Monday, February 25, 2008

Not nearly virtuous enough...

I've been reading eco-blogs for quite a while, but as of late I've become pretty addicted to Crunchy Chicken. She is amazing, she is inspiring me.

I've decided to start making my own yogurt and am trying to decide which machine to buy: this one or this one. Based on the reviews, more people seem to like the 1 quart maker, especially once they replace the plastic bin with a glass mason jar...but I'm leaning toward the one that makes the individual servings, partly because I like the idea of having single servings made up, I could make each on a different flavor if I wanted...and because the jars that come with it are already glass.

Yogurt containers have been the bane of my existence for a long time. Nancy's is great, because they make their containers out of #2 plastic, instead of #5, so they are easily recyclable. But of all the organic yogurts, Nancy's tends to be my least favorite. So, my kitchen drawer always ends up full of large #5 yogurt containers because I can't bring myself to just throw them away, and they work well for leftovers...

But that in and of itself bothers me, because I've been trying to rid myself of plastics in terms of food storage for a long time. It's a double edged sword. I realized though, I can circumvent that somewhat by just making my own yogurt. Now I just need to figure out what to do about a butter/margarine substitute. I suppose I could start making my own in that category as well...but I can't even imagine where to start with making a butter/margarine substitute. (Butter, I could make, but I'm kind of keen and staying away from the high fat content there...) Any ideas or suggestions?

I'm really exited to start making my own yogurt though! Not only to rid myself of the waste that comes with store bought yogurt, and not just to start saving money...but mostly because it means I can control what goes into it. Organic milk, fresh fruit (including Alaska berries!!) sweeteners of my choice and in quantities I desire...

Other inspiration I've gotten from reading Crunchy: As soon as I've emptied my pantry of the pre-packaged dry goods I'm going to start buying all of those items (flour, sugar, grains etc) in bulk. Not only will it save on the non-recyclable packaging, but after doing some price checking the passed few is going to save A LOT of money. Cheryl is going to help me make a bunch of bags for bulk and produce items, which will eliminate the small plastic bags that usually go along with making such purchases. I think I might invest in some Biobags also.

Last week I ordered a DivaCup. I'm also trying to figure out how the roommates, neighbors and landlords might feel about me line drying clothes outside once the weather warms up and that becomes a reasonable option.

But, she is also igniting my liberal guilt in a new and incredible way. I don't do nearly enough. I only bring my own bags to grocery store MOST of the time, I really can't imagine switching to cloth TP (and can't imagine my roommates would go for it either.) I'm not even close to having the gumption to start a program like the one she started seemingly on whim, Good 4 Girls, in response to Proctor and Gamble's goals to send tampons to girls in Africa. Which, is amazing, by the way (Crunchy's analysis of P&G's plan and her subsequent Good 4 Girls plan.) I do plan on contributing. In fact, I was planning on purchasing some pre-made pads, but it just occurred to me that this is another project I can probably rope Cheryl into.

In addition to that my household produces far too much non-recyclable waste, I'm horrible about letting foods go bad, and don't compost because I can't figure out a convenient way to do it my current living situation.

I used to feel guilty about not doing more, but still felt pretty virtuous with my recycling, buying organic foods, environmentally friendly cat litter, unplugging appliances, using compact fluorescent and attempting to keep the heat between 68-70...but now I'm kind of just feeling like an impostor now.

Feeling like an impostor is inspiring in and of it self steps I guess. Maybe someday I'll be ready to use cloth TP.

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