Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ten days into '10

We've made it ten days into the year, and it's probably about time for an update on my non-consuming progress.

I'm delighted to report that I've remembered to bring reusable bags with me every time I've grocery shopped this year. Sure, on freaking January freaking first, the cashier at the store insisted on wrapping my meat in a plastic bag and putting my milk into a plastic bag, which pretty much negated my use of two reusable bags, but every other time it's worked out okay. I didn't know, until today, that Target gives you a five-cent discount for every reusable bag used in your order. I also didn't know, until today, how much a cashier could fit into a reusable bag. Impressive. Well played, Ms. Cashier, well played.

Frustrations? The big one is how few plastic containers are recyclable in our community. Memphis recycling only takes the type 1 and 2 plastics, but most of the products I buy that come in plastic tubs are the type 5, which has much less carbon impact in manufacture, but it darn near kills me to throw away those tubs. Sure, I could reuse them, but there are only so many sour cream cartons a girl needs! We haven't purchased yogurt in quite a while (the kids lost their taste for it), but I may start making my own, and substituting that for sour cream.

I started some sourdough starter a few weeks back, and that's reduced my family's purchases of yeast and sandwich bread. I'm baking every three or so days, and the recipe I'm using slices very well and has a soft crust. I've substituted whole wheat flour for half the white flour in the recipe and it still turns out very well. It's not a San Francisco-type sourdough...more just a solid bread recipe. My starter is pretty basic...a tablespoon (or one package) of yeast, a cup of flour, and a cup of warm water. Mix in a large bowl, cover, and whisk it frequently for a few days, then put it in a smaller container (mayonnaise jar?) and refrigerate. I make sure to use mine at least twice a week, feeding it with equal parts flour and water when I use it. (Basically, if a recipe calls for 1 cup starter, after measuring out the cup of starter, replace it with 1/2 cup each of flour and water. No need to replace the yeast unless the whole thing goes bad or dies.)

My consumer addiction is very easily swayed by television ads, I learned. We already know that I'm hooked on cosmetics, despite the fact I rarely use them. But a major makeup company has brilliantly bundled some eye makeup products by eye color (three shadows, an eyeliner, and a mascara), and I found myself in a bit of consumer lust. (No, I didn't buy them. I'm not insane.)

One concession I made to the kids: the gift cards they received as holiday gifts? They got to "buy" brand-new products with them. The girl and I went shopping today, and she really enjoyed it. However, she seemed to enjoy our trip to Goodwill too. I think the paradigm can shift, even for a tween girl.

All in all? The first ten days of '10 have gone well.


bridgmanpottery said...

K, they have a #5 recycling container at whole foods. It's usually full, but room to stack or put yours on the floor next to the bin. It's in the yogurt section.
(bringing your cup to school this afternoon and every afternoon until I see you, still loving my soap!)

Alex said...

How 'bout another update? Just so I can compare how badly we're doing.