SWF seeks hippie with full set of teeth (Day 180)…

August 27, 2007

green singles

In case you haven’t noticed from the numerous posts revolving around my cat, my parents and sometimes my friend Meghan — I’m single. It’s OK, I’m totally cool with it. I’m usually a serial monogamist, and often don’t abandon any relationship until I’ve got someone else waiting in the wings, but this time I just did it and truly enjoyed having my own space, playing my own music and eating my own food on my own schedule.

But it’s been almost a year now, so I’ve decided to get back into the dating scene. Part of this challenge, though, is finding others who are attractive and care about the environment, who understand my aversion to plastic and my need for organic tubers but won’t ream me out every time I need to rent a Zip car for groceries. During the course of this bike trip, I managed to get over my aversion to vegans, but I still don’t want to go out with anyone who thinks wine and Advil are the devil’s work, anyone who wears Guatemalan pants, or anyone named Serenity.

So I decided to green my dating slowly and carefully, beginning with GreenSingles.com, which says it’s for the “environmental, vegetarian and animal rights community.” I created a profile, which you can probably find with some digging, and which is probably the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done in my life. Then I started looking around at all the men on it and saw that in all of Toronto there were about 12, and maybe two of them were near my age. Even when I expanded my search to all of Ontario, it still kept offering me nothing but Owen Wilson lookalikes who declared their religion as “On a spiritual journey.”

I’ve also been trying to attend more green-themed events, such as an anti-styrofoam party a while back at the Gladstone Hotel or the more recent Bicycle Film Festival. As well, I’m hoping to meet some cool people through the Toronto Environmental Volunteers group and various other community gatherings from farmers markets to vegetarian food fairs.

We’ll see how it goes. Mostly, I’m just hoping whoever I end up with can not only pronounce “vermicomposting” but has heard of modern inventions like deodorant and floss.

A plastic fork in the road (Day 29)…

March 29, 2007


Since I’ve already abolished styrofoam here on Planet Thistle, I might as well get rid of its evil twin — plastic cutlery — while I’m at it. The more I pay attention to the litter along the side of the road, the more I notice that there’s almost always plastic forks, knives, spoons and plates amongst it.

Unfortunately, while there are multiple alternatives to styrofoam, such as biodegradable corn-based containers like the NaturoPack, there haven’t been many innovations on the disposable cutlery front (except maybe this one from Hong Kong or this weird orange-peel-and-carbon-dioxide one).

Personally, I don’t get take-out that often. But I understand that most people want their regular Friday night pizza-and-a-movie, or in the case of my parents for the past 10 years, Saturday night Thai food. And then there are those days when you’re sick and all you want is a hot miso soup from the sushi place next-door and you sure as heck aren’t going to make it yourself or sit in the restaurant sipping it alone.

So here’s my solution: Carry chopsticks at all times. Yes, it sounds silly, but they don’t take up much room in a purse (or murse), they’re not as sharp as a knife and fork, and when it comes to the spoon — well, pretty much anything you can ladle with a spoon you can sip directly from the bowl. In fact, you can even get little portable chopsticks like these, so if you’re out at some posh soirée and all you’re carrying is a dainty sequined clutch, you could still cram ’em in there for when you stop by Harvey’s at 3 a.m. with Bellini breath and a mad poutine craving. You know you will.

Sure, greasy fries slathered in gravy and cheese curds may not be the easiest food to consume with chopsticks, but with practice it’s totally doable. And I figure, if I’m really struggling, I’ll just use my hands — besides, what else are opposable thumbs good for?

Photo courtesy of drp on Flickr

I bemoan styrofoam (Day 3)…

March 3, 2007



Check out this photo from dotpolka on Flickr (above) — I wouldn’t be surprised if you opened up the container and found an evil “Mwahahaha!” on the inside, because really, as we all learned in grade school, CFCs do not make for a nice day at all.

The creepiest thing is when you get halfway through your General Tso chicken and realize the hot oil has almost burned its way through to the kitchen table itself — which obviously says something bad, either about the food you just ate or the chemicals that just made their way into the food you just ate. Either way: sickatating!

So as you might have guessed: For my third greenifying move, I’m giving up styrofoam. If you read the “About this blog” column on the right-hand side here, you’ll notice that I started this whole challenge after attending an anti-styrofoam party at the Gladstone hotel in Toronto. Well, I’ll admit, it got me excited (and it wasn’t just all the eco-cuties pedalling stationary energy bikes to light up the room, either. Although, I won’t lie: that helped … immensely).

The folks hosting it were from Get It To Go Green, who are trying to convince local restaurants to switch to NaturoPacks, which are made out of corn, sugar cane and potatoes. They look identical to styrofoam and can carry just as much weight and heat, but decompose quickly and completely. Cities like San Francisco — home of the best damn Chinese food EVER, by the way — have already jumped on board, so there’s no reason the 416 can’t follow suit.

The hardest part will be when I get a craving for Gandhi‘s butter chicken roti or a Dragon Roll C at Sushi Inn or a Green Goddess salad at Fresh, all of which come in styrofoam (or sometimes foil) packaging. I guess this means I’ll have to come prepared with a tote bag and Tupperware, and check my embarrassment at the door.