Wednesday, February 10, 2010

one small change update

I finally have an update on our first one small change project. I had made some bags right away, and then made a few more this weekend to make sure we were ready for our big grocery shopping today. (We only do one big grocery trip each month, then maybe a couple other very small trips.) I also spent time this morning making sure all of our glass jars were ready to go, because I am using those for a lot of the smaller grains, nuts, beans, etc... It was certainly a bit of extra work, but so so worth it. Look how many bags I saved! Now there were some things I already used our own containers for, but this time I really did every single bit of our bulk shopping, and it's a lot!, without grabbing a single plastic bag! (Wait, does this count... I used little plastic bags for a few bulk herbs, but I re-used empty bags from the cupboard at home. Some spices I was able to put into their own jars because they were already empty.)

My bags are nowhere near as pretty as Sara's. (Though actually the white floral fabric was a gift from her. I'm not saying it's not pretty, just not as pretty.) And I still am not sure what I am going to do about plu numbers. I did come across this lovely blog and saw that she has a great bulk bag tutorial. I thought I was crazy for considering embroidering on the plu's, but that's what she does, I think it is most likely what I will do too. I also really like how she sewed in the ties... wish I had thought of that.

I did purchase a few packaged foods, though not without some guilt. Three bags of pasta... I was surprised they didn't have any whole wheat pasta in bulk. We don't eat much pasta anyhow, someday we will definitely just make our own, but I felt like we needed it on hand for quick emergency dinners. Sounds silly, why would dinner be an emergency... I bought peanut butter in a jar, but those will of course get used for more bulk shopping later on. Olive oil. Three bags of frozen broccoli... I'm now sitting here sighing thinking of the plastic bags that will just go right into the trash. I bought a jar of artichoke hearts and a can of black olives. At least those can be recycled when they are empty. They are not even things I usually buy, but I am having a kind of "what to cook for dinner" crisis, mostly because of the great vegan dilemma going on in our heads!

Phooey, the carrots came in a plastic bag too. Imagine though what we will be able to accomplish in the summer when fresh produce abounds in our community, including our own backyard.

My February small change thoughts have a lot to do with food choices, but I am not ready to share all those thoughts yet. That is where the "vegan journey" posts come in. I hope to spend some time writing another vegan/food post over the weekend. Thank you for sharing your comments, I look forward to continuing the conversation soon.

We visited the library today also. I was about to say that we broke our record for number of books stuffed (gently) into our bag, but I just went back and saw that I am wrong, it's a tie, 21 books again, all in one bag. (I made it as a diaper bag many years ago. Now it is used mostly for library trips and picnics.)

This is the second time we have seen these deer in the same place on the way to the library. Glad we had the camera this time. They did not seem at all concerned that we were there, these pictures are taken from the car, not zoomed in at all, this is how close we were. One peed right in front of us, and I did get a picture of it, but I feel kinda bad about it, so I'm not posting it. I think these are the same deer that Sara posted pictures of the other day.

These two started rubbing noses and being oh so sweet!

And my goodness, what a lot a writing I have done tonight! Thanks for visiting :)


sara farmama said...

Hey I think those were the same deer! Hehehe! We had to read Town Mouse Country Mouse after we saw those town deer.....they are different from the country deer!
I have to disagree with you! Your bulk bags are equally as beautiful! I love them! It feels good to come to the grocery store prepared don't you think? I felt so "responsible" using my cloth bulk bags! We decided that this year on the farm we are doing CSA only...maybe no market!!!..and we will have a cloth bag exchange for lettuce and no more plastic bags for us! We changed our farm name...visit the blog to see. I'm not used to it's like naming a hard!
I decided that we need to have a ho down when the floors are finished to break them in! Bring your dancing shoes!
sending love,

Naturalearthfarm said...

Thank you Renee for sharing. This is something I plan to do too. However, it may be a gradual process. Our nearest natural food store with a good bulk section is nearly one hour away, but we will plan to go once per month. We had been buying at a closer natural food store that puts all of their bulk into plastic bags, pre-labeled (yeck!)
Your pictures are beautiful - of the hand sewn bag and jars full of food.
Warm wishes,

Earth Mama said...

I love your bulk bag and jar usage. For a whole month of shopping and only getting like four things in packaging Id say you did pretty darn awesome. I can't wait to hear more about your vegan journey. Oh yea- I think your bags are beautiful.


4 BOYS ONLY said...

The plastic bag thing makes me crazy too. I asked at our local health food store (very small) if i could bring my own bags to be filled with grains and beans(they are bulk but not with the "fill it yourself" bins they are pre-filled by employees) and they basically said no. I do buy local ww flour in 50 pound bags and oats as well but i don't know what to do about all the beans and other grains that come in plastic!!! urrrggg! can't wait for the farmers market!!! can't wait to hear where you are going with the vegan thing,,,,oh the suspense!

Sarah { bee house hives } said...

I love your bags too. I really need to make some now! Look at your deer.. we have had some peeking around. 5 were out the window this morning as we were eating breakfast.

the nest said...

Renee, the bags are great! I've been contemplating them too... About the plu's, maybe rubber stamp numbers on muslin or twill tape? or even just handwritten with a permanent or fabric marker? :)

Anonymous said...

the plu's remind me that maybe I can sew a small piece of thick plastic on my bags and bring my dry erase pen. I do love your produce bags...xo Kyndale

Angela Mobley said...

I love your bags!!! I wanna sew some now!!!! I think it is so stylish and much prettier than plastic bags.
By the way, i just want you to know how much i appreciate you, are a loving, healing presence and I thank you.

Heather said...

I think that you are doing an amazing job. How beautiful you made those bags, and I am sure that they bring a smile to your face at the store, and for storage. I love reusing glass jars to store our bulk items, it is easy to see, and great for the environment.
Lovely Renee

Nicole Benjamin said...

Dear Renee,
Thank you for sharing such inspiration. Your bags are beautiful, I love seeing these photos we also use glass jars for food storage doesn't it make everything all the more beautiful while being so much better all around! Such beautiful deer, I can't believe how close you were to them!

Anonymous said...

your bags and intentions are beautiful!

Sara said...

Renee, those are lovely bags. I wish we had bulk food here in Switzerland. There is no way around the packaging issue, as people here shop every day in small quantities, so I have just had to learn to get over it. Every little bit counts-- so be sure to feel good for all that you do! :)