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  1. #21
    Senior Member
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    May 2004
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    NoVa
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    117
    the cloth grocery bags are nice, I use my bookbag alot of times, which means I have to pack my own groceries (all the better, no smashed bread) and I can walk home without aching hands and arms. There is nothing fun about carring home heavy canned goods in a ripping thin plastic bag which cuts into your hands and then becomes garbage or clutter.

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  3. #22
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    Apr 2004
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    72
    MOOP : Matter Out Of Place

    I've learned, from my burner friends, to be an active fighter of MOOP. It comes from good camping practices - pack it in/pack it out and leave no trace. It sickens me, the amount of litter in my neighborhood. Ding0 has gotten used to me commenting, as I walk down the street:

    "Wow! You know, I managed to go through my whole day without dropping a soda can in the street. Imagine that! And you know what else? I also didn't feel the need to throw my empty pizza box in the gutter AND i picked up after my dog instead of leaving a pile of poop on the sidewalk." And so on.

    I get mocked at work and at home for washing out my ziploc bags to resuse.

  4. #23
    Member
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    Jul 2004
    Posts
    31
    a disposable item that bothers me is the store and toss food containers. i go through enough yogurt and sour cream to keep me in leftover containers for an eternity.

    dairy containers are also ideal for mixing acrylic paint and screenprinting ink, and can be closed up if there's extra paint for the next project.

  5. #24
    Senior Member
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    May 2004
    Location
    NoVa
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    117
    I have tons of yogurt containers too ( the big 16 ounce ones). Hmm. they should sell yogurt in bags then you can clip the corner of the bag and squeeze it into the container you already have. Kinda like those go-gurt things but more than 2 tablespoons. Apparently there is an easy way to make yogurt but Im too chicken to work with anything that required enzymes/yeast etc.

    I get bugged by litter. There are signs all over the highways that mention about litter fines yet ciggarette butts are all over. I have seen people throw out those huge McD cups ( the gallon size one) which is not only litter but I hazard to the car that it flys in front of.

    I always threaten myself that someday Im going to see someone litter and Ill run up, pick up thier trash and hand it back saying "I think you dropped this" I always chicken out. Id probably get punched in the face or something.

  6. #25
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    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    78
    I'm all about the non-disposable. For me, durable, reusable goods are more economical and more aesthetically pleasing. As someone else mentioned, the longer I have something, the more satisfaction I get from it. For example, every time I fill my pink Thermos with soup or chili for lunch, it gives me pleasure to think about just how long I've had that Thermos and how many microwave-free hot lunches it has provided and will continue to provide - if not for my descendants then for whomever rescues it from the shelf at the thrift store. Sure, durable goods require more money up front, but in the long run, they are virtually free. I would rather save my money or do some power bargain hunting to buy a set of dishes that I can have forever than to spend the energy and the money to keep buying paper plates and flatware every month. So anyway, here's my list of non-disposable habits:

    • I use cloth napkins. Some were purchased at department stores; others at the thrifts. They have all survived numerous meals and washings. I even use a cloth napkin in my lunch bag.
    • I carry an insulated lunch bag. I also have a metal lunchbox for days when I want to be hip. I use Tupperware or washed&reused Ziploc bags for the contents (some things don't fit well in a container, and I can make a box of Zip-loc baggies last forever) and a reusable bottle for my beverage. I also have a set of ceramic containers with hard plastic tops for the few things that need to be microwaved.
    • I bought a set of white, "car wash" towels from Target several years ago, and I use these for general cleaning. I save old towels for the really dirty jobs, like cleaning up dog puke.
    • I use a sponge to clean the toilet. I throw it and my rubber gloves in the washer after every use.
    • I use a different sponge to clean the bathtub. I throw that one in the washer with the towels.
    • I fill reusable plastic, travel-sized toiletry bottles with things like lotion or liquid soap and carry those in my purse instead of buying the trial-sizes.
    • I use handkerchiefs. I love the vintage ones.
    • My dog sleeps on an old blanket. I also use old sheets to cover up the furniture cuz he loves to jump up on the couch.
    • I have cloth grocery bags and tote bags.
    • All of my cookware, baking dishes, tableware, flatware, etc. is reusable - no aluminium pie dishes, etc.
    • 98% of the time, I cook at home, but for those occasions when I bring home take out or fast food, I use my own condiments and napkins.
    • For the one time a year when I clean my floor (it doesn't get that dirty - I promise!) I do it by hand with a rag, which goes into the washer when I'm done. I do realize that cleaning a floor by hand is a Bit Much for most people. :o)
    • I buy food in the largest feasible packages and store it in air-tight containers. I primarily buy staples or "ingredients", as a friend calls it, instead of packaged foods.
    • I use fountain pens and mechanical pencils. I've found that if you just have one of each and use them all the time, that's really all you need. For those who like gel pens, ball points, etc., they make resusable versions of those, too. I've got one of those "Space pens" that I've had for I don't know how long.
    • I'm weaning myself off of loose bits of paper (notepads, Post-its, and the like) and using my planner for everything. (I prefer paper to electronics, which still use energy.)
    • This sounds sort of silly, but I'm even moving more toward rubber stamps than stickers for decorating mail, etc.
    • I bought special lightbulbs for my porch that are supposed to last for at least eight years.
    • In general, I just keep up with and take good care of my stuff. I like playing for keeps; I don't want to have to buy a coffee table or a pencil again if I can keep from it.


    Wow! This list makes me feel pretty good! There's still so much more that I can do, though...

  7. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    624
    Quote Originally Posted by stprcsm
    Apparently there is an easy way to make yogurt but Im too chicken to work with anything that required enzymes/yeast etc.
    Oh oh oh! No, it's not hard, and I'm really excited about this because I want to do it myself -- all you need is milk, a big pot, and some plain yogurt as a base (you can use storebought the first time, and then just save a little from your previous batch after that)! Here's Martha's recipe from FoodTV: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._24072,00.html

    (I just learned about this yesterday, and am a little amped about it; the excitement may be obnoxious to others -- sorry if that's the case. :P )

    I'm very wasteful right now, but it's because we're in the middle of an extremely stressful housing situation, and I don't have the energy or space to do my recycling bit. When I'm in a house of my own, I tend to be a lot more earth-friendly. I buy tchotchke-type-stuff when I'm stressed, but I tend to buy it from Goodwill, so I don't feel bad about giving it back when I finally am unstressed enough to purge. Plus it's cheaper and I enjoy trying to figure out where it's been. I do use reusable dust rags and washcloths, but offset that goodness by using too much plastic wrap and not recycling my coke cans.

    But dude, those disposable toilet brushes are so hilarious. Even mr. lemming laughed (out of disbelief) after he saw that commercial, and he doesn't really care one way or the other about wastefulness.

  8. #27
    Member
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    May 2004
    Posts
    80
    I am floating somewhere on the middle with this- I do use some disposable stuff, but I think things have gone a bit overboard too.

    We do use paper plates sometimes, and I used disposable diapers.

    But I do alot of crafty recycling, like bird feeders from milk jugs, etc, and I wash out ziplocs (unless they've had raw meat in them).

    I bought one of those Swiffer Wet Jets about a year ago, with the lure of being easier. With 2 little kids, the kitchen floor is a huge issue. Right now I'm trying to figure out- there is another product similar only the pads are fabric and washable- making pads for it so I'm not buying the disposables any more. Part of it was the environmental issue, and part was the cost. I'm also picking up some cotton yarn next trip to the store, and taking a shot at crocheting some very plain basic washcloths.

    But I don't quite "get" the whole thing with throw-away toilet brushes and disposable dusters and such. They are popular though, I'm not sure exactly why. Are we getting too germ-phobic, is that it? Or just so busy that the disposable is faster?

  9. #28
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    Jul 2004
    Posts
    31
    back on yogurt...when i was a little kid in the 70's my mom made homemade yogurt all the time, with a white and blue salton yogurt maker. i loved those little glass jars of fresh white plain yogurt in the fridge..

    i saw one of those old salton yogurt makers in a thrift store last year and am still kicking myself for not buying it.

  10. #29
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    5
    I went to Custer State Park in South Dakota in June. There were all these burned trees on the hills and I was surprised becaue I didn't remember all the crazy forest fires being in South Dakota. Well, it turns out they were from *1988.* 19. 88. 16 years and wooden natural trees, on a naked ass mountain, exposed to all the elements with bison and goats and everything running all over them, and they did not decay. It really looked like they were from last year or something. 16 years.

    So, I was completely shocked and started recycling much more. I am all for the cloth napkins--the funny thing is that when I have a dinner or something and give them to people, they get surprised and think it's for decoration and try to be really gentle and not get the napkin dirty.

    I can get conservation nazi when people blow their nose, and then flush the kleenex. That makes me crazy. I fully completely support peeing in the shower when alone. That's 5 gallons saved, each time, and urine is a sterile substance with ammonia (cleaner). Don't even get me started about ladies who pee on the seat.

    I think the whole disposable culture thing breeds disposable culture. And if you don't see the effects of anything, it's all meaningless and breeds more "who cares" in people's lives which we 100% do not need. I get very grossed out and commiepinko when I see packaging that just to tickle my consumer palette long enough to get suckered into buying it.

    And well, I get soup in a styrofoam cup, with a plastic lid, and a plastic spoon. All of which goes in the unrecycled work trash. Heh.

  11. #30
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    N.C.
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    64
    I wonder about the reasons behind this, too.

    Germ-/dirt-phobia? I think this is certainly how a lot of these things are marketed--the ads try to make you paranoid that your house is FILTHY and requires x product which is *scientifically proven* to be antibacterial or more sterile or doesn't have to be touched with your hands.

    Convenience? Ads also want to convince us we don't have time to do things without their products. Yeah, a lot of us *are* busy, and there are a lot of tips and products out there that *do* save us some time.

    But I think that some household time savers come out of planning. For instance, cooking with dried beans instead of canned. OK, it does take more time to soak & cook the dry beans, instead of opening a can, but it costs less money, and most of the actual time, the beans soak and simmer unsupervised, right? So it really wouldn't take me much longer than opening the can.

    Except....that means I have to plan ahead, rather than acting on the spur of the moment, heh heh. And I also have to have the *knowledge* that dry beans can be perfectly convenient if you do such-and-such.

    Which brings me around, long-windedly, to what might be another reason: loss of knowledge? Maybe women used to learn more practical housekeeping skills as they grew up, and maybe some of that has been lost? And therefore the ability to set up the rhythm of a domestic life in which you soak your dry beans and wash your cleaning rags on a sensible schedule has been replaced by products and techniques that don't require advance planning and the background knowledge necessary for that planning?

    It's funny, because my mom was a SAHM most of the time when I was growing up, and we didn't have anyone else to help with housework. She did a great job taking care of the house, but, oddly enough, she didn't teach me squat about how to do it. I don't know if she learned from her mom or in school or figured things out herself or what.


 
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