Posts filed under ‘reuse’

Goods for Girls

Goods for Girls
Ok, now that all this Carnival craziness is over, let me explain to you what is this Goods for Girls thing on my sidebar in honor of International Women’s Day.

 

Her Crunchiness, never one to miss an opportunity to get involved in other people’s menstrual business, started this project to help girls in Africa who have to miss school because of their periods:

 

“Goods 4 Girls was started to help young women gain access to better menstrual products. Our goal is to help these girls live their lives and go to school without fear that what they are using during their period will fail”

 

In all her crunchy glory, this chick manages to help girls in need and stick it to the man, in this case, Procter & Gamble. Yes, because P&G has been quick to jump into the charity business of creating new markets for their plastic shite tampons and pads.

Hence you are kindly requested to donate new (duh!) reusable pads for this project, either by making them yourself or buying them online. And please consider donating waterproof carrying bags, because I would expect there might be a shortage of them. Oh, and to save you the trouble, I already determined that the cheapest pads are here (3$).

So happy Women’s Day! Now get!

March 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm 5 comments

Tip: Minimal Packaging Please

mail

So I just discovered The Worsted Witch blog, and digging through the archives found this really great suggestion I just had to share here. If you shop online but are frustrated by all the unnecessary bubble wrap and evil Styrofoam peanuts they stuff with your package and almost certain flood of catalogs and junk mail to follow, here is what to do. When placing your online order, you can leave a note saying something like this:

 

“Please use minimal and recycled packaging. Kindly do not include any catalogs, inserts, fliers, shrink-wrap, bubble wrap, packing confetti, plastic “pillows,” or Styrofoam peanuts. (You can use crumpled up newspaper if padding is necessary.) Please do not include me in any mailing lists or exchange lists you may have. Thank you! “

Thank you to The Worsted Witch for the original wording. I only wish I had used this when I was ordering my Diva Cup and my Reusable Bags stuff. Duh. But now I know better.

No guarantees they will actually listen to you, but there is always hope. And there is also a better chance that they will eventually respond to popular demand of eco-friendlier packaging.

If you still end up with foam peanuts lying around, Treehugger for example has suggested that they can be brought back to packaging stores. If there is a mailing service in your area, you could also take them the packing boxes, as well as the peanuts and bubble wrap. And if you are crafty, you can always use the peanuts to make a bean bag. Although I imagine that would be quite a stash of peanuts you would need 😉

Photo by Miskan on Flickr.

July 23, 2007 at 10:00 am 16 comments

Reusable Vacuum Bags

cloth vacuum bagsSo, ok, I know I said I wasn’t going to buy anymore ‘things for the house’. But I went on my usual Wednesday shopping round, and stopped by Action because I was looking to buy some cheap gardening containers. I know that I shouldn’t be shopping at Action, because their stuff is just so ridiculously cheap that there is no doubt they are enslaving little Chinese children to make it. I mean, there is just no other rational explanation for why they can sell stuff so cheap.

But anyway, I didn’t find the flower pots, but I couldn’t resist getting a reusable vacuum bag. I mean, it was ONLY 1E!!! Who can resist that? And I just thought the idea was so funny that I thought I just had to try it out!

This picture gives a pretty good idea of what I got. The material is really crappy synthetic nylon type, with a zipper at the bottom to throw out the trash. The little white circle has is a sticker which you glue to the cardboard fitting that you take of your regular bags. That’s why the box claims it is a Universal vacuum bag. What I didn’t manage to figure out was what the hell the round thing with the sticker is attached to the opening with a Velcro. Anyone?

So I still have to try out if this thing actually works, and then I’ll get back to you. It looks promising, but for that price you can understand why I will have to see it to believe it before I can say anything about how it works. Clearly, not something for the prone to asthma to try 😀

The picture from here, where they are happy to sell them to you for 9,99$. Can’t be sure if it’s the same thing though. Has anyone heard of these?

———————————-

Edit:Duh! I figured out what the Velcro was for. Is pretty clever, actually! You leave the cardboard attachment in the vacuum and just take off the bag to empty it, and attach it with Velcro! That’s obvious! I can be pretty dim sometimes, huh?

June 20, 2007 at 5:05 pm 10 comments

Reusable Bags (and bottles and mugs)

I am not much of an online shopper. I have, on occasion, spent numerous hours on Ebay trying to find fashionable vintage shoes, but never succeeded in spending a single Euro. As I said before, I’m kind of old-fashioned. I compulsively examine all my potential purchases. I poke them, twist them around, smell them, check for the ‘best before’ date, check for suspicious ingredients. So you can imagine the limitations online shopping has for someone like me.

But yes, finally, a while back I successfully placed my first ever online order. It’s been a while that I actually bought anything for myself (or the house), so now it seems that green accessories is the only shopping therapy I can get. So I went over to Reusable Bags, and got myself some shiny new things.

Here’s what I got:

reusable bags

A Kleen Kanteen water bottle, a stainless steel commuter mug (the lid is not on the picture), a couple of Wrap’N’Mats and a few produce bags.

The Kleen Kanteen bottle is pretty cool. It’s a lighter than I expected. Of course it’s heavier than a plastic bottle, but it’s not so noticeable. The only thing I don’t like about it is that when you are drinking from it you have to press this tiny little rubber thingy on the lid to let out the air. That’s not so great, actually. It’s not very comfortable little button to press, for once, and second, the sound of the air sipping out of the bottle can be…well… a little embarrassing, if you are on a crowded bus for example. But that’s something I can live with.

The mug is not exactly what I expected when I ordered it. The size is pretty handy, and the lid is pretty good. You can easily transport hot coffee in it and not worry about spilling. The little annoyance with it is that it doesn’t have the little hole to sip from when the lid is closed. I have seen other cups with a little sliding system that magically uncovers a little hole to sip your coffee through the lid. And I really wanted a little sipping hole 😦 *snif*

The ecobags produce bags are pretty much what you can expect. I am still going through a pile of paper bags I got so I only really used them to buy the said produce once. And the lady at the organic store called my bags ‘funny’. I’m cool with ‘funny’. Better than ‘wacko hippie’ I say.

I’m still a little ambiguous about the Wrap’N’Mats. I mean, they are pretty handy, and do their job pretty well. But. When I first unpacked them, the ‘new shower curtain’ smell was pretty nasty. And they are not even made with PVC, rather they claim to use PEVA, PVC’s less evil twin. Whatever the case may be, I rinsed them best I could and hung them outside on the clothes line to air out. It’s ok now. But I still have my suspicions. Something that smells that fowl can’t be so great in a tight embrace with your cheese sarnies. Oh and if you are wondering why I got the extra-cheesy ‘environmental’ print you see in the picture… Well, it was a hole 2 bucks cheaper than the ‘adult’ versions. And I’m a cheap-ass, what can I say.

Overall, I’m rationalizing that the $50 I spend on all this crap is so totally worth it, but hmm… deep down, I think internet shopping really isn’t my thing. I don’t know if I would have bought some of that stuff if I was allowed to thoroughly examine it like I would have liked.

And yeah, Reusable Bags people… you are welcome to send me free stuff now. I have promoted you plenty over here…

June 10, 2007 at 11:47 pm 5 comments

Success and Failure

Environmental dialogues with a catClick to see full size.

I just couldn’t resist posting this strip from Get Fuzzy, my favorite comic strip. It describes my kitty dialogues very accurately.

It’s now been more than one month since I started this blog, and taking all things environmental a little more seriously… So I guess it’s about time to have a little recap on our “struggle”. I know this is kind of a random time for a recap, but please, be patient with me. Take into consideration that this is the blog of a highly UNorganized person, who probably qualifies as Attention Defective. Such is my condition, condemned to starting blogs on ordinary days, and having random unannounced recaps. And I am a little short on time and blogging topics, and it finally seems like I have enough to recap about.

Bad news first:

  • This week, the kitty-litter experiment has been officially declared a failure. Kitten fought the system and won. I tried to make him realize that it was better for the environment and for his kitty health but he would not have it. Believe me, he made it verrrry clear. “Oh Boo Hoo! Every time a microwave dings an angelfish looses it’s reef”
  • That means, back to the nasty clumping litter, and back to the ‘scooping plastic bags’. No kitty litter composting 😦
  • I still can’t stand tofu… My taste buds reject it like my cat rejects eco-litter. Lucky I didn’t leave any surprises around the house like some orange citizen I know (who will remain anonymous to preserve his dignity).
  • I keep getting a load of free newspapers, in dutch, despite the ‘No unaddressed advertising’ sticker on the mailbox. Talk about waste of paper. They sit in the mailbox till it’s recycle day. Grrrrr…
  • I kinda dropped the ball on monitoring my utility bills… I have no idea how much money, if any, I am saving. I know this sounds strange but we’ve had this arrangement 1,5 years now. The bills are included in the rent and we are adjusting it when we move out.

And now for the good stuff…

  • The freezer is unplugged! Hoorray!
  • Bringing Your Own Bags is old news here, everyone does it (plastic bags are a expensive commodity here, you know). So I took it to the next level, where I am viciously storing and reusing EVERY single bag I already have. This includes stuffing my totes with paper bags for fruit and veggies on the verge of disintegration, piles of price stickers on top of each other. I am also religiously reusing egg cartons. If the eggs are not packed yet I just put them in My Own Carton. At one organic stand at the market, I ‘exchange’ my empty cartons for a full carton, their cartons are all reused as well.
  • We are now unplugging all our electrics from the socket. Except the microwave… I use it as a watch in the kitchen. Being disorganized also means having improvised watches, like the cell phone, the microwave and the church tower.
  • I recently discovered that we are actually using green electricity here. I would never suspected that of my landlords, judging by the stashes of disposable plates, cups and utensils we inherited. Oddly, I found out because it says so on the mailbox sticker. Awsome!
  • I am growing herbs on the balcony, which are just starting to be big enough to use. We are also growing arugula and spinach (even though I’m pretty sure I’m messing up the spinach).
  • We are buying organic veggies exclusively (unless there is dinner emergency), and buying as local as possible. And strangely, I don’t think I am spending much more money than before. At least not enough to notice.
  • What I am noticing is that we are buying less quantities of veggies, and using them. Because organic stuff is so expensive, we really cut down on food waste. When we were buying the cheapest, we would often get a bunch of stuff and let it go bad.
  • We stopped relying on meat for every meal. Now we have an agreement on once-a-week meat, but ironically, we forgot to honour it this week. Our tasty organic steak this week was, sadly, replaced by some crappy supermarket salami.
  • And finally, a very satisfying change is that I don’t buy my stuff at the supermarket anymore. Now I just go there on emergencies, like the above mentioned dinner, as well as breakfast and litter emergencies. That means that I am also avoiding the plastic invasion of my kitchen by the packaging army.
  • Oh, and I almost forgot! I got the Diva Cup, no more disposables for this gal!

I’ts looking good, everyone! I don’t think that any of the changes I made are very hard to do, but it does take a lot more ‘thinking investment’ into my daily life. And it requires me to be constantly on the look out for the packaging scum of the Earth trying to infiltrate my home. I know that supposedly I am spending more money on food, but somehow I am not noticing any cash flow shortages. And I do think what we’ve been doing has the potential of saving me more money than what I am spending. So in the end, it’s all peaches and cream. As long as they are organic of course 😉

May 8, 2007 at 1:33 am 7 comments

Girl Stuff

Any guys out there? Er… Move along now! Nothing to see here… Don’t say you have not been warned. Continue at YOUR OWN RISK!!!

Anyway… Girls (I hope!). This is  a Diva Cup… Although I suspect that the only people who read this blog already know that, and are way ahead of me on this, but in case you don’t… This here is a pretty accurate depiction of a Diva Cup. If you still don’t know what it is or what it’s Diva cupfor, you can click on this link and learn all about it. Clue: it’s not kitchenware.

Fellow blogger Crunchy Chicken is hosting a neat little Diva Cup Challange over at her blog, with prizes and all, how cool is that. The challenge consists of trying the cup for 3 months and, hopefully, swear off disposables for life. I realized now I screwed up promoting it, it was only possible to sign up until April 30. Oops.

I ordered mine from here at a really discounted price, and received it yesterday. Just it time to try it out before my time of the month is over. How is it? It’s GREAT!!! I was kind of skeptical at first, how could you NOT feel that, it’s huuuge! But I guess the Diva worshipers out there were right… It IS the greatest thing since the wheel. Really.

TMI follows, look away NOW! I have to say, at first the stem was bothering me but then I trimmed it and now it’s perfect. Don’t even know it’s there. And I am still having a little trouble getting it in and out but I know I will get better with practice… OK, TMI over.

Now that I tried it, here is why I think it is countless times better than tampons and pads:

  1. It’s I-can’t-feel-it comfortable
  2. It’s so much cheaper. By my calculations, it should have paid for itself after six months.
  3. The knowledge that I am never throwing away another crappy disposable is priceless.

So if you are still reading this,I hope I didn’t totally gross you out (too much). GO order it NOW! Really… you will not regret it. And if by chance you are a morbidly curious guy still reading this, you can take the opportunity to inform your Woman (or surprise her :D).

Ok… this was the most embarrassing post I’ve written so far. The end.

Photo from Lunapads.

May 4, 2007 at 7:49 pm 20 comments


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