Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What I Wouldn't Do for Mother Earth!

We had our major fundraising event today at work, and my office decided to host a "4 R's" Fair - where we asked people to bring in old books, CDs and 'knick knack items' for an auction, as well as hosting a craft fair. I don't know how or why i agreed to it - my workload is already demanding enough, but i offered to make some lunch bags and my 'Posie Pins.' We also sold cloth bags for grocery shopping and old patterns - and i of course had to leave with some of thoses!
We purposefully picked the theme '4 R's' - reduce, reuse, recycle and reconstruct - as it's something that some of us at work make a point of committing to. We may all do it in our own unique way, but i am of the belief that a little can go a long way.

In light of October 15's Blog Action Day, i also wanted to use this time to share with you what i do to take care of Mother Earth to say thanks to her. I also was invigorated by Creative Kismet's post and it inspired me to share as well:

1) I don't own a car and i purposefully have chosen not to - i bike when i can, take public transit and also have signed up with Autoshare (it's going great, by the way!). Here's a fun photo of us on our drive out to the country to go to the Pumpkin Patch last weekend:
2) I use cloth shopping bags as much as possible and also try hard to just fill my purse with things instead of getting a plastic bag if i (unfortunately) forgot to carry a cloth bag that day.
3) I use the Green Bin that's offered through the city - and can't wait to own a house so that i can do even more composting
4) I try to buy from Farmer's Markets, and Ontario specific foods as much as possible, as well as commit to following an organic diet that also is fair trade based (especially my chocolate!). Another good idea is to buy thrifted things and take unwanted used items to donation centres instead of taking them to the dump.
5) As a vegan, one of my core beliefs is that the meat industry is especially bad at exploiting the land, as well as being based in a structure that uses a hiearachy of class (food for thought: what we may take for granted here others in the Global South barely get access to).
6) I reduce (use old magazines for collage work and then eventually recycle them), reuse (i.e. plastic bags and bins when i buy things in them, envelopes), recycle (tin cans, beer bottles, paper, etc), and reconstruct (old tees into new things)
7) I am trying to use glass containers as much as possible for my food - Mason jars are great for lunches at work and i especially use glass bottles for water (just thinking about plastic in my food these days grosses me out!)
8) I use natural products as much as possible - namely cleaning supplies like dish or laundry soap, as well as make-up lines
9) I use vintage cloth hankies instead of paper tissues and love carrying them around each day - a bit of class and colour doesn't hurt! Cutting down on disposable things like cutlery and paper napkins too can really help!
10) Flick off!

And for all of you readers, please read on if you want to win a prize!
Of course, as my apartment will prove, i'm also a lover of 'knick knacks', though i think they're the bain of J's existence. So, at the fair today, i couldn't resist the chance to buy at least 1 thing! I walked away with this adorable and handy dish - and i think it's also a great way to take care of the environment. What's the catch? The first person who can correctly identify it's original purpose gets a Posie Pin as a prize!

Just put your guess in the comments page and i'll contact you if you win...

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Anonymous ellie said...

I'm going to guess shaving bowl. And if I'm right, I'm going to suggest that you name the photos more sneakily for your next contest ;)

9:30 AM  
Blogger jen said...

i noticed that too!

it's really pretty.

9:55 AM  
Blogger vania said...

Oh my goodness - i'm such a goof! Good investigative work you two! Isn't it a neat little bowl, though? J has one two and it's fantastic - we use soap and nice razors instead of buying disposable ones or using things like Neet. Well, Ellie - you won! I'll contact you to arrange how to mail a pin to you - Congrats!

10:51 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

Shaving bowl? I wouldn't have guessed. I thought the holes were to put flowers in but couldn't guess what that tube on the side was for. Lucky Ellie!

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Hi - I'm always looking for new ideas to help out the environment and to aid in better health at the same time.

I, too, have also been lessening my use of plastic water bottles but don't you find mason jars a bit to heavy to lug around with you to work everyday? I use plastic to carry my food to work but always remove the food from the plastic and use ceramic dishes to warm up the food in the microwave.

Also, if you have a cold and reuse the same germ-laden cloth hankie all day doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose? Wouldn't you rather use disposable tissues that you can throw out afterwards? I guess I'm a bit of a germ phobic :)

Finally, do you find that when you use soap to shave instead of shaving cream/foam that you tend to cut yourself more? It happens to me often with soap, so at the moment I'm using shaving foam which isn't really environmentally sound but it gets the job done painlessly.


9:26 PM  
Blogger vania said...

Melanie - thanks for your comments, and i just wanted to respond to some of them. Mainly the one about using mason jars. I don't find them any more heavy than plastic and i like the peace of mind it gives me to stay away from plastics in my food. Companies now make glass 'tupperware' products too, for this reason. Oh, and i haven't noticed a difference when i shave with soap - i use natural soaps and the lather works wonders.
Thanks for your questions!

12:33 PM  

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