16 January 2009

Societies need of bags

So twice in the last 24 hours I've ran into issues concerning plastic bags at supermarkets. Both happened at Walmart, and yes I'm almost ashamed to say I did shop at Walmart. I'll continue to claim that in our little town it is sometimes the only option without driving 30 mins to the nearest big city. Or at least the only option my budget can afford. I do try to avoid shopping there. Anyway, last night I took my own bags with me. I get up to the cashier, pull out my bags and say that she doesn't need to bother with a plastic bag because I brought my own. The cashier takes my bag and begins fumbling with it. I thought she was trying to open it to be ready for my items. But she was looking for a tag!! Here is the thing. These bags are made out of a t-shirt. Furthermore they do not look like something you would find at Walmart! When she finally looks at me and states, "They don't have a tag?" I annoyingly respond, "Their my bags. I brought them. This is my stuff for checkout." I wanted to say "If I was buying bags from you they would have Walmart on them." So I go home thinking that was the end of it. Well the sock I bought had a hole, so I needed to return them. Today I took them in for exchange. As the woman at customer service started to pull out a bag for the new pair I tell politely tell her I don't need a bag. Her response was "Well I have to bag it, the employees at the door look for bags. If you don't have one you have to show them a receipt." I was furious. I took the bag and quickly deposited it in the recycling bin for plastic bags and walked out. I didn't even get stopped to check for a receipt. What made me mad was that she gave me a receipt. I don't care if I have to show it on the way out. I don't want the bag. One item I can carry in my hand. Even with two kids in tow. I keep thinking with the popularity of cloth bags employees will be more receptive to people opting out of plastic bags. But so far all I get is annoyance on their part. I feel that I'm actually doing the company a favor. The more people use cloth the less the company has to pay for plastic bags. It's good for everyone. Society need to kick this habit of plastic bags. While most of us who use cloth bags will continue to use cloth even if it's inconvenient and met with resistance, other will never us cloth because of societies resistance to the change. Personally, I feel that companies should start charging a small fee for bags. Dillons (know as Kroger in other states) give you 5 cents for every bag you bring. What if they just start charging 5 cents for every bag you use of theirs. Maybe then we could stop using and thus stop producing so many darn plastic (and paper for that matter) bags. My own two cents. :)

14 January 2009

Line drying clothes in winter

In attempts to keep with my goal, I lined dried my clothes last weekend. The temperature started out around 20F and I think the high was no more than 34F. It was sunny so that my have helped. We live in KS where the sun shines most days. Of course that often means that as soon as the sun goes down the temperature drops significantly. Anyway, having 5 loads of laundry I was able to line dry two. Or at least mostly line dry two. Here is what I learned.

If line drying in winter hang clothes outside as early in the day as possible. This gives them the most daylight/sunlight as possible. The clothes I hung out around 10 in the morning were dry when I brought them in that night. But the clothes I hung out in the afternoon around 2pm were partly frozen when I brought them in. My conclusion is that they did not dry enough before the temperature dropped as the sun went down. However, even with the frozen clothes I limited the time they needed in the dryer. So assuming the temperature reaches above freezing during the day, it is possible to hang clothes outside in the winter. Yeah!!!!

09 January 2009

My goals for 2009

While the term New Year's Resolution bring up some negative connotations in my mind, mostly due to everyone saying I'll break them before Feb, I do feel goals are important. And writing them down is a great way of looking back on all my accomplishments. So here are my green living goals for this year.

Goal #1 Switch from paper product to cloth product
a. eliminate the need for paper towels, paper napkins and tissues by providing an adequate about of the cloth verity
b. eliminate the use of disposable feminine product by replacing with washable/reusable products
c. switch from paper to cloth for bathroom uses

Goal #2 Eliminate all commercial cleaning products with more natural, earth friendly ones

Goal #3 Do at least one load of laundry every other day and hang outside unless raining, snowing, sleeting or the like

Goal #4 Grow at least two types of herbs and two types of vegetables. Even if just in pots

Goal #5 Reduce the use of the car for running errands by at least half by walking or biking.

Goal #6 When the farmer's market is open buy all my fruit and vegetables there rather than the supermarket.

Goal #7 That I met at least half of the above goals by the end of 2009 :)