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Greening Gifts

Yesterday, i received a beautiful gift and when i saw that wrapping paper with the pineapples and the dark green ribbon, i was very excited because i knew immediately where it was from. I opened it to see this:

I’m a little salt cellar obsessed so this made my day! Now what to do with the wrapping? The box will be easy to reuse, as will the ribbon, but the tissue paper… i can use it as packing paper, but it’s too pretty for that.

As luck would have it, i had a few presents to send to my awesome co-blogger’s kids. Maybe we’ll talk about how green they are after they receive them, wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise!


This Week in Pictures

Looking back on this first week of 2013, I think it’s fair to say that, for me, quality sets the tone for this year.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn how to read a knit pattern chart. And to make socks.

Sock cuffLace Pattern

It’s a cotton-silk-bamboo blend so the yarn feels heavenly. I expect the socks will carry that on.

Learning to bake gluten-free cookies was next up… but I read the recipe incorrectly: 1 3/4 cups flour, not 1 1/4 cups! Everyone liked them anyway. I can’t help but think that those fabulous organic ingredients shine through even with such a misstep.

cookies turned to chocolate chip bark

Feeling a bit off with my cooking, I decided to cut my losses and try a new gluten-free restaurant. One Dish Cuisine. It was awesome!

My oldest drawing while we wait for our eats.

We stopped for some antiquing on the way and found this… I wish i’d bought it! I can picture my onions and potatoes and root veggies happily spending time here.

During a quiet evening at home, I decided to work on my socks. I saw a mistake and ended up making more mistakes until it was ripped out to almost the beginning. argh. [Head hanging] I remind myself that it’s better to redo something properly.

This morning, my wee one wanted to put names around his train track . These letters are fabulous: birch boards with fine grade sandpaper.

It was lovely.

What’s your green living sin?

In my family, we recycle, reuse, and repurpose; carry reusable bags everywhere; minimize plastic; eat organic; and do a million other things big and small that reflect our desire to both be healthier and live lightly on the planet. But there are two big weak spots that we will probably never get over:

1. Paper towels. My co-blogger Liz has eliminated paper towels from her life. I know it’s the best thing to do, and we recently moved into an apartment with a washer/dryer so we could totally make it work. I have upped our usage of cloth kitchen towels over the years. But for some jobs–wiping down the bathroom, cleaning up cat puke–there’s just no substitute for being able to clean up and then toss the mess and never think about it again. With a new baby and an aging cat who’s been throwing up and peeing all over the place, we’ve been going through a LOT of paper towels.

2. Disposable diapers. Again, we now have a washer/dryer, so there’s really no excuse for this. And I do think cloth diapers are super cute. I just…can’t do it. Don’t even get me started on how hard it would be to get my husband on board with this one.

What’s your own green living sin? Come on, we all have at least one!

How do we decide?

If we’re going to spend our hard earned $$ on something, I’m going to know what kind of company I’m supporting. Someone asked me today where I research companies before bringing their products into our home. I’m researching one right now, so here we go:

I came across the brand Back to Nature and wondered about it. I looked at the ingredients in the Multi-seed Rice Crackers and thought they looked ok:  BROWN RICE FLOUR, POTATO STARCH, SAFFLOWER OIL, SESAME SEEDS, SEA SALT, BLACK SESAME SEEDS, POPPY SEEDS, FLAX SEED. CONTAINS: SESAME SEED.  Remember, I said ok, not great.

Then I googled ‘Back to Nature brand’ and found some interesting info. It split off from Kraft in August. Well, ok – maybe it’s good that it split off from Kraft, but since this happened recently i figured that they’re probably still using the same practices as they did when they were owned by Kraft. I looked deeper and found out that Kraft still has a large minority share of the new parent company… hmm… starts to get interesting now and then I look a little further in that article and found that Kraft’s planning on splitting at the end of this year and this might be part of that move. Back to Nature, which is still (as far as I’m concerned) pretty much a Kraft company, seems to be positioning itself to go head-to-head with Annie’s, according to that article.

So, Back to Nature is a ‘no’ for our family. We don’t support Kraft because we don’t support GMOs and i’m exceptionally annoyed with companies giving loads of $$ to stop Proposition 37. And i like Annie’s well enough.

While I’m at it, here’s a list of Kraft foods – some are sold at Whole Foods. fyi.