Monday, August 23, 2010

Please Ignore the Coffee Pot

I told you that I would tell you about my grand adventure into an eco-friendly store. So here it is. Instead of going to BSG on Thursday (it was canceled), HB and I went to this eco-friendly store in town. We walked in and the entire store was made of recycled or eco-friendly products. The first part of the store had a lot of bags made from things like juice boxes etc. They had earrings made from glass that was once a coke bottle. There were produce bags (I had already ordered some), water bottles, etc.

In the back that had baby/kid stuff. Lunch boxes and small containers in both stainless steel and a plastic material made from corn. Now the corn stuff sounds like a great idea, but here's the problem. 1) the stuff was made in china 2) it's made from corn. The corn industry is really really big and over-subsidized and they're constantly trying to drive up the market for corn in order to make a really high profit. Corn is in most processed foods. For example it's in soda (high fructose CORN syrup). Plus we feed it to live stock. We also use it in bio-fuels. And what we don't use we ship to Africa to drive down their price for corn and kill off any chance that farmers there have of making a profit. The government needs to stop subsidizing corn, and American farmers need to grow less of it. So while the corn-based plastic material sounds appealing because it's sorta bio-degradable, it's still not a good alternative.

Anyways...they also had bottles, Green Toys (smiles), organic clothing, and the kiddishes (smiles again). They had soy based crayons and a number of little things like that. I really didn't get a great chance to look at everything because HB and I were the only ones in the store and the store saleslady kept hoovering. Although I did give her some suggestions about some other companies including Sanctus Mundo and Preserve.

If I haven't talked about Preserve, I should. Preserve is similar to Green Toys. They take recycled plastic and make stuff with it. Specifically they make toothbrushes (that's their big seller), razers, razer blades, dishes, and storage containers. Great things about Preserve: 1) Most of their stuff is American made. The kid toothbrushes are made in Mexico. 2) It's recycled plastic. What's not to love? 3) They're razor blade refills will work with some razors. 4) They have a recycling program. They will take your old razors, refills, toothbrushes, and even Brita water filters and recycle them for you. 5) They have a program where they will send you a new toothbrush every three months (so you don't even have to remember) and you can mail the old one in the packet to be recycled. I've seen my local health food store carry the toothbrushes but not the razors. Check their site and you may have someone carrying the toothbrushes at least in your area.

Back to the store...I ended up buying a new water bottle. My old one was a plastic #7 made from China that the lid's connector thing snapped (bottle on right in picture). I'm not sure what to do with it at the moment. I suppose it would make a nice vase or something. I looked at their stainless steal stuff but it violated my no Chinese rule despite everything in the store being guaranteed "free trade." It can't really be free trade if the Chinese Communist Party owns and regulates it. I ended up settling on this company Lifefactory. The bottle itself is glass and encased in a silicone sleeve (see bottle on left in picture). The only plastic part is the lid which is #5 "good" plastic. The cool thing about this bottle is the openness which the company explains how it was made. "Bottle made in France, Sleeve made in USA, Cap made in Poland, Assembled in USA." That's directly from the label. I have a soft spot for Poland since I'm part Polish. If the bottle breaks, you can buy a replacement and use the same sleeve and cap. Also cool is you can wash it in the dishwasher. But it's not great for hot drinks. Since I live in the desert, it doesn't really matter to me. I don't drink anything hot.

The downer is that the baby bottles are different. The glass is made in France but the sleeve and the cap are made in Singapore. But if you are looking for a glass baby bottle, you can easily find them these days from many different manufacturers. Lifewithoutplastic sells one from Mexico.

I took my new water bottle to Zumba (another post on that one) and it worked out great. Course I'm totally not good with anything that has a screw top so if your all thumbs like me, you might want a bottle without a screw top. Although I haven't found any eco-friendly bottles that aren't screw top.

Oh, and please ignore the disgusting coffee pot. I don't drink coffee, but hubby does. He never cleans that thing. He doesn't drink coffee that often. He usually finds months later when he wants a cup that he's forgotten the filter in it! Yeah, I leave that thing totally alone.

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