Thursday, January 7, 2010

our one small change

We always try to be conscious about the decisions we make as a family, as consumers, and as caretakers of the earth. I'd like to think that we make wise choices, and that our efforts are of some benefit. But I know that there will always be ways to do more good!

I think our focus for the month is going to be on packaging. This is something I often obsess about, and since food is pretty much the only thing we regularly purchase, our focus will be on food packaging. Now, we do not buy much packaged food as it is, and we recycle everything that we can, but our small town has somewhat limited recycling facilities, and it greatly distresses me every time I have to throw something away! This is something that we have been working on for a while now, but I feel myself getting more and more determined in my efforts!

We buy much of our food from the bulk bins at our local health food stores. (Always organic of course!) For several years now I have been very good about bringing glass jars for any liquids that we purchase... maple syrup, vanilla, and honey now that we use that too. But I do not always bring reusable bags for our grains, beans, etc.. I had always wanted to make cloth bags to hold these staples, but I was concerned that certain items, flours in particular, would somehow come through the fabric. Then a while I go I saw these great handmade bulk food bags and was assured that they would contain flours just fine. After all, all grains and flours used to be stored in fabric sacks. So I am going to finally make these. I'm sure mine will not be quite as fancy, no labels, I instead imagine myself holding a little scrap of paper with all the plu's written down, or just trying to remember them all in my head, I know most of them anyway, though that's probably not such a good idea...

One other thing that we have been trying to do lately is to remember to bring our own snacks when we go to town. It is about a 35 minute drive into town and when we go to run our errands, grocery shopping, library, etc... the girls will surely need something to eat before we head back home. We don't eat out at restaurants, (seriously, never, less than 10 times in more than 10 years), but we sometimes get a container of hummus and a loaf of bread from the bakery, or maybe a box of crackers, and even that just seems wasteful, as far as packaging goes, and money too. So now we try to always plan ahead and make something of our own to bring. Even if it is just our own hummus and bread. We always bring our own water bottles too.

So now I have a fun sewing project to look forward to also. And of course the bags will be made of fabrics from my stash, a good way to use up some of what I already have.

Thanks to Suzy for starting this great project, and for the extra motivation!


momma rae said...

hee-hee, glad i'm not the only one just getting to blogging this. this idea is definitely on my list, too. we use a lot of bulk items and the plastic bags turn my stomach every time. do let us know how your bags turn out. i'd love some tips, too! ;)

Linda said...

Hi Renee,
Your blog is looking amazing:)
It is so lovely to be a part of this wonderful challenge with so many people across the world. I love your idea about packaging.

Anonymous said...

What a fun project that looks like! Very inspiring - I think I'd like to make some too! I've been looking for a good alternative to plastic bags for bulk as well.

Thanks for this lovely idea, and I can't wait to see how they turn out!


Earth Mama said...

That is a great project. Those bags could be useful in many ways.


Angela Mobley said...

I joined this project too, and I haven't gotten around to blogging it either. Packaging is a GREAt idea.
I don't like to eat at restaurants either, but there is a movement to start a local-food, organic restaurant here. I would definitely eat there!
blessings on your new year!

leaningapplemama said...

this is such a great idea that i may use it for next month. i sometimes pay attention and then cringe at something i have bought but ... really ... are there any excuses? shouldn't be. we eat at restaurants more than we should but not half as much as we used to... okay ... good luck! xo, pennie

Sarah { bee house hives } said...

What a great idea to make those bags. Thank you for sharing the link. Your words are inspiring already.. to get back to packing snack as we head to town. I have gotten bad about that one!

Your header is so pretty. I love the photo you chose for it. Have a good weekend.. and happy sewing friend.

Hip Mountain Mama said...

Thanks for joining! I am excited to see how the bags turn out...and what a great idea! Sounds like you are very conscious of what and how you buy already...way to go to take it even further!

June said...

Can't wait to try the bags. It all seems so little in comparison to how big the change is we need to make. But when I look back at how much our life style has changed, I can see how it adds up.

One thing we did...We moved the kitchen garbage bin into the mud room. It is amazing how it makes us consider what we are tossing...and what the alternative might be.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Naturalearthfarm said...

Renee, that is on my list too. So good of you to do that!
Warm wishes, Tonya

Nicole Benjamin said...

Such a great mindful idea Renee!

nicola@which name? said...

wonderful choice!

Anonymous said...

i think of this often too. i'm always so surprised how much foam and plastic packaging there is on the organic produce at the grocery.

our local natural foods store just went upscale and now it's all pricey packaged organic, the bulk section is pretty much nill, so i'm looking for a new source, because i'm tired of the $$$ i'm spending at the local grocery.

i love the bulk bags. i keep saying i want to find something for my produce, and i am yet to come up with something. they have the little machines that print out the ticket after you weigh it, so i'm guessing i could get string bags or something, but oh i don't know.

it's a noble task. good luck and keep us posted on how it is going.

we have an awesome recycling program here (best in maryland) and it's all single stream so it's so easy.

kendra said...

your bags are lovely! i have to admit i am just wrapping ours in large dish towels, but the produce is fresher even so!

packing snacks is a huge undertaking too. especially without plastic! bravo!