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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:33 PM
Original message
Ten things you should never buy again
http://www.coopamerica.org/individual/marketplace/IMUST...

We are so used to convenience goods we rarely think about their negative impact. Yet everything you do and buy makes a difference. Here are 10 things you should never buy again and responsible alternatives for each.
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Township75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Cool, thanks for the link, I sent it to some people*
*
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loftycity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Found a good green Plastic Wrap Dispenser
Made in Saskatoon Canada. It's called E-Zee Wrap. You buy the Dispenser once and they just buy 1000 ft refills maybe once a year.
I haven't had to buy one paper box with metal blades for almost 10 years. Plus we keep the folks up in Saskatoon--employed for good wages.
Here's their site www.EZeeWrap.com

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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm already doing all of these, except the paper towels....
I don't have enough old scrap clothes and I'm not sure washing rags is too enviromentally efficient either....Oh, and I'm lazy! LOL

Seriously though, I think this is a great list...
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I'm too much of a germ freak
to use cloth or sponges. But, I do try to use my paper towels as sparingly as possible. The kind that let you tear off smaller pieces helps.

The shoe one I already do because I hate cheap shoes. Not only are they bad for your feet, but they are more likely to be made in sweat shop conditions, although I know expensive shoes aren't exempt from that. I didn't realize it was an environmentally sound thing to do as well.

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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. I'm a germ freak too
So I use a fresh one every time I have a mess. I store a pile of them where I used to keep my paper towels. It really is just as clean. Being a germ freak, you should know to think twice about using ANY manufactured product before washing it. My two-week factory job taught me this.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 05:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
54. SAS shoes.. well made (but pricey)
They last FOREVER.. and their company owner gave each employee $1000 for EACH year they had been with the company for a Christmas bonus.. They are made in the USA..

They also make great purses too.. (I have sevearl, and they will outlast me )
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dusty64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
31. Thats what I thought
too. With five pets I don't think I'd function well without them, messes everywhere. I could and do not use the rest of that stuff. There is a paper towel that uses recycled paper that I always try to buy, its called Green Forest.
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spotbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #31
43. Newspaper is a great substitute for paper towels.
The only reason I still subscribe to the local paper is to use it around the house, the bird needs it. Newspaper is also a great way to clean up doggie accidents and windows.
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 05:37 AM
Response to Reply #43
56. I used to use newspaper
with my birds but I heard that the ink could be toxic to them, so I get white shelf paper and cut that and use it for liners in their cage.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
51. I'm off paper towels...
I use rags for just about everything. I acually find it easier than paper towels. It's also just as sanitary. Just keep a bunch in a drawer and use liberally, then toss them in the wash when they get dirty.

Washing rags is easy. Just throw them in the wash with the whites and you're done. You use just about the same amount of water/soap.

I throw my sponges in the dishwasher every couple of days. Sanitizes them and keeps them smelling fresh. Doing that makes them last 3-4 times as long.
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
55. Yeah, me too
though I do try to minimize my use of paper towels. I usually tear them in half because I don't need to use such a big piece for a little job and would feel guilty throwing a huge sheet of paper towel away.
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IrateCitizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
4. Hey sangh0/sangh9/sangha...
Which one is it again? Are you three different posters or all just split-personalities of the same? ;-)

Haven't seen you around in a while. Good to know you're still alive and kickin'.

Nice link, BTW. I became a member of Co-op America this year and love their newsletters. I was never aware of many of the things on this list though -- I'll be certain to print it out and take it home!
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I had suspicion I'd see you here
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 02:47 PM by sangh0
knowing your interest in simple living. And thanks for the kind words.
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Edge Donating Member (728 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't buy most of those products.
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 03:03 PM by Edge
I do use paper towels. I should really stop buying them anyways just for the fact that they come from trees and whatnot.

Otherwise, the only other product I use is plastic bags, and that's only to collect rock/mineral samples when I'm out in the field.

Thanks for the list. I'm going to forward it to my family.

Edit: Hi mom. :)
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. Poor quality shoes
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 03:00 PM by skypilot
These days you have to be really careful with shoes--at least men's shoes. You have to know just what to look for to make sure that you are getting a decent shoe. I bought a pair of shoes from J.Crew several years ago. They cost me $100.00 and they didn't last me a full year. The first time I tripped on the sidewalk the sole of one shoe started to peel away from the upper. Also, the heels were hollow, which I found out once they'd worn down past a certain point. This is not what I expected after paying $100.00. It was a valuable learning experience though. I haven't been back in J.Crew since then.
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CalebHayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. Get Vans. Skating shoes are very thick. They will last a while...
But they are made in sweatshops... That's why I quit wearing them.
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
34. The vans I'm wearing say "Made in China"...
Now, I'm pissed, because even though I'm not a board boy, these are the most comfortable sneakers I've worn. Timberlands are my alternate shoes, and I was told that they are sweat-shop free.

Anything as good as Vans but made by people who can eat and sleep decently, without being raped daily, just for my comfort?
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CalebHayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #34
49. Yeah, I quit wearing Vans because they are made in sweatshops.... but
now I wear "montrails" and they are not near as comfortable. Thats okay though because I know that an adult made them.
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Delarage Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
29. "A poor man can't afford cheap shoes" n/t
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Muddleoftheroad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
33. Allen Edmonds
Makes fantastic dress shoes. They cost a lot, but last forever. I just get them resoled and reheeled. (Yes, I can be a cheap bastard sometimes. But the shoes are great.)
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. i guess my teak styrofoam cup and paper towel dispenser...
is a real museum piece, eh? ;)
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. You can have my paper towels when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers
I use paper towels a lot, especially cleaning the bathroom. (Who wants all those germs/body hair/etc on a sponge or cloth towel? :puke:

The other stuff I'll go along with.

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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
30. It's easy to clean a bathroom
without getting hairs and stuff on your cloth. Before you do anything, take a piece of damp toilet paper and wipe off anything you see. Dust the countertops. Then sweep or vacuum the bathroom floor. Then start cleaning. I use two rags for the toilet, two for the tub, two for the sink, and two for the mirrors. The first rag gets most of the nasty stuff, the second gets the rest. When you're done, you can use a big towel to give things a nice shine.

I don't believe I just gave you my bathroom cleaning techniques.
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. I only use one rag...you need to clean more often.
;-)...I do the sink/vanity first, bathtub second, and toilet last, rinsing it out liberally throughout. There's no real need to use 8 cloths. I use one dry one for the mirrors. Easy!

Also, I use this "Hope's streak free" glass cleaner that I can get at Bed Bath & Beyond...it has no ammonia in it, and it works as good as Windex. Also, get Folex for floor stains. That won't harm your animals.

Costco has a big pack of white terry cloths of about 100 (I think for restaurants) and I've re-washed them for the last year or so, and I still have half the pack to go through.

For environmental laundry usage, either use Ivory Snow, or Dreft. Those are just plain soaps, without chemical softeners, or abrasives. Anything that says "detergent" is telling the truth...it's got chemicals.

I can't give up my Ajax or Clorox though.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
42. My name is Karenina
and I was a typical American GERM FREAK until I got OUT of the U.S.
Thanx for the laugh!
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Buffler Donating Member (325 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
11. I will continue to buy some of the things
Styrofoam cups. Couldnt tell you the last time I bought them, have no need for them.

Paper Towels. Sorry, I'm gonna keep buying them and using them.

Bleached coffee filters. I have both bleached and unbleached. Sometimes only one of them is available when I go to the store.

Over packaged food. Most of the food I buy is bought in bulk as the site suggests.

Teak & Mahognany. One of my humidors is teak and I love it. And I like my furniture that is made of mahognany.

Pest killers. I have had zero success in attempting to control insects and the such in my lawn and garden without using these.

Glass Cleaners. Sorry, I like my windex. Though they are right, newspaper does a lot better job than you would ever think. One thing I suggest people do for cleaning counters and the such though is use a bleach water solution. Not only cleans but dissenfects.

Plastic bags. I like my ziplock bags and will continue to use them.

High Octane gas. I use 87. There is no need to use higher in my car. And those who buy the higher octane are just wasting money.

Poor quality shoes. I bought my first new pair of sneakers in 3 years 2 weeks ago.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. How come life Insurance isn't on that list?
What right does one have to take away Self Reliance from another? Isn't that what one inherits when one is a recipient of a Life Insurance pay off?
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Well...Greener than I thought
The only things I'm "guilty" of using off that list are plastics and paper towels. And I get almost 5 weeks from a roll of towels and I use about a foot of saran wrap 4 days a week to wrap my sandwich in.
I bought one of those wire baskets for the coffee pot YEARS ago. It's out-lived several Mr. Coffees
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Speaking of which...
...the quality thing they mention regarding shoes applies to home appliances too.

For example, a Bunn coffeemaker has already lasted longer than my last three or four coffeemakers combined. The latter are usually made of crap plastic, built to Wal*Mart's price standards, and burn out in a year or so.

I have gone through three vacuum cleaners in as many years for the same reason - they're shoddily made pieces of crap that are designed to break in a year to two. The last one I had was the kind with the plastic cup that you empty and a bunch of filters you have to clean (or replace) periodically. Whoever thought that up should be shot! Royal pain in the ass, and if you DON'T clean them, you can't suck anything, and you can forget about your vacuum lasting the year. I bought a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner a couple months ago that's made of STEEL with a CLOTH bag, and can suck a bowling ball through a garden hose. I'm not going back to Wal*Mart specials ever again.

Just wait until my microwave oven conks out on me, and it will (I give it a year). See if I replace it with another piece of crap from Wal*Mart. I want one like Burger King uses. No plastic nothing and built to last until the place burns down.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
14. I already follow most of these
I can't see me giving up paper towels and chemical pest killers though. I have too many phobias to give them up. I find sponges and dish towels to be germ colonys. And If I see one insect, I can't sleep at night. I've never had any success with organic pest killers.
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
16. I like it
I'm almost afraid to admit how many of these things I overconsume
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Frank Rose Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
17. Question about paper towels v. rags. What is the total impact
on the earth with washing the rags in the usual way(electric washer/dryer)? We use both, depends on how gross the spill is. I've found so many things, that when I think I'm making the environmental choice, I start to think about the alternative and wonder if it's better. The paper towel thing plus: Motorcycle v. car: the bike burns less gas, but doesn't have the anti-polution devices that a car does. Paper v. plastic bags. Electric hand dryers v. paper in public restrooms. Sending a giant truck to pick up recyclables has always amazed me, but on the whole I think recycling is a positive thing.
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. Hi Frank Rose!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Jane Roe Donating Member (567 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
18. Question about the coffee filters:
Do you need to wash them each time you make coffee?

If so, I wonder if the wash water represents more or less environmental damage than an unbleached coffee filter.

Also, how come tea doesn't seem to come in unbleached tea bags?
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spotbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
44. Buy loose tea and a reusable tea steeper.
There is no comparison if you like tea anyway.
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CalebHayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
19. That's cool, I sent it out to some of my greener Friends.
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ButterflyBlood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
22. just another comment about the higher octane gas
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 04:40 PM by ButterflyBlood
buying higher octane gas than neccesary is also a complete waste of money. there are no advantages. a higher octane doesn't make your car faster, run smoother or more fuel effecient, it simply lessens the chances of preignition. the minimum octane is all you need to keep preignition below hazardous levels, therefore there is no reason to buy higher.
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treepig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. high octane gas is no doubt a waste of money
but i believe the claim that it adds pollution to the environment is not correct (any longer). in the past, sulfur-containing additives were added to gasoline as octane boosters but these compounds were set to be phased out by this year (i wouldn't be surprised if this regulation was negated by bush et al., but if so, it was done quietly). now, gasoline manufacturers claim that their premium grades are less polluting than "regular" (no doubt just to get you to buy it, but i also doubt they would be making these claims if they were blatantly false).
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fumetti Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Not to contest your points...
...but oil corporations (or corporations of any kind) have yet to let "blatant falseness" stop them from making a claim!
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
23. Residential consumer waste is so minimal compared to industrial waste....
Recycling and green living is pretty minimal and mostly just for show in many cases.

Paper Towels

Paper towels waste forest resources, landfill space and your money.

Buy dishtowels or rags, using paper towels most sparingly.

Turn old clothes into rags; never buy paper towels.


Ya right, me and six other people in the country would do this. Even if 100 million consumers did it, it would still be a minimal contribution compared to the amount of industrial paper towel use (mall mathrooms must be sparkling after all.....).

Chemical Glass Cleaners

These contain ammonia, a harmful poison and unnecessary ingredient.

Buy biodegradable, non-toxic, all purpose cleaners.

Use white vinegar mixed with water, one part each. Try newspaper instead of paper towels - you'll be surprised!


Not gonna happen. First of all, white vinigar doesn't clean for shit. Second of all, the ammonia is a VERY NECISARY ingredient in Windex. It sublimates and creates the streak-free surface that Windex advertises. And again, if 100 million consumers cleaned their kitchens (poorly) with vinigar, you would still have an unimagineable amount of industrial windex use.

Plastic bags and Wrap

Each year, America produces 10 lbs. of these for every person on earth. Plastic is important and has made many products safer, but Americans use far too much,

Buy sturdy freezer bags and rinse and reuse these and other plastic bags.

Use tupperware- like containers for leftovers, lunch sandwiches - everything.


I agree that using less plastic wrap is a good idea, and can easily done by every American, but plastic bags being re-used? Hardly! Rinsing out plastic bags doesn't clean them, and well, it's pretty dangerous. Which brings us to industrial use again...... Supermarket delis use more plastic wrap than the consumers they serve combined. Wrapping and re-wrapping meats and cheeses is a huge waste of plastic wrap, but will not be stopped until a way to keep meets and cheese from drying out is devised that doesn't waste plastic wrap.

Not that I'm against these in theory, the others listed I have no problem with, just that saying people should use vinigar to clean glass and wash out plastic bags, well it's absurd, and really not helping the movement.

Now on the subject of the almost complete lack of industrial recycling......... Curbside recycling is more of a feel-good effort than an actual help to the environment. And just like the examples above: until INDUSTRY does its part, residential efforts are almost a complete waste.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. partial agreement (long)
Yes one person can only make a dent, but if 10,000 people make that same little dent, and then 10,000,000 the results add up.

I do agree that most pollution comes from industrial sources - but how much of that industry involves making things we want rather than need?

I have a much stronger motive for living light: my down runs its own utilities. Because of California's prop 13, when it needs money it raises garbage rates. Since I'm now paying as much for the minimum 1 can as I did for my entire combined water+gas+electric+sewer+garbage 15 years ago there's an incentive to keep trash to a minimum.

So how do I do:

styrofoam cups - no problem, the coffee shops I patronize use paper and real mugs

paper towels - have their uses in food preparating aside from just cleaning. My mother always used old diapers for dusting, so I've inherited that trait (torn t-shirts work just as well, and I seem to have a lifetime supply left over from the dotcom days). As for dishrags and sponges - I'm a strong believer in soap and hot water, with a kick of bleach.

coffee filters - they compost ok, at least in my pile

overpackeaged foods and other products - I agree. Now how does one go about convincing the baggers to not put every little non-grocery item in a separate bag? Grrrrrr

teak and mahogany - n/a

chemical pest killers - none of them seem to do anything to my biggest problems, snails and oxalis, and so far no one's come up with a squirrel-cide that won't harm the local cats. I expect to lose about 5% of my tomatoes to horn worms, and I can live with that. I don't like the smells of the chemical stuff anyway. BTW, I've noticed that my front yard has more birds hanging around it than any other on the block.

chemical glass cleaners - um, there are a lot of things that produce ammonia: cats, dogs, those damned squirrels, people. It's one of the big components in natural fertilizers (aka manures - well, various salts at least). I agree commercial window cleaners are a waste - just use good old household ammonia - with the windows open, and don't mix it with bleach

Plastic bags and wrap - well, ones that contained dry stuff can usually be reused, ones that had something wet I'm not so sure about. Incidentally, my town's recycling program will take plastic bags.

High octane gas - guilty, though my car does require it. Can I throw myself on the mercy of the court and say it has <35K miles after 5 years?

Poor quality shoes - good advice in general, as the previous poster said. You get what you pay for. Corallary: don't buy at Wal-Mart.

OTOH, "natural" does not always mean "better for you and the environment". I'm a textile artist, and I recently started experimenting with plant-derived natural dyes. Must be safer for all concerned than synthetic ones, right? It's a good thing my town has a quarterly toxic waste disposal day.

linda, who will refrain from enlightening you on the details of indigo production
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spotbird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #27
45. Relo the squirrels.
They would be just as happy in Beverly Hills wouldn't they? Get a few traps and move them, it works to reduce the population more than you can imagine. My neighbor did it because of ordinances about killing them, the population is well under control here.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. introduced species, I believe
You don't want these guys - either of the two types we have. At least one is an introduced species from the east coast. I forget whether it's legal to kill the black ones or the gray ones: the black ones are extremely obnoxious, given to sitting in trees and screaming at people who dare to walk on their sidewalks. I wouldn't wish them on a neocon.

At least the roof rats will eat the snails (another introduced species).

linda
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
24. don't buy or use
stryofoam; don't drink coffee; don't use plastic wrap; I do wash plastic 'zip' bags if the stuff in them is recognizable; don't own any teak or mahogany furniture; clean my windows w/ a drop or 2 of simple green, dry w/ a squeegee; don't drive anymore; I will own up 2 being a shoe junkie, but I don't buy cheap. I recently bought a pair of 'earth' shoes - Now this is a Danish corp but the shoes were made in china! and were still Xpensive.

Some body is using my share of chem pest control. Don't buy it.

Use baking soda as a cleanser on lots of things, glasses, dishes, even stubborn spots on windows - it doesn't scratch.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Washing Ziploc bags sounds disgusting
There is no way that can be healthy.
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kath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. If raw meat was in the bag, yeah it would obviously be unhealthy
to re-use. But if it held bread, rolls, cookies, etc, then that's a whole 'nuther story-- it makes real sense to rinse and re-use. (plus, the quart and gallon size bags are at least 5 to 10 cents each...)

I try to put two clean dish towels out every day or sofor drying hands -- cuts down on paper towel use, even if we all don't use them...
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #28
36. I use those Glad bowls.
They can go on the top rack in the DW. They're good for about 50 oir so uses, then just get some more.

The only thing I use Zipper bags for is my cat's shit-box. Scoop it up, zip it up, and no smell!
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mediaman007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #24
50. A year ago I bought Clark shoes...
they were expensive, but they are still just like new. I used to buy Dexter's when my brother in-law was a salesman. But now they are made overseas (quality lacking).

What do you think of Clark's?
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CityZen-X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
35. USA Union Made
preferably! The up most be it Made in USA, and stop buying beef. You can not ever trust this government.
Catch the upcoming PBS "Frontline entitled "Modern Beef."
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
38. Switch to DVD RW or RAM.
They can be re-recorded more than 100,000 times, and they're cheaper than VHS tapes, which you can get abor 20 decent uses out of. Better yet, get a TiVo, since it uses a hard drive. Also, all (I MEAN ALL OF THEM) VCRs are now made mostly in China, Indonesia, Malaysia or Southeast Asia, all with a major history of worker cruelty, and child exploitation. About 3/4, and most of the good brands of DVD recorders are made in S. Korea or Japan. The days of Panasonic's and Sony's Japanese VCRs are long gone.
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fumetti Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
39. paper towels?
Aside from buying hi-octane gas, I'm pretty well in the clear on this list. Except for plastic. That stuff's everywhere, and I can only reasonably limit a small portion.

But paper towels? I have to question this one.

Sure, it adds to land fills but it degrades quicker than most items.

Sure, it consumes trees. But how much energy is wasted on those electric hand-blowers in public restrooms? And how much water and energy is spent on cleaning cloth rags?

Relying on trees is better than relying on electrical power (particularly coal and nuclear generated electrical power). I'd rather save the electricity for my computer :)
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
41. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #41
46. Buy a diesel...
and learn to make your own biodiesel.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
47. The truth about teak
Teak is one of the most heavily farmed woods out there, and many teak plantations (esp. those in Thailand) are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. There is serious money in teak farming, and a decent teak plantation will yield over 160,000 board feet of salable lumber per hectare every 20 years.

I support this kind of activity for a few reasons: it brings the farmers really good money, it basically eliminates the market for illegally-harvested teak, and a tree produces the most oxygen while it's in its vigorous-growth stages--the first 20 to 30 years of its life. By cutting down actively-growing trees and replacing them with other actively-growing trees, you maximize a hectare's oxygen-production capability.

Mahogany is another story. There are a *lot* of trees in the mahogany family, including "Philippine mahogany," Genuine Mahogany, apitong, jelutong, lauan, virola...IIRC it's something like fifty different species in this one family. Some of it's okay to use. Some is not. The best mahogany to use, from an environmental standpoint, is plantation-grown virola.

From a purely environmental standpoint, the very best wood to use is poplar--three feet per year is average growth of this tree.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-04 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
52. Swiffers!
One thing I really hate are these Swiffers - another huge waste of material. Just a scam to have people buy the expensive refills that do nothing but fill up the dumps.

Put a rag on a mop and your floors will be just as clean.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 04:37 AM
Response to Original message
53. The Consumers Guide to Effective Environmental Choices
A book I picked up a few years ago goes into these things in great detail. But the big result is that by far the best things the average person can do are:

- cut down your driving as much as possible.

- don't live in a house that is bigger than you really need.

- cut down on consumption of meat.

They claim that most other things are useful, but fairly marginal.

It is published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, Three Rivers Press.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-04 06:22 AM
Response to Original message
57. Remember when McDonald's dropped styrofoam?
and went to paper? Well, styrofoam can be recycled, quite easily.

The paper that they use, with that shiny coating on one side, absolutely can't.

So their "environmentally friendly" change actually hurt the environment.
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