An organic cotton nut sack (Day 316)…

January 10, 2008

produce bags

All right, now that I’ve gotten all box-related issues out of my system, it’s time to get into bags. No, not tote bags — I already wrote about those ages ago. I’m talking about these reusable organic cotton produce sacks.

In my various pledges not to use any new plastic and to buy as much in bulk as possible, I’ve run into a problem: Transporting things like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, beans and so on requires a ridiculous amount of preparation if I’m going to avoid using the disposable plastic bags. I don’t have any of my own and I hate reusing the flimsy ones from the store because they get all dusty and gross. I’ve tried bringing my own containers too, but they’re so bulky and often require weighing beforehand.

I really, really needed a better alternative. My friend Meghan told me a while ago she was going to make her own cloth produce bags, but it wasn’t easy finding material that hadn’t already been bleached up the wazoo, so I’m not sure what she’s doing now (Meg? Comment?).

Either way, when I found these cute little sacks online, I decided it was worth the splurge. And I can even write the code numbers for the produce on the bags themselves so I can avoid having to use those fussy twist-ties.

So the real question is: Who double-dog-dares me to ask the next cashier I meet if he can hold my nut sack for a second?

Image from

I’d like to buy a towel, please (Day 291)…

December 16, 2007


I’m all for using towels until they’re crusty and threadbare, but eventually there comes a time when you just have to replace them. A couple of my towels, for instance, were passed down to me by my parents a few years ago, and they’d already been using them for another few years. It was starting to feel like I was drying myself off with cardboard.

So I decided to get another towel, but this time made sure it fulfilled all my eco-criteria. It’s no surprise that good old Grassroots came through again with their organic cotton towels made by Coyuchi, the same company that made my bed linens.

As well as being chemical-free, these towels are also unbleached, which means there was no dioxin pollution in the manufacturing process, plus organic cotton lasts twice as long as regular cotton, and apparently gets softer with every wash (we’ll have to see about that, though – Toronto’s water can be pretty hard).

The only downside with this purchase is, a single bath towel sold for $40 plus tax, which is crazy. I mean, in the States that’s like $100 now, right?

Image courtesy of Grassroots

Sock it to me (Day 255)…

November 10, 2007


I’m five-foot-eleven but I have really small feet — they’re about a size six and a half, give or take — which means I tend to fall over a lot. But it’s also difficult finding socks that fit right; most often, the heel part scoots right up near my ankle and starts bulging out the back of my shoe.

This also means that the area where my actual heel lands gets threadbare pretty quickly. However, purchasing socks is one of my least favourite activities, so I usually wear holey ones until it’s embarrassing enough that I’m forced to buy a new pair (speaking of which, does anyone know where to get any made from organic cotton?).

And yet even if they’re dirty, unravelling and full of holes, old socks can still serve a purpose before heading to the landfill — as a few readers have pointed out to me this week, as well as these guys, they make perfect rags and polishing cloths. So my Simple Saturday move today will be to give all my socks a second chance and use them until stuff other than my feet is making them really stinky.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Reyes on Flickr

Bring Your Own Bib (Day 239)…

October 25, 2007

dental bib

This morning, I’m off to the dentist. I actually like my dentist, but the dental hygienist — not so much. Admittedly, I’m not the best patient: I had a tongue ring, I slacked off when it came to wearing my retainer, I broke my bottom braces and still haven’t bothered to get them fixed at the orthodontist, I don’t floss as much as I should, I eat too many sweets and now I’ve stopped using toothpaste with fluoride.

Still, that woman knows full well that I have extremely sensitive molars, and yet she continues to scrape away at them like some famished vampire, desperate to get her next meal from my poor gums (Ed note: Turns out, I had a different hygienist today, and she was much nicer — went gentle on the scraping, got the polishing over with quickly and was more than happy to accommodate my silly bib).

Anyway, a little while back, I wrote about how I was going to decline the paper gown at the doctor’s office. Well, now, I’m going to green my dental visits and BYOB — as in, bring my own bib. Rather than actually go out and buy one, however, I’ll just use my large organic cotton handkerchief, which they should be able to attach with those little metal alligator clips that go around your neck. At least if I’m going to make a bloody drooling mess everywhere, I can wipe myself up with something soft and unbleached.