Thursday, January 14, 2010

Do you ever wonder...

The Greenhabilitator points out a few things she finds silly...

The past week hasn't been so great for the Greenhabilitator. Not only did I have to have some parts removed at the lady doctor (nothing serious...just preventative), but I also ended up at the dentist, getting two crowns. I've had pains from all angles, which tend to make me kvetch more than normal. It's rough getting old I tell ya!

Maybe it's the pains, or maybe I've just turned into a grumpy old lady already at the ripe age of 33, but I've noticed a few things this week that have made me think "Come on people!"

Like when we went to Costco the other day where ev.ry.thing is packaged in plastic. I feel dirty just walking through the store, even though we try to stick with the true bulk items they offer.

I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised. Costco isn't a store that sells food in bulk in order to help the planet, they do it for people who have BIG needs. It just made me throw my hands up and "Gaaaah!" because there's not much we can buy there anymore.

We do buy tortilla chips at Costco, which come in a mostly paper bag. We go through a lot of them, so I like being able to buy the ginormous bag. I was excited to see that they now carry organic tortilla chips, until I saw the packaging up close. Plastic. Really? Why put organic chips in a plastic bag? Aren't the people who are concerned about eating organic foods, the same people who prefer not to purchase plastic out of concern for the environment?

Oh - but when we used the potty I noticed that they now have more efficient toilets, with handles that pull up for liquids and down for solids.

I ran into some similar frustration at my local Vitamin Cottage store recently (it's like Whole Foods, but a lot smaller). They have a "bulk" section where they sell all of their flour, sugar, oats, herbs, spices, seeds, etc., yet it's all prepackaged in plastic. Come now, how is that bulk?

They do have a sign on the door that says "Have your bags? No bags are provided at our registers." which is pretty cool in my opinion.

Here are the Hickman's Family Farms eggs that hubby brought home recently. He was very excited that they were produced locally. On the down side, they come in a styrofoam package. Who uses styrofoam?? The ones I normally buy are produced in Ohio, but they do come in a paper carton that I can shred and throw in my compost heap.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. After all, we all started somewhere - right? I started with recycling, but I still went shopping too much, bought items overpackaged in plastic, and drove a gas-guzzler. That didn't mean that I wasn't trying. Fixing all of those things did eventually come over time.

I just wonder if companies do things like installing more efficient toilets because they care about the environment, or because they're trying to make up for other eco-sins.

For now I'll show my support for their progress, yet encourage them to do more. That and a glass of wine should go a long way.


Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

They have the dual flush toilets at my son's speech therapist. They're cool - I want them in my house. Of course, my kids never remember to flush the toilet anyway...

Maxine from Texas said...

I think companies do things like the dual flush toilets for one reason(usually) - to save money. It's a nice bonus if they can make customers happy by doing it. And I hear you about the Styrofoam egg cartons! We buy from a local farmer and they use the styrofoam. When I asked it was because they get reused(people bring them back to him) so much that the cardboard ones weren't lasting very long. I wasn't too happy about it, but at least they are getting reused till they fall apart :-/

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

I agree with you completely and im the same age so take it easy! I dont have my parts taken out just yet but the dentist has been my best friend lately. uugg
I order bulk stuff from Azure Standard and love that they offer earth friendly, organic and just about anything green for a cheaper price. But! Their nuts come in plastic bags, 20lb peanut butter comes in a plastic bucket, etc. I guess they cant avoid plastic when it comes to large size? Just frustrating to work hard to get rid of plastic and it just keeps sneaking in. Maybe I need to go Little House on the Prairie style....
And yes, I always wonder....

Kellie said...

Note to self: Don't write blog posts when on pain meds. I sound a little Andy Rooney-ish in this post. "And another thing...."

@Erin~ They're not forgetful, they're just being eco-friendly! ;)

@Maxine~ Yes, I bet you're right about the money thing!

@Surviving~ LHOTP *always* comes to mind when I think about this kind of stuff. "Ma didn't buy peanut butter in plastic jars..." Or "What would Ma have used to..." hee hee

SariJ said...

Can I jump in and rant too? I hate plastic on my organic food! I used to own a produce market so I know organic produce can be purchased without all the plastic wrapping. I find it sadly ironic that conventional produce is plastic free but organic is not.
I have tried several local stores and all carry plastic covered organic. It is enough to make me get Andy Rooney!

Green Me Alison said...

Not to defend the use of plastic, but the bulk at Vitamin Cottage is in plastic bags versus bins, because they buy it in super bulk and repackage it at their own facility in Lakewood, as a cost saving measure. I would guess that most people don't reuse bulk plastic bags at the regular store. And, they will recycle their bulk bags if you return them to the store. Also, now that I've found out I have a gluten intolerance, open bulk bins are dangerous places of cross contamination. I don't know for sure, but as VC caters to a larger population of folks with allergies and intolerance, they may also do that to reduce cross contamination. It would be awesome though if we could just have big barrels and cotton bags and do everything our-self without the plastic!

Other than bulk, I simply won't buy organic or anything really if it comes in plastic. Glass jar, paper bag, paper carton, or not at all! If more of us did this and maybe and wrote in to tell the stores our thought process, perhaps it would encourage some change.

Great post Mr. Rooney!

Lisa Sharp said...

It makes me sad that you can't always get both sustainable and organic but I keep seeing more and more stores and companies coming around.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin