag with my purchase of kid's clothes, but a reusable bag. Good idea for me, good idea for the earth, and good idea for them, with me carrying around their advertising for longer.
Boo! for the fact that in the girls 4-6X section, they were carrying shiny black vinyl miniskirts. Ewww.
Yahoo! They are having a "naked" sale, in which you get a buy 2, get the 3rd free deal on unpackaged products like their luscious soaps (which come wrapped in a bit of waxed paper), bath bombs, solid shampoos and conditioners, and so on. In fact, over half their products come this way, and they encourage customers to bring their own reusable containers for those that need containers, as well as your own bags. Their catalogue is even printed on non-glossy recycled newsprint. You gotta love this. In fact, I took the catalogue because I think I'm going to look for more of their products to replace my current brands as I run out of things. I like their natural indgredients, their commitment to the environment, and their handmade aesthetic. Plus, have you smelled that store? Yum. This is on until the end of the month, so get go stocked!
Boo! I keep forgetting my damn cup. I need to start planning ahead, which is not my way, but flying by the seat of my pants is clearly not working, since I keep running out of the house without it. Maybe if when I get home, I put one in for the next day when I'm pulling my book out of my purse? Perhaps a note sticking out of my book would help. I've got to try a few things. Because lately, I suck. And this is NOT winning me points in this month's challenge or with my own self, that's for sure!
Yahoo! Although, slight Yahoo points for the fact that I keep hanging cloth bags on the door handle for Misterpie and he's been trying to remember to use them, and we have definitely saved a few bags, so we need to get some more cloth bags in circulation and boost that good habit. We're working on it! Extra points to Misterpie, too, for going along with it and trying to remember them, since he's the one who goes grocery shopping.
Boo! to me, for having a reusable bag from the Bay with me, planning ahead to put the socks from Old Navy in it, and then not noticing until I was walking out of the store that the cashier had tucked them into a plastic bag and I had snagged it and left without even noticing because it's just the habitual path of a retail transaction. D'oh!
Yahoo! So we've been working on this room for Pumpkinpie? (For, like, forever? I've offered certain favours in exchange for painting favours as this point, I'm getting so desperate to get it done!) Well, although it's yellow, there's some nice green points in terms of reusing here. We always save leftover paint in case we need to do touchups and so on, so we headed to the basement and chose the same yellow that the room had been before, using paint we already had. No paint to the toxic waste people, no cost to us. And there's still some leftovers for touchups if she trashes the place. Plus, her bed is the one I used in university, with new bolts from Ikea's very good customer service people, we are moving her bookshelf and clothes pegs and curtains down from her current room. And we snagged two old school desks from the garbage pile at Misterpie's old school, her dresser and one bookshelf were rescued from garbage day, and one cabinet was one that the former tenants of the house left behind, and Misterpie took it apart and rejigged it to better fit the ceiling height and intended purpose. All that furniture is in great shape, and all but the desks is even white, so it looks like it goes together! If it wasn't, a quick coat of (leftover) paint would solve that. And we are also using art we already have for some of the walls, a poster from a publisher plus some fans I had and a parasol my family gave to Pumpkinpie for another corner, a stained glass I made and Misterpie will frame to hang in the window, a height chart I embroidered, and I'm going to paint some flowers on another wall below a nice mobile, I think, using some leftover paint and one or two sample pots for extra colours as needed. So we are getting to do this whole new room makeover business with VERY little money and very little new consumption, and we've saved a few large items from being discarded. I love that. As I've said before, scavenging kinda makes me heart sing.
Yahoo! More scavenging, plus some giving back? I've also rescued a scooter and a two-wheeler, both of which need a little tweaking, probably just some WD40 on the bike chain, that sort of thing. Both are purple and pink. Pumpkinpie is so happy to HAVE a two-wheeler, since we were planning to wait until spring. Misterpie is happy because they were free. It's nice to circumvent some of that consumer lust in her starting young, too, by showing her she can have a perfectly nice bike that soemone else has used. So this summer I've been the recipient of lots of goodies from the neighbourhood, and now it's my turn to put some stuff out, so I'm going to set out a bunch of books at the beginning of next week so they have a few days' chance of being picked over before recycling day. And some others, I am bundling up by topic and offering up on craigslist for free. Some especially good academic-type ones, I am going to donate to the library for use or for sale. Yes, I did a weed of my collection last spring, and it's high time I move the boxes out of my hallway to make room for another culling as we start shuffling rooms this fall.
Boo! I'm not organized enough to make my lunch at home, so I keep planning to pop into a grocery on the way to work some day and get some lunch ingredients. We have a fridge at work, I have on some occasions in the past bought some bread and deli meats and cheese and mustard and so on and made lunches there. But bloody hell, I just keep running late and not getting there. Half hour lunches are just not long enough to go shopping AND eat, either. Sigh. I will ask Misterpie to pick some stuff up for me Sunday, if he's going shopping, but I never know when he's going, so I forget to tell him in advance. I don't have to be in until late Monday, so I hope I'll be able to take that opportunity, because all these bought lunches are not good in terms of packaging at all.
Yahoo! I don't throw out plastic bags - I use them to bag up cat litter for the green bin, and so on, but also give them to the daycare, who use them for bundling up wet clothes to send home, and that kind of thing. Yes, I have to work on getting less of them to start with, but it's nice to see them reused a time or two or three before they do go out. I just brought two big bags full of bags to them. Extra good, since we're starting to use the outer milk bags for the cat litter, in an attempt to cut our dependence on plastic grocery bags. (Plus, they're stronger and less likely to have holes.)
Both Boo! and Yahoo! I am making more of a point of keeping a "green bag" upstairs at all times for my heavy kleenex use during allergy season. But then again, my heavy kleenex use is not so great. I have tried and wrestled with the whole hanky vs. kleenex thing. The problem is, quite frankly, the sheer volume we are talking about. I'm a snot-nosed brat at the best of times, but allergy month is just gross. I can't keep up with a hanky, two hankies, even three hankies. I'd need a good dozen hankies plus a plastic bag for them with me at all times and I'm just not up to that level of commitment yet, to be honest. It gets a little yucky. Anyone have any better ideas on this one?
And how about you? How you doin'?