Thursday, June 12, 2008

Superhero Tips from the "Green Girls" - Saving the Planet One Lightbulb at a Time

Shopping and Groceries:
tips from "
the green book" and more

Cheese - Buy bulk cheese instead of presliced individually wrapped servings. The energy used to make the plastic wrappers for slices of American cheese amounts to the equivalent of more than 13.8 million gallons of gasoline per year - enough for the entire population of Milwaukee to carpool out west to visit the happy cows of California. pgs 67, 68. (remember plastic = petrol) Incidentally this little strawberry on top is called a cheese button - it came with the knife and is a nice way to keep hands off the cheese when slicing.

Coffee - When you buy ground or whole-bean coffee, look for varieties with organic, Fair Trade, Bird Friendly or Rainforest Alliance certification seals. These labels represent coffee farms that practice sustainable agriculture to preserve or restore rain forest ecosystems. Just one household switching to certified coffee for a year is enough to protect 9,200 square feet of rain forest. If everyone in Seattle switched to certified coffees, a rain forest area the size of that city could be saved every year. pg 68.

Farmer's Market vs. Supermarket - Try doing some of your shopping at a local farmer's market. And if you can, walk or bike there. Of the total energy used in the United States per year, 4 percent is used to produce food, and between 10 and 13 percent is used to transport it. On average, U.S. supermarket food travels 1,500 to 2,500 miles before it reaches the family table. Buying local food can reduce the amount of petroleum consumed to transport your dinner by as much as 95 percent. pg 68.

Meat - If you have the option, choose your meat at the butcher counter and purchase only as much as you know you'll use. You;ll reduce food waste, save money, and conserve resources. The average person wastes over twenty-two pounds of edible store-bought meat each year. Given that it takes five pounds of grain and 2,500 gallons of water to make one pound of beef, that's more than one hundred pounds of wasted grain and 55,000 gallons of wasted water per person! If all households decreased their beef purchases by just one pound per year, 250 billion gallons of water would be saved. It would take five days for this amount of water to pour over Niagara Falls. pg 69, 70 . (Sorry no pictures of raw meat here today... see the upcoming Scrumptious Saturday post or the Steak recipe for some examples of meats I've purchased from my local butcher).

Last but not least - bring your own reusable bags to the store. I can get an entire weeks worth of groceries in two to three of the cloth reusable bags and don't have to deal with all the little plastic ones that stack up to the point of overflow before I take them to the recycle station at the local grocery store.

I really like the freebie (green one) I got from Wal-Mart when I happened in the store on Earth Day and they were giving these out to a certain number of customers. This one really has the best dimensions. But shame on me I won't bring it to the farmers market, I'll use one or two of the white ones. In my part of the country bringing your own bags is a new idea. Most people still look at me a little odd for doing so, the clerks are irritated at the fact that there is no where really to set them on the bagging station and they have to slow down and focus on what they are doing rather than putting one or two items in each bag. Still I love having less to carry in and it's no heaver or lighter this way.

And I had to add this picture, some days I'd love to recycle this one... but then she does something cute like this and I guess we'll keep her a little longer. If you look closely she has her paw covering her eyes. Silly cat!
We have only one Earth, let’s treat it with respect so our children can learn from our example and have a great place to raise their children.


Anonymous said...

I love the tips! I need to get on board and start bringing my own market bag too. I had a bag rip on me today and now reading your post makes me determined to make that plunge!

Beth said...

Great tips! I've just started taking my own bags to the store...but sometimes I can't fit everything and end up getting some plastics anyway. Guess I need to get a couple more. :|

Bubba & Rye said...

Love that kitty!
I am trying to be greener. Not always easy. Can someone tell me why so many mass producers use so much packaging?!

terryann said...

recycle kitty! that is how we have got every one of our kittys... someone recycled them to us!

MayRae said...

Great post, per usual. Just bought a few bags myself to take to the market. Sick of all the plastic we have in the house that I need to take in to be recycled. And I love the kitty pic, gotta love a dejected looking cat with the paw over the eyes.

Sygnet Creations said...

Love these tips.... Thanks for sharing them =)

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