July 31, 2007
While changing my bed linens the other day, I noticed that parts of the fitted sheet looked ever so slightly less white than other parts. I wasn’t sure if it was an actual stain or just the glare from my ugly compact fluorescent light bulbs, but then I remembered that these were sheets given to me by my parents a few years ago when I moved into my apartment, and they weren’t exactly new at the time.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed the elastic had stretched out and the stitching was getting loose. I concluded it was time to cut it up into hankies and get a new one.
Normally, I get excited at the prospect of shopping. But to be honest, I can’t think of anything I’d rather not have to buy than sheets. Well, maybe socks. And also watch batteries … man, that was so boring.
Anyway, I knew I wanted a good quality as well as eco-friendly brand. Treehugger had written about the benefits of bamboo sheets, but they’re not easy to find and can get expensive. Eventually, back at Grassroots, I found some unbleached organic cotton sheets for $60, made by a company called Coyuchi (the best is their tagline: “a natural opulence” — see, high thread-count snobbery is totally bio!).
On their site, they explain how the cotton seeds they use must be non-genetically engineered and that the plants must not be exposed to pesticides. Furthermore, the cotton is grown at family-run farm cooperatives, where workers are paid higher than average wages.
The only downside to this product was that it came wrapped in plastic. But I’m not sure it’s even possible to get sheets that don’t come packaged like this — there must be some sort of hygiene law that prevents it. Kind of like those mattress tags that threaten jail time for anyone who removes them.
Photo by Mr Luke Harby at Flickr
April 16, 2007
Now that I’m permanently carrying around a hankette so I don’t need Kleenex, portable chopsticks so I don’t need plastic cutlery and a compact nylon tote so I don’t need plastic bags, my purse is getting a little crowded. A friend’s dad said that I should just go all the way and invest in a full-fledged eco-toolbelt.
But because this blog is about baby steps, and because I’m a bit of a closet environmentalist, I’m not about to invest in a hemp backpack and cart around an entire set of Tupperware.
What I am doing as of today, however, is not using paper towels when I go to the bathroom. Although cramming a hand towel into my purse is a great idea in theory, it’s not so great in practice as my purse is small and cute. So the plan for now is to have a towel in my desk drawer at work and just use my hankette if I’m out at a restaurant, bar or shopping mall — as I don’t blow my nose often, I don’t think it’s too gross to do this… but is it? Well, if so, I’ll just wipe my hands on my pants. Wait, is that gross too?
Oh, and I’m not going to be using any hand dryers, either, because not only are they a waste of electricity but they take for-freaking-ever to get the job done.
I have to give my friend Melissa credit for suggesting this; she works in Ottawa (for the government — shh!) and says that by 10 a.m. the garbage in her office bathroom is already overflowing with paper towels. So Mel, I’m going for it, are you going to join me?
Photo of a 70% bamboo hand towel from Babaloo, a cool eco-company that even sells bamboo nappies!
March 20, 2007
Oh wait, it kind of does — the photo above is actually of a handkerchief tree (maybe it’s allergic to itself?)
Either way, I’ve decided that Kleenex, Puffs and other such disposable tissues blow. Granny had it right all along: Hankies are where it’s at (or, in my case, “hankettes” — made out of organic cotton).
So as of today, I’m kickin’ it old school and carrying one of these around in my purse. It’ll even have its own little pocket to prevent any all-night germ parties from spilling out onto my lipgloss and cell phone. I figure, as long as I keep them simple and stylish — instead of those sissy crocheted ones — and don’t attempt to blow other people’s noses with them, I should be able to maintain some vague semblance of a social life.
(Photo courtesy of samsheep on Flickr)