Jan 12, 2010

10 arguments for organic meat

"About ten billion animals—chickens, pigs, turkeys, cows, and other animals—are raised for human consumption each year in the U.S. Most of them are raised by large producers rather than small family farmers."

I still sit on the fence when it comes to quitting meat altogether. The truth is, while there is a moral entanglement, there's also the physical component as well. Lately when I eat meat, I find myself truly revolted at the taste. With few exceptions, I just don't eat it any longer. But my family does. So for now the meat is disguised as the rest of dinner. If I can't taste it, I am able to eat it. We have cut down on our meat consumption, mostly because I do half the cooking and it's rare to see me cooking meat. However, after much research about the meat industry, I am working on budgeting around organic meat. Here are my reasons why:

1. Conventional meats contain ammonia
10. When you buy organic, you are supporting a local farm

So in conclusion, organic is best. However, I will be keeping in touch with news about whether or not it is in our food budget.

Jan 5, 2010

Paper vs. Plastic

It is safe to say that most Americans who do not live in Amish country are aware that we waste entirely too many disposable grocery bags. We've heard the countless Public Service Announcements, we can no longer play ignorant. I try to make an effort to bring my own bag. Emphasis on try. The fact is, my day goes like this:

Put kids in the car.
Drop off older kids
Go to store/playgroup/gym (yeah right)/grocery store
Pick up kids
Unload car
Put away groceries

By the end of the rigmarole, it does not cross my mind to put the grocery bags back in the car. I am safe in my home. Don't make me go out there again! So in an effort to make sure I no longer shop empty handed, I have outsourced the job of returning the bags to the car to my two older children. Problem solved. Except, there will be times when I have to answer that dreaded question..."Paper or plastic?"

What is a pseudo-environmentalist to do? Some argue that paper is better than plastic...well, in some ways it is. But don't think you're doing the earth any favors by requesting paper. Apparently there is no way to please everyone on the matter. Environmentalists go back and forth on the issue arguing that one is still the lesser of two evils. Paper and Plastic are tied for last place.

"It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag...Paper sacks generate 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
Source: "Comparison of the Effects on the Environment of Polyethylene and Paper Carrier Bags," Federal Office of the Environment, August 1988...It takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it takes to recycle a pound of paper. But recycling rates of either type of disposable bag are extremely low, with only 10 to 15% of paper bags and 1 to 3% of plastic bags being recycled, according to the Wall Street Journal...A paper bags takes up more space than a plastic bag in a landfill, but because paper is recycled at a higher rate, saving space in landfills is less of an issue." Source

"Both paper bags and plastic bags destroy natural resources and ecosystem. Both contribute to green house gasses. However, plastic bags are more hazardous. When recycling or incinerating plastic, dioxins are produced and sent off to air. These dioxins are the ones responsible for ruining the ecosystem and the environment in general. Only one to three percent of all plastic bags are recycled. The rest are found in the streams, floating on the sea and flying around the streets." Source

The bottom line is, neither are the right choice to make. But in the event I find myself unarmed, I will choose the one I feel I am most likely to reuse responsibly. But in the meantime, I have few excuses, for my Chico bag is dangling from my key chain and it will hold far more than a plastic grocery bag can. I went to the Chico site to grab a link and I was excited to see their bags on sale! Get five Chico bags for $10!!! And if you're looking for something a bit more sporty, like a backpack or messenger bag that folds up into your glove compartment, go to http://www.chicobag.com/ and check out their new collection! No, I don't get paid to promote these products.

Creative ways to reuse paper bags:

What to do with your plastic bags:
Knit a tote bag (no, seriously)


My new favorite

Now I can fool myself into believing I've just stopped off at a coffee shop and grabbed some tea to go. There's something about the feel of the cardboard sleeve, the shape of the cup and the way my drink tastes when sipped through the lid. I'll admit I have somewhat of an addiction to stopping for an Earl Grey whenever I see a coffee stand. I've done the math, I know it's overpriced and wasteful. I can make tea and coffee at home for a fraction of the price. But until recently, I always ended up resenting my travel mugs. Often they don't fit in my cup holder and I have yet to find one that is microwave AND dishwasher safe...that is until now!

The Cupco Eco-First travel mug is the sweetest thing to hit the hot beverage market.

Eco-First - Acadia Mug Brown

Fill, Drink, Wash, Repeat - The classic To Go Coffee Cup becomes a reusable everyday mug.

    •Double-wall plastic construction for enhanced insulation
    •Quarter-turn lid sealing mechanism
    •BPA free
    •16 oz. capacity

Available exclusively at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

MSRP: $7.99

AND it's both dishwasher and microwave safe!

Jan 3, 2010

coming soon...

The new year is upon us. So many resolutions. My one promise to myself is to build this blog to become a source of information for those of you who seek education and information on making responsible decisions that will impact our world in a positive way. I welcome suggestions and questions. If you have an experience you would like to share, or links that would make this blog more helpful, please comment!