Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 12, 13, and 14 - Three for the price of one!

As I am going away for roughly a week and will not have Internet access to update my blog, I'm tripling up on green changes so I can bank some for when I am on the road. In case you are curious, I'm going to the Niagara region with my girlfriend to tour some wineries, buy some wine and generally have a good time. After that, my boyfriend and I are riding the Harleys (yes, he has one too) to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh PA to visit Hancock Fabrics, and the penguins at the Pittsburgh zoo. So tomorrow I'll do three more changes, and Wednesday another three, so that when I get back Tuesday night I'm not behind.

Something you must understand about me is that I bake and cook. A lot. Not only is it a way to feed myself, but I genuinely love being creative in the kitchen and feeding others. Lately I've been on a bread making kick, making sometimes 4 loaves and day, giving some away and freezing the rest. Now, when I give bread away, I give it away in a cotton drawstring bag which I make. When I freeze it, however, it gets wrapped in foil. Last night, I ran out of foil. So I thought to myself "Am I going to give up foil for my green challenge? How will I freeze my bread? Oh no!". Fortunately, after trolling some other eco blogs, I found Green Luvin's post on recycled aluminum foil.

Here is what she says, "I discovered that aluminum, unlike plastics, can be recycled over and over again without loosing quality. In addition, mining bauxite, the basic building block of aluminum, is very taxing on the environment. Additionally, producing new aluminum consumes a lot of energy per pound. Recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy to produce.

According to the EPA, there is 3.3 million tons of aluminum in the municipal waste stream, a.k.a. the landfill. That is equal to almost 100 million soda cans or 20 million rolls of recycled aluminum foil.* That is a lot of BBQing."

Saved! I'll recycle my foil from now on, and buy this stuff (which I might add, I bought at Whole Foods for 7.99. That's a lot of money for foil, when the generic brand was on the shelf next to it for 2.29). I'll just be frugal with my foil.

A few days ago, my dad (who is not an environmentalist, but does like to forward whatever email he finds interesting, regardless of topic) sent me a PowerPoint presentation on the harms of bottled water and the plastic bottles they come in. The data was accurate and timely, and it said all the same things I've been hearing from you guys in your comments. So I did it - I gave up my Dasani bottle, which I've been refilling with tap water for months, and sprung for a fancy-poo aluminum water bottle made by Sigg. It's fuchsia, holds a litre of water, and features an Indian-inspired design. Perfect. $28 at Big Carrot.

With all the cooking and baking I've been doing, I've been using the dishwasher a lot, and I have to say I'm quite pleased with the Seventh Generation liquid dish soap. Score one for Vermont. But you can just imagine all the energy that a dishwasher uses. I can see the day when I will give it up entirely, perhaps when this bottle of detergent runs out, but for now, I'm switching to the air dry function as opposed to the heated dry function. That will help.


Anonymous said...

I think a dishwasher may use less water than handwashing. I guess it depends on how you do it, and if you enjoy it(the handwashing). I don't. 5 kids, you know. It is fun to see the changes you are making. Good luck!

Lisa S.

Chile said...

You can also reuse your aluminum foil many times as long as you wash and handle it carefully. One of the few places we eat out is at Chipotle's where they wrap their burritos in foil. I keep every one of those foil squares for reuse, overlapping two if one square is not big enough for a job. (The only other trash that comes with a take-out order at the restaurant is the paper bag, which I can tell them to not give me or I can take home and reuse as well. When it falls apart, it gets composted.)

Anonymous said...

I love baking bread too!! I've recently become hooked on the no-knead bread from the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day". I've got a recipe over at my blog. I'm not sure about the eco-implications of bread baking, but it's so nice (and probably eco-friendly) to give away home-made gifts.

Thanks for the info on the aluminum foil. I've been trying to re-use, but the cheap stuff I bought keeps ripping. Next time I'll spring for the good stuff--thanks for the link!