Get a green move on (Day 324)…

January 18, 2008


Only 12 more days until I move out of my condo and into my new house! Oh crap, that’s really soon, isn’t it?

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of stuff, but there’s no way in heck I’m moving it myself, so it was time to look around for some professional movers. I’ve heard about a few green-minded companies, but a trusted source strongly recommended Your Friend With a Cube Van (that’s one of their employees, looking hysterically awkward, in the photo above).

The way I see it is, they may not have hybrid trucks or biodegradable packing peanuts, but they’re local, they’re independent, they have a cute name and they’re going to help me move everything in the greenest way possible (I’ll be explaining the rules about tape, Styrofoam, etc. in depth).

On top of this, I think I get some bonus points for moving less than a block away — my new house is literally right around the corner; four digits of my postal code are even the same. So this means I can probably walk a lot of stuff over on foot or use a little trolley (crossing Queen Street might pose a challenge, especially going over the streetcar tracks, but it’s doable).

Photo courtesy of YFWCV

A pox on your boxes! (Day 315)…

January 9, 2008

boring box

So, maybe it’s just me and my ridiculous sense of humour, but for whatever reason I find this store in Toronto called The Box Spot completely hysterical. I can’t help but laugh every time I walk by it. Part of it is the name — I mean, come on, The Box Spot? — but another part of it is the fact that there is an entire store devoted to boxes (two stores, in fact!). It reminds me of that episode of The Simpsons, too, when Bart’s class goes on the painfully underwhelming field trip to a box factory.

I also wonder if the box manufacturers ship their boxes inside other boxes, and whether The Box Spot might then reuse those shipping boxes as part of its merchandise? Anyway, as some of you might recall, I wrote in December (sometime around Boxing Day) about not buying any new storage containers, including but not exclusive to boxes. However, now I’m preparing to move from my condo into a house, and I think shipping and/or moving boxes count as a whole other category.

So today’s change, then, will be to only use leftover boxes from the liquor store or from friends and family who have just moved and still have some lying around (like my super assistant Eva). I’m also not going to be using any tape during the move, nor will I be purchasing special padding or bubble wrap. All supplies will be used and reusable.

Now unless I can think of some other excuse to say the word “box” again, without referencing the infamous Saturday Night Live skit (oops, too late), I think I’ll leave it at that.

Boring photo of a boring box courtesy of this website

A sticky blessing in disguise (Day 314)…

January 8, 2008


A little while back, I gave up tape. Now, this isn’t something that affects me on a regular basis — I don’t spend entire days jonesing for a hit of Duct, or find myself with mountains of open boxes that need immediate closing and can only be sealed with sweet, sweet masking tape.

However, I did need to stick some photos into an album and was a bit stuck, myself. I had no tape, but I didn’t want to buy glue because it doesn’t seem very eco-friendly (it always comes in a plastic tube, and aren’t there horses’ hooves in there or something?).

Then, while at Grassroots over the weekend, I saw this cute little aluminum tin on the shelf, a product called Coccoina (cutest website ever, by the way — the English version leaves something to be desired — specifically, coherent English — but that actually makes it even cuter, if you ask me). The label was written in Italian, however I presumed from words like fotografie and ufficio that this here was glue, and because it was sold at Grassroots, it had to be natural (at the very least, it’s solvent-free, acid-free and doesn’t come wrapped in plastic).

I unscrewed the top, took a sniff and was pleasantly surprised by the aroma of almond. Unfortunately, this pleasant sensation quickly turned to skepticism as I thought, “OK, they probably just poured a bunch of almond oil and wax into a jar and called it glue,” so I asked the cashier if she’d tried it. She said no, it just came in, but she’d heard good things (yeah, yeah). For $8, though, I decided it was worth a shot — I did, after all, need to uffix my fotografies into that album.

Apparently, this stuff has been around since 1927. The website — in its funny English — says it became popular when it was first advertised on the radio like so: “Coccoina, Coccoina … It is not a drug but a solid glue that amazes and arouses enthusiasm in those who use it.” Er, yeah. Sorta like how Quebec has been “providing emotions since 1534,” right?

Well, I guess they were sort of right, because it did amaze me: this stuff is super-sticky, not at all gloppy, and the little brush that comes with it fits neatly back inside the container when you’re finished.

Furthermore, according to Treehugger — who, of course, have already written about this — it even tastes like marzipan, so paste-eaters, rejoice!

Tape stucks (Day 276)…

December 1, 2007


This post is dedicated to my dear friend Kelly, who’s currently working across the pond in London. Things Kelly loves include Old Dutch potato chips, The Drowsy Chaperone and wearing fake glasses. Things he hates include peanuts (he’s allergic), conversations about cat pee and/or poo, and the sensation of tape on his skin.

Well, he’ll be happy to know that I’ve decided not to use any more tape, whether masking or Scotch, no matter how handy it would be in wrapping gifts this holiday season. Instead, I figure I’ll just buff up on my origami skills and try some artful folding techniques.

Granted, I’ve already pledged to not use any paper when wrapping presents unless it’s scrap from around the house, but still, I think this makes for a good Simple Saturday change.

Image courtesy of these dudes.