Almost all chewing gum is made with plastic, plastic which hides in a secret ingredient called “gum base.” The few gums that don’t contain plastic as an ingredient come in plastic packaging. Finally, there’s a U.S. company — Simply Gum — offering a completely natural, GMO-free chewing gum made with organic ingredients and without any plastic gum base or plastic packaging.
Simply Gum is made from only 6 ingredients: organic raw cane sugar, all natural chicle (rubber from a tree), cinnamon, organic vegetable glycerin, organic sunflower lecithin, and organic rice flour.… Read the rest
Okay, before you read my ice cream rant, please sign the petition asking Trader Joe’s to reduce its plastic produce packaging. After my own produce packaging rant last year, I didn’t have time to start a campaign, but luckily others at the Plastic Pollution Coalition did!
Okay… the ice cream…
Usually, my home ice cream consumption looks something like this…… Read the rest
How do you choose between fairtrade organic sugar in plastic packaging and conventional sugar from bulk bins? You buy maple syrup or honey instead!
Did you know that Saturday was International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day? Well, it was. Unfortunately, since I’m trying to avoid ice cream packaging waste (All ice cream containers are lined with plastic), I didn’t have any in the house. And I could tell my freezer was feeling a little sad.
So, remembering Steve L.’s comment here last week, I called Ici, one of the awesome ice cream shops in my neighborhood, to find out if they would handpack a pint in my own container. “No,” they said. “We can only use our own containers. But our containers are compostable.” Not good enough. I was looking for a zero waste experience.
So I tried Tara’s Organic, the amazing ice cream shop I wrote about on this very blog a year and a half ago. I called and asked. The answer: An enthusiastic, “YES. Of course you can!” So I did.
… Read the rest
Hershey’s. Nestle. Santa Cruz Organic. Ah!Laska. Dagoba. What do these syrups have in common? (Besides some form of chocolate?) Some are conventional. Some are organic. Fair trade. But all of them are packaged in plastic squeeze bottles. How can products can be labeled organic when they are packaged in plastic? Shouldn’t chemicals from plastic packaging be considered in organic certification?
Well anyway, Michael and I need our chocolate syrup in order to be happy. So I found a very simple recipe and have tweaked it to perfection.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe
1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened) (Purchased from bulk bin in my own container.)
2 cups sugar (From bulk bins — I use 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 granulated sugar.)
1/4 teaspoon salt (Bulk bin.)
1 cup cold water (Tap, of course!)
1 tablespoon vanilla (Glass bottle with small plastic cap.)
Combine cocoa and sugar and blend until all lumps of cocoa are gone. Add water… Read the rest
I’d never heard of Amish Friendship Bread, apparently the chain letter of baking, before receiving this bag of starter from my co-worker Jo Anne last week. For those of you who are as ignorant as I was, it’s a yeast starter that each person nurtures and “feeds” (adding flour, sugar, and milk on days 6 and 10) for 10 days, then, after quadrupling the original amount, divides it up, making bread with one part and passing the remaining three to friends who will repeat the process (and hopefully not give it right back to you.)
The thing is, the starter recipe that’s been circulating through my office requires that each portion be placed in its own Ziploc bag. Each day, the starter is kneaded through the bag until day 10. But certainly the Amish people (if they are indeed the ones who came up with this recipe… that fact is apparently in doubt according to a few Internet sources) wouldn’t have started out using plastic… Read the rest
Michael was terribly excited last week to tell me that a new shop had opened in our neighborhood combining two of our biggest passions: ice cream and zero waste. “You have to come see and bring your camera so you can write about it!” He’s not often so emphatic about what I post on my blog, so I figured this must be serious!
We joined up with a couple of other ice cream-lovin’ friends on Sunday and headed up the street to Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, which just opened a week ago on College Avenue (near where Safeway wants to build its mega monstropolis.) And sure enough, the boy was right! The ice cream is awesome, certified organic, but even better, the shop offers only durable or compostable containers and utensils.
The spoons are metal (for eating in the shop) or made from potato starch (for taking to go.)
Even the little tasting spoons are made from metal.
The bowls and containers are either durable dishes, like this one that … Read the rest
Our Temescal farmer’s market was beautiful this Sunday, all the colors and crowds alive with the joy of summer. So many fruits to sample and enjoy on the spot. And, sadly, still so much plastic in evidence… bags & containers. Last year I wrote about plastic at the farmer’s market and the effort to educate vendors and patrons about alternatives. This Sunday, one vendor left me pleasantly surprised.
Blue Chair Fruit Company produces extraordinary jams and preserves that are packaged in glass jars with metal lids. That’s fine enough. But what caused me to stop at their table were the tiny metal tasting spoons they were using to give samples. While other vendors of prepared foods (including the women hawking her pesto spreads in the next booth) used disposable plastic spoons or even (to a lesser degree) disposable compostable spoons, Blue Chair used durable spoons that would be washed and reused.
I chatted with Rachel… Read the rest