Sodium bicarbon-offset? (Day 56)…

baking soda

Some folks over at President’s Choice sent a goodie bag full of their Green products to my office, with little tags on each one explaining how it was helping the environment. Funnily, they also sent over a press release in the form of a CD, tucked inside an envelope with the words “Paperless Media Kit” stamped on it — yes, on the envelope, which itself was of course made out of paper, albeit 60% recycled.

I couldn’t use any of the garden stuff, nor were the unbleached coffee filters any good because I have a French press, and I wasn’t very interested in the “Active Oxygen” bleach, either, so I gave all that away via Freecycle. What I did take home, however, was a tote bag made from recycled plastic and their signature grocery bin, which serves the same purpose but is sturdier and can hold more.

Then I noticed the Green baking soda.

This intrigued me because I never thought regular baking soda was bad for the environment to begin with, but the Arm & Hammer in the back of my fridge was probably a year old and could do with replacing. Upon further investigation, it appears there’s nothing more eco-friendly about this baking soda than any other — they’re all just sodium bicarbonate — besides the fact that it comes in a box made from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard. But maybe I’m wrong … am I missing something?

I guess I’ll make the switch and count it, but I’m not expecting a round of applause for this one.

18 Responses to Sodium bicarbon-offset? (Day 56)…

  1. patty t says:

    please, outsource your headline puns to me!

  2. deliberately says:

    I think if you look around you’ll find that baking soda is a viable replacement for a lot of the kitchen and laundry products you may be using today. We haven’t quite gotten there yet but when I’ve seen options for “do it yourself” laundry detergent and cleaning agents it seems like I’ve seen baking soda coming up often as a primary ingredient. That may be why the folks sent it to you.

    Good luck and keep the posts coming!

  3. I’m thinking the baking soda in the fridge would still work after its expiration date; I don’t think it needs to be able to absorb odors in order to clean.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my coffee filters lately though… I saw some fabric replacements at my favorite natural foods store but wonder how easy it would be to get the grounds out of them. I make *multiple* pots of coffee in a day.

    • Ravencrow says:

      Have you tried the reusable stainless coffee filters? I love mine and it’s easy to clean. I tdoes however turn brown eventually, not rusty, just brown from the coffee. It fits most coffee makers but not the ones requireing cone-shaped filters. I’m intrigued by the cloth ones though. I’ll have to check those out. I figure after rinsing them into a drain filter, I can put the grounds in my plants. They love them!

  4. Lorrie Lafrance says:

    Baking soda is great for cleaning – everything from toilets, shower stalls, kitchen sinks, etc. While I don’t think there’s anything special about PC baking soda, the fact that it comes in a 1-kg box makes it convenient. I’ve been using baking soda as a cleansing product for years and have been buying it a pound at a time at my health food store. I’ll switch brands for the convenience of buying in a larger quantity.

    You’re doing well so far – keep it up!

  5. Molly says:


    They make permanent coffee filters out of metal mesh and plastic. I’ve been using one for years, and it cleans up fine. You can find them on the same aisle as the coffeemakers in any homegoods store.

  6. Morgan says:

    Speaking of baking soda…Vanessa how are you finding the Green Beaver tooth paste? I’m on my third tube now. I dig how long my teeth feel clean for compared to the regular “Extra brightening, extra whitening, extra straightening…well not really” tooth paste.


    • Ravencrow says:

      Have you tried making toothpaste out of Indian Red Clay, xylitol,baking soda, and peppermint oil? It works beautifully and give you that clean yummy feeling for hours. I’ve not heard of Green Beaver; will have to look it up. Thanks for mentioning it.

  7. This is totally unrelated to this post… but a question I lkeep forgetting to ask you. I have been so super successful at eliminating plastic bags from my life that I have none left. So now that I have no more plastic bags- I am at a loss over what to line my in house green bin collection bin with. Any ideas?

  8. Morgan says:

    You can buy bio-bags…they are 100% compostable! I hope that helps! They are made of corn, they’re Canadian made…and they are truly stronger and reusable before the need to compost them!

  9. Morgan says:

    Oh shoot…I created the wrong link…I typed in .com rather than .ca…. Sorry about that!

  10. Lori V. says:

    Vanessa, I don’t know about its Earth-friendlier status, but if they don’t utilize unnecessary animal testing, that in itself is a reason to use that one (Arm & Hammer is on PETA’s list of companies that still test on animals for cosmetic purposes)! Also, I saw some Bob’s Red Mill baking soda in our Green Market, and it said “aluminum-free.” Perhaps regular sodium bicarb ends up containing aluminum traces?

  11. gettinggreen says:

    Lorrie — I didn’t even think about the fact that it comes in a bigger box; now I feel much better! And Meg, I was going to say the same thing as Morgan, to invest in some biobags. It’s kind of a hassle, but it does mean less plastic in our landfills. And Lori, that’s good to know about Arm & Hammer… the animal-testing is definitely an important issue for me (of course I should have known that, now that I have that Better World Handbook!)

  12. besweet says:

    A lot of the products from the PC line are “green” not just because of their contents but also because of their packaging — for example, the laundry detergent is concentrated so less packaging is needed and transport is more efficient. And it’s not a new product, but don’t forget their Green toilet paper — 100% post-consumer recycled content.

    I really like the new bag. It’s nice and roomy, and not only is it made of recycled plastic (something your paper got wrong today, by the way, saying it’s cotton), it can be tossed in with your other plastic recycling when it rips or becomes worn out.

    I swear, I don’t work for Loblaws. I just like how they were earlier adopters for green and organic products.

  13. Hi. says:

    My name is Michael DeJong and I’m the author of “clean: the humble art of zen-cleansing.” It’s a cute little cookbook-kinda’-thingie with tons of recipies on how to make your own eco-friendly cleaning product replacements. A friend just pointed your website out to me and I think I’m in love. I can’t wait to see and read more.

  14. Jon.Jnr says:

    Nice site – Like what you did. Wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year !

  15. John.Jnr says:

    Like what you did. Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year !

  16. Coffee Maker Review…

    […]Sodium bicarbon-offset? (Day 56)… « Green as a Thistle[…]…

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