29

Feb

My Own Little Plastic Reduction Plan

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

When I began making my reusable organic cotton gift bags, grocery bags, and now produce bags my goal was to create things that work, look good and do good. Plastic reduction was always part of the intent for myself, and others through the business, but I really wasn’t seeing the whole picture. It is impossible, however, to set about trying to create a green business without taking a rather scary hard look at all aspects of my daily living. As mentioned in a previous post Blogspiration, Fake Plastic Fish has really inspired me to take my plastic reduction to the next level. The List she provided on her recent post is a wealth on knowledge and a must read for anyone trying to reduce their own plastic consumption. Now, I, and my family, would find it a bit difficult to go to the extremes that Beth has gone, but we could definitely do a little bit better to reduce what I consider our own wasteful plastic practices. My own little plan contains 4 parts:

  • Replacing: Replace consumed products that come in plastic with ones that come in paper, fabric, glass, or even metal in some cases. No real sacrifice or work. Sometimes the alternative products are a few cents more, but no huge difference. I am hoping to add a lot to my list. Most of my business, and the work, falls under this category- creating reusable products made from responsible materials to replace disposable plastic ones….with a little style of course.
  • Reducing: If it something that I have not found a great alternative for, such as the ever amazing ZipLock, I am trying to just reduce the amount I use through reuse. A veggie freezer bag is reused as a ……veggie freezer bag. (Now- DO NOT reuse bags that contained meat or dairy. That is a big ol’ belly ache waiting to happen. ) I like to keep sealed water bottle in the car in case of an emergency. For non-emergencies I can use a refillable bottles. Small adjustments can add up too.
  • Ridding: This applies to things that do not have a non-plastic alternative that we can simply live without. Thanks to Burbanmom’s advice, we will not be shipping with any plastic, which I previously thought would be necessary. Also, I will not be buying any more disposable automatic banana peelers. (ok…that doesn’t really exist….I hope.)
  • Reinventing: Sometimes you have to reinvent the wheel or at least reinvent how something gets done. Take bread for example, it all comes in a bag, can’t reuse one that has been eaten, eww, and can’t ban it from the house. I could get off my lazy bottom and bake it myself. I will be working my way up to these reinventions. This is the area where collective thinking…bloggie input…really comes in handy. So don’t be idea piggies! Share!

As always….everything is a work in progress. I would seriously love input on anything and everything discussed here in the blog. Business or personal……well, maybe not too personal. What second uses you find for your disposable automatic banana peeler are probably best kept between you and the bananas.


28

Feb

NYC CSAs

Posted by organicneedle in csa, CSA/ Local Food

It is the time of the season for loving…..your local farmers. Well…..soon. Yes, I could and maybe should have been supporting them all winter but there are only so many ways I can creatively present squash without in fact looking like a squash by spring. ` Those of you in the sunny states pipe down; NY’s winter bounty isn’t quite the same as CA’s. If you don’t have a favorite already Just Food is a great place to check out what might be close to you and some info about the suppliers. It covers all five boroughs and has links to the farms and their city distribution centers. Overall, I usually prefer farmer’s markets for the choice in what and how much, but will still support my local CSA too. Here are my tiny issues with the CSAs. Not all of the CSAs are 100% organic. Some aren’t organic at all. Plus, while the lack of choice can force you to be creative in your cooking….sometimes it is also a major pain in the butt and a contribution to food waste. At 530$ a share for organic veggies, plus an additional 140$ for a mixed organic and non-organic fruit share, the price doesn’t entice too many newbies to take a risk. (Our CSA does offer reduced shares for lower income families which is fantastic.) Still…I am looking forward to what my little bushel will have waiting for me. Meanwhile, squash shake anyone?


28

Feb

Awwwwwww Dad….I just made friends.

Posted by organicneedle in organicneedle

Some men hunt dangerous animals and drag them home for their women to gush over, others perform death defying feats in the name of love, mine…..has clubbed the pooh out of the world wide web and dragged me back a fine .com. organicneedle.com. (Have any of you seen the bowling ball episode of the Simpsons?) My blog will be moving off Blogger onto WordPress due to the insistence of my husband. He is a major techie and can not tinker nearly enough for his liking with this format. But it is your blog…you might say. Yes…but I love him and that little gleam he gets in his eye when he writes 00000000101010101 or whatever it is he does. (Just kidding, handsome pants, I know you are the Java master. Please don’t turn your legions of techlings against me. They have insanely powerful index fingers. One poke and it is all over.) Unfortunately, which is pathetically obvious from my lack of ability to create even a proper link, I am a little dependent on his skills and I do think it is cute that he still wants to impress me after 400 years of marriage. Plus if I let him develop the blog page he is going to put DigDug on my laptop. I would like to see any of you turn that down.

I do promise to any of you that follow along that I will actually learn how to link your blogs and give you the proper recognition. Maybe there will even be cash and prizes. Okay, maybe not so much of the cash and prizes… but I would still love the company.


26

Feb

In Honor of Burbanmom…….

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

Not to leave you out of my blogspriation…… I am bestowing upon you a great honor. As my first reader and helper alonger you more than deserve it. I hope you are seated. I have finally learned, not bragging at all here, how to link to sites ………..and I used your name for my test run. You are doing great work with such humor I want to make sure that any sad lost soul that happens upon my pittance of a site leaves with at least the opportunity to visit yours – and see what a real blog looks like.

(Yes, I realize how sad it is that this is such a big deal for me, but, my brain, an English teacher brain, no likey the codey.)


26

Feb

3 Things I will NOT be Doing to Save the Environment

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

1. I will not be composting my pooh or reusing my toilet paper. If Ed Begley Jr gets to wipe his sweet little fanny with fresh paper everyday- then, damn it – so can I. (Great interview, Crunchy.)

2. I will not be eating entirely locally. Sorry- French people make really good cheese and wine. Too good. Suspiciously good. And until an avocado tree grows in Brooklyn, I will be buying mine from Mexico. (Seriously- I do think knowing food and culture are extremely important- not to be entirely discarded in the name of local eating. More of that when I am in a serious rant mood.)

3. I will not be giving my kids ONLY eco-toys. Legos are the coolest things ever made. And unless you have spent hours a day on the floor trying to play with 2 & 4 year old boys – you have no idea what a gift they are. There are only so many times I can drive Thomas around the friken track. Of course Mama didn’t kick Thomas under the heater. Why on earth would she do that? Besides- I can’t see Legos glass line as their best seller.


26

Feb

Getting My Glass in Gear

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

My first step towards decreasing the household plastic is going to be an easy and obvious one. I am simply going to try to find all the products we buy in plastic now that come in either glass or paper and make the switch. Yes paper and glass still have to be recycled, but the processes are much cleaner and efficient. Also, not buying the plastic packaging will be pulling our money from the practice. I have only a short list so far, but I am hoping for suggestions and more brain power.

Vinegar (Which I am going through a ton of since I have reevaluated
my cleaning practices.)
Mustard
Ketchup
Mayonnaise (Yes…I actually found a squeeze bottle of mayo in the
cupboard. Not proud…)
Pellegrino Vs Perrier (Yes, it is a necessity……don’t judge.)
Maple Syrup
Granola (Found a great brand that comes in a paper carton- Sweet
Home. Check Amazon. Can’t do the bulk bins. Far too
many nose pickers in the world.)
Peanut Butter (Usually buy glass- but found a jar of Trader Joe’s in plastic.)
Apple Sauce
Olive Oil
Spices

My goal is to have at least 15 by the end of the week. I may have to spend some time over at the Fake Plastic Fish for more ideas. No…that is not cheating…it’s research.


26

Feb

The Longest Wait

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

Fabric orders on its way…….nothing to do but wait. Do you think if I smush my face up against the glass the UPS truck will come faster?


25

Feb

Blogspiration: Thanks Fake Plastic Fish

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

I am a relative newbie to the blogosphere. Now, some of my findings have been…. well…less than inspiring, but who am I to judge prattling on about fabrics. For the most part, I have been blown away by what people are doing out in the big ol’ world. One in particular that has really had an impact on me is Fake Plastic Fish. It has seriously changed my whole perspective on my plastic consumption. As I have rambled about in previous posts, we have been ridding our lives of the plastic shopping bags and now phase 2, the produce bags, but more as a reaction to them piling up in our home. Quite frankly, I had not given much thought to the stuff we were contributing to the enormous pile outside our home – or the problems of plastic production itself. The petroleum. We were content with our little recycling. It is amazing how even though we think we are being conscious of something…we are really still floating in our own little bubbles. Sounds simple, but I was totally missing that point- and seeing it as Beth presents it changes everything for me. The whole idea of having to keep all the plastic you are responsible for is enormous.

Now for the so what….I am NOT going to keep all of my plastic. (I enjoy my marriage far too much and enjoy being able to find my children.) What I am going to do is try to do is modify one thing or group of things a week to reduce my contribution to the plastic disaster. (I find in general that slow and steady for me means lasting change, rather than getting overwhelmed and giving up in a week.) I plan on spending a little more time over there on Beth’s blog finding some tips. I would love any tips from those of you trying to run your families on just a wee bit less plastic. What has worked? What not? Where do you find the biggest challenges? (How ever can you replace the Ziplock?)


25

Feb

Bag Count

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

73 plastic, 17 paper.

One of the reasons the plastic count is so high is that I have to count 2 for each heavy load I take in my green bag because the store plastic bags would need to be doubled. We also do a lot of daily shopping for one or two items and are offered a bag. I actually saw a woman take a plastic bag this week for a pack of skittles and cigarettes. Seriously. And she was wearing a big coat with pockets.

(Yikes! Looking at those numbers you would think we did nothing but shop.)


24

Feb

Produce Bags Anyone?

Posted by organicneedle in Uncategorized

Even though we have managed to stop collecting plastic shopping bags, we have yet to stop gathering produce bags- which are wasteful and don’t help things to keep. I have been working on for myself a little mesh #….for shopping, not as attire. 🙂 Just waiting for the material to arrive to make enough to shop with. Shopping bags are popping up in most major stores, but not the produce bags. The one I designed for myself is made from organic cotton mesh with a braided bamboo cording. I can wet the bag itself for a little moisture with out fear of chemicals- all organic natural color cotton, or I could even put a little wet towel in there for extra wetness. I’m considering making some little organic towels cut to size for the bags. After reading Crunchy Chickens post yesterday,(or the day before- I think I lost a day- it happens- don’t judge)and the feedback she got, I realized that this is an issue for a lot of people. There is not a whole lot out there available. I could probably make them for a few dollars a bag, depending on size, Runti-Jumbo. I am def. going to make one big enough for apples. The few I have seen can not hold enough to keep my kids in fruit for a day, let alone a week. Is this something people would be interested in? After my material comes I will prob run 1 or 2 on etsy to see if there is a response. Any suggestions? Needs? Wants? Tell me all of your produce dilemmas.