Un nouvel ami pour ma sécheuse (Day 27)…

March 27, 2007

fabric softener

I just realized I photographed the ‘Quebec’ side of this box by accident, but hey, you don’t have to be Frenchie McFrencherson to know what words like statique, réutilisables and hypoallergénique mean. These right here are reusable static sheets for the dryer.

Not only does this mean less packaging and waste, it also means less of the chemicals found in most disposable ones. Here, you might be saying, “It’s only Day 27, stop being such a paranoid eco-freak already!” To which I say, point taken. You may also say of those Bounce, Snuggle or Downy sheets, “Come on, how could a household brand with such a cute name and flowery perfume be so toxic?”

Well, for one, look at Britney Spears. And for two, consider this website (warning: highly disturbing music accompanies it) that lists various alternative uses for Bounce sheets, including warding off mice, bees, ants and mosquitos — frankly, if the bugs aren’t buying it, neither am I.

Having given these reusable cloth sheets a couple test runs in my latest load of laundry, I can officially say that they do indeed keep my socks out of my pants and my towels out of my pillow cases. And because I simply leave them in there for the next run, it even saves me a trip to the garbage can (the Lazy Environmentalist‘s ears should be burning right about … now).

No hope in this soap (Day 26)…

March 26, 2007


In another product switcheroo, I changed today from my usual Kiehl’s body wash to a natural one from Alba, a brand my friend Meghan recommended (at least when it came to shaving cream). The papaya-mango flavoured one smelled yummy, so I gave it a whirl.

I guess I should have known that by “cream body wash” they literally meant cream. Trying to work up a lather, I felt like this stuff would sooner turn into a cake topping before it turned into any sort of functioning soap.

There’s no way I’ll go back to all those brand-name body washes with a list of ingredients I can’t pronounce — it’s all-natural from now on — but there’s nothing cleaner-feeling than a good foamy lather.

Also, I realize bar soaps are probably the greenest way to go here, but they all leave that sticky residue — some call this “squeaky clean” but, really, I don’t feel the need to squeak. So any recommendations are welcome!

Lights out (Day 25)…

March 25, 2007

switchAn obvious one, yes, turning off all the lights whenever I leave the house. But I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve been rushing out the door and left a few on by mistake. Sometimes, on really gloomy days, I’ve justified keeping one or two on for my cat or — and I know this is ridiculous — a vase of flowers that look like they need it. But no more of these excuses. All lights out, every single time I leave.

How to green your break-up

March 25, 2007

TreeHugger recently wrote a post about how to green your sex life, but in today’s world, there are more singletons than ever. So for all those who had a crappy Valentines Day last month, or who are coping with some heart failure right now, this is for you.

  • Use a handkerchief, or a hankette, instead of going through multiple boxes of Kleenex. If it gets really gross, invest in a couple and throw them in the laundry basket when they get soggy, or see how much of your sleeve you can use until you’re basically personified phlegm.
  • Depending on the severity of the break-up, you might need multiple bottles of wine and consecutive tubs of ice cream — try to make sure these are both local and/or organic; it’ll at least be one less thing to worry about!
  • Planning on writing some death threats? Blackmailing your ex with some blood-stained letters? Good idea! But before you start, be certain it’s recycled paper and soy-based ink.
  • Turn off the waterworks. Of course, you’re upset, it’s understandable. But do you really want to give that heartless [insert defamatory word of choice here] the satisfaction of knowing you’re crushed? Despite what your mother told you about “letting it all out,” keep it all in! The more you cry, the more you’re just wasting water. Sheesh.
  • Heading off to get some consolation from your friend/shrink/personal trainer? That’ll definitely help — just make sure you walk, ride your bike or take public transit there. Seeing as you’re clearing your head, you may as well try to keep the air above it clear, too.
  • Eventually, you’re going to have to move all your stuff out — but do you really want souvenirs of such a lousy relationship? Plus, it’s just going to require a gas-guzzling U-Haul to cart it all back to your parents’ house. Might as well Freecycle what you can to those who live within walking distance, and take the rest to Goodwill (in a hybrid vehicle).
  • Naturally, the most therapeutic and responsible thing to do in this situation is hardcore retail therapy. But impulse purchases often end up unused and over-consumption just means more packaging and waste. So plan ahead and take some tote bags, and concentrate your shopping in an antique district (so you’re reusing something rather than creating a demand for new stuff) or someplace where there are more independent stores than franchises (so you’re supporting the local economy). And if you suffer any post-shopping guilt, there’s always some carbon offsets just waiting to help you feel better.

Hang in there, girl! xo

And I’m free… freecycling (Day 24)…

March 24, 2007


I just joined the Freecycle Network and this morning gave away some lotions and potions I wasn’t using to a lovely gentleman who happened to live nearby. He needed a gift for his wife, as it’s her birthday today, and wanted to go beyond the breakfast-in-bed thing.

It took no time to sign up, then all I did was post what I was offering, wait a few hours, and there it was: an e-mail in my inbox asking when it could be picked up. He called to arrange a time and place, we met, shook hands, made the exchange and that was it.

As they point out, for the system to work, it can’t just be approached as a way to get free crap. Instead, it should be looked at as “a place to give or receive what you have and don’t need, or what you need and don’t have — a free cycle of giving, which keeps stuff out of landfills.”

Of course I’ll still drop off clothes and other things at Goodwill every now and then, but Freecycle is a great alternative for stuff that falls somewhere between thrift stores and Craigslist.

Pumpity pump pump (Day 23)…

March 23, 2007

EcoVert Windex

On the one hand, my mirrors have never been cleaner. On the other hand, I never knew I had so many freckles. The reason: I am enamoured with Ecover‘s glass and surface cleaner. Actually, it’s not even the cleaning solution itself — which is actually as good, if not better, than Windex — it’s the spray pump. This thing will make even the most passive pacifist trigger happy until their windows are invisible.

Seriously, it’s like firing a gun (and despite being Canadian, I know what that feels like — my family recently took a trip to Miami; ’nuff said). You just pull the handle gently, see, but then it suddenly takes off and kapow! A perfectly distributed mist wafts out, ready to be wiped off with the recycled paper towel or cloth rag of your choice.

From now on, though I may need to get more wrinkle cream, a couple face peels and some Clearasil, I’m sticking to a natural glass cleaner like this one — if only because it totally pumps me up.

This is as exciting as green news gets today, folks…

March 22, 2007

I thought those Discovery copywriters were supposed to be all smart-like? Couldn’t they have come up with a headline that sounded just a little more exciting than Earth’s Oldest Chunk of Crust Found?

Same goes for the Ceeb and their not-quite-newsworthy headline of the day — Almost 4 out of 5 Canadians believe in global warming: poll. Wow! So does that mean global warming is almost 4/5 true?