September 12, 2009

10 Things Never to Buy Again

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 10:40 am by CrystalineGoddess

This came to my inbox from Leila, 10 Things Never to Buy Again was written by Green America (formerly Co-op America) and commented on by April Moore (following the item listed) and then Tira (as shown by ~~);

1. styrofoam cups-These are relatively easy to avoid. For picnics and other large events, heavy paper cups are available. Even better, gather a collection of mugs that can be washed and reused.

~~ Easy to avoid as you say, and mugs are so much nicer then plastic or paper.

2. paper towels-This is the hard one for me. I don’t use paper towels routinely to dry my hands or wipe the kitchen counter, but when it comes to cleaning mirrors and bathroom fixtures, or wiping up cat vomit, paper towels seem like the best thing. I’m going to try using rags for these projects and see if I can wean myself from paper towels. Two intermediate alternatives that waste less paper, however, are to buy the thin, rather than thick paper towels, and to buy the rolls whose towels are only half as wide as the regular size.

~~ Okay, I admit it, I bought the Sham-wow and must say this product absolutely lives up to its name and to the hype. I use the Sham-wow for mopping up spills in the kitchen and I use tea towels and dish cloths for wiping things up and cleaning. I use the free local newspapers — which the paper boys will deliver no matter how often I ask them to cease and desist — for peeling veggies, etc.

3. bleached coffee filters-This is one of the easiest. Melitta, for instance, sells natural brown paper filters advertised as 100% chlorine-free. Even better is a cloth coffee filter that can be rinsed and reused.

~~ Good one.

4. teak and mahogany-Indiscriminate, unmanaged cutting of these beautiful woods has devastated rainforests and native communities in Brazil, Thailand, and elsewhere. Furniture made of other kinds of wood-oak, maple, and pine-is readily available.

~~ Ask for things made of blue pine and you will help BC and Alberta a lot. We have a pine beetle infestation that is destroying the pine forests here — due to climate change. The beetles kill the trees and the wood turns blue. The wood is perfectly fine but it is blue so the dead trees are left standing because the loggers can’t sell the wood. If there were a market for blue pine the trees would be harvested and no longer pose a fire threat and would also help the living forests.

5. conventional household cleaners-Fortunately, there are earth-friendly alternatives to just about every commercial household cleaner. I am a fan of white vinegar, and it can be combined with water to make an all-purpose cleaner (1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water) or glass cleaner (1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water). Vinegar has many other cleaning uses. See “I Sing the Praises of Vinegar!’ posted on my site, by clicking

~~ Want a nice bathroom air freshener that is non-toxic? Pour some regular Listerine into a spray bottle and spritz it around. Don’t breath it in though! Listerine is nothing but Eucalytus, Mint, and Thyme oil in alcohol with some soap and water. I also splash it on to cool off and freshen up on a hot summer day.

6. chemical pesticides and herbicides-Organic methods of gardening and controlling weeds have become very popular, and information about earth-friendly practices is readily available. For a practical introduction, click on the following article:

~~ Safer makes a line of organic herbicides that I really like.

7. toys made with PVC plastic-Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) toys are not just harmful when chewed by children. Toys made with PVC emit such harmful substances as dioxin, mercury, and phthalates throughout their life cycle-from manufacture to use to disposal. Look for toys that are labeled “100% PVC-free.”

~~ Excellent advice.

8. plastic forks and spoons-Made from petrochemicals and usually used just once and thrown away, these ubiquitous little tools never really disappear from the environment. When you’re eating away from home, whether picnicking or having lunch at your office desk, why not keep a set of cheap, metal (like camping) cutlery in a cloth bag close at hand in your purse, back pack, or desk drawer?

~~ I do this for all my picnic stuff, I keep it all separate in a bag and ready to go when we eat out or have company.

9. farm-raised salmon-Studies show that farm-raised salmon is much higher in PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), dioxins, and other toxins that are harmful to the environment and to human health than is wild salmon. Farm-raised salmon are fed fish meal and fish oil that contain high levels of these toxins, which become concentrated as they move up the food chain. Health experts recommend limiting one’s consumption of farm-raised salmon. Recommendations range from no more than once a month to once only every four months.

~~ Farm raised salmon also develop diseases and attract parasites that spread into the wild populations.

10. rayon-The most common process used to create rayon for clothing and other products emits carbon disulfide, a highly toxic chemical known to be a human reproductive hazard. The rayon-making process endangers factory workers and pollutes the environment via emissions into the air and water.

~~ Silk, cotton, linen, and hemp are so much nicer!

Tira also adds;

~~ I have almost eliminated plastic bags from my home! I use cloth at the store. I have a small, lidded garbage can in the kitchen. I line it with those free newspapers and throw my kitchen waste into it — the parts I don’t compost — and then I dump it into the can that goes to the curb. There is a plastic bag in the big can that goes to the curb and that cannot be avoided because they won’t pick up garbage loose in the can. Before I started doing this I would place my garbage in a small plastic bag in the kitchen then tie that bag up and place it in the big bag in the curb can. What a waste and how silly to over package the garbage!

So now you know.

Crystaline Goddess.


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