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2007.07.05

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Julie

I'm cutting out juice boxes, much to the dismay of my 3-year-old. It's just waaay too much packaging. We already have a few reusable cups with lids and straws, so I'm going to start buying juice in the 64-oz. bottles.

drunken monkey

We also need some more storage containers, some that are easy to bring along to work. We eat a lot more fruit when it's cut up and put into serving sizes, ready to grab and take with us in the morning. Also, we always need something to put leftovers in. I usually just get the Ziploc containers, but maybe it'd be better to invest in something a little sturdier. Lisa, you've put in a good word for Tupperware; does anyone have any experience with the Ikea offerings? Also, can anyone tell me if this this thing actually works? We're eating a lot more greens, but they refuse to stay crisp in my fridge.

This month, inspired by both Lisa's efforts to reduce corn consumption and my wish to reduce calorie consumption, I'm going to cut my intake of high-fructose corn syrup. Hopefully to nil. I'll also be reducing my boyfriend's intake of it, because I do the groceries, but I probably won't mention that to him. In fairness, he has recently replaced his Coke with carbonated options made with natural (or mostly natural) ingredients, without any nagging from me.

I'll also be trying to reduce our meat consumption a little, probably by one meal a week. We'll see if that gets vetoed. Is Rachael Ray the devil everyone seems to think she is? She has a book of veggie recipes, and they look like they're doable for someone like me -- not that familiar with veggie food, not a fan of tofu, not a great cook. I am aware, however, that she is deeply uncool.

Next month I think I will try to reduce my consumption of goods made in China. I thought about doing that this month, but I figured I shouldn't over-burden myself. Also, I suspect that most of what I buy from China is clothing, and I won't be shopping for that this month because it's between seasons, so that's not much of a challenge. But this month, I'll keep track of what I've already got that's from China, just to get an idea of what I should be watching for.

Auntie Maim

drunken monkey, I don't know about that product, but I've had great luck storing lettuce (usually just romaine) by washing, spinning to dry, and putting it in a big Tupperware lined with paper towels. It stays crisp for a week or more and I just pull out handfuls to make salads. I live in a very dry environment, though, and that probably makes a difference.

This month, I'm reusing my friend's old computer and my old printer by donating them to a program called StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology), which trains K-12 students to refurbish the equipment and then donates the refurbished machines to non-profits. I'll also reduce my food waste by limiting the amounts I buy and using ingredients by what needs to be eaten rather than what I feel like eating, and find several recycling bins on campus so I'm not tempted to trash recyclables rather than carry them around with me all day to bring home.

drunken monkey

Thanks for the suggestion! I think I'll try to find some Tupperware on Craigslist or eBay, and try that out with spinning the salad and using paper towels.

Jecca

I am bummed that I discovered I can't take mass transit to work. I finally looked up train times, and the very earliest one only gets me within 7 miles of work, 20 minutes after my start time. The last departure leaves from that same location (7 miles away) just 11 minutes after my quitting time. Rats.

On the bright side, I'm reducing energy consumption by using clotheslines this summer instead of the dryers at the laundromat.

Lisa S.

DM, I know I sound like a cult member or something but seriously -- you will pay too much for your Tupperware, and you will be like "DAMN, I just paid how much for plastic boxes?" and then ... you will use the stuff for DECADES. My mom is still using the sandwich boxes and plastic tumblers with lids that she bought in 1971.

Jecca, I envy you your clothesline! We just don't have the weather for it now. In September or October, maybe ...

Becky

Oh, Tupperware is awesome -- my mother's tupperware is in avocado green, harvest gold, and orange, which should give you an idea of the age. The lids do start warping at around 30 years, but that's pretty damn good, I think.

I'm continuing with my previous months of reducing meat consumption, reducing HFCS intake, and reusing grocery bags. I haven't managed to find some good sturdy canvas bags for the groceries yet, so I've just been reusing the paper bags, which only last a few trips. But I'm sure a booth will sell them at the upcoming town art fair, and I should really ask at the library.

In previous posts you asked about how our family support is in our RRR efforts. My husband isn't cutting back his meat consumption -- nor did I expect him to -- but he's been carefully checking ingredient lists for HFCS and other additives. He sometimes forgets the grocery bags when it's his week to go to the store, but he's been making up for it by refusing shopping bags elsewhere. On the other hand, my mother thinks I'm crazy about the HFCS.

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