It’s Now Easy Being “Green”

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Did you just run to the store and forget the bag to bring the groceries home? Now you have more plastic bags to add to your collection. Did that metal can get placed in the right bin? You do have separate bins for different disposables, right?

It doesn’t really take that much extra time or energy to consider our planet. The major cause of not following through is that we are not used to making this a priority. Like anything, we need to program our habits to include the important tasks.

This week-end, or whenever we go shopping, let’s remember our own grocery shopping bag or bags. Get your kids to remind you to bring those bags. This is doing our little bit to help the earth – and setting a good example for our children.

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New Food Innovations

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I just ran across an article in a college magazine about changes college kids are enjoying in their cafeterias. One food service offers “the real thing” in flavored filtered water.

Individual dispensers are filled with layers of ice with cut up fruits and vegetables. Foods such as oranges, lemons, limes, apples, strawberries, cucumbers and other seasonal foods and vegetables are added to the ice to create water that has the flavor of the food. I would never have guessed their favorite flavor is cucumber! The report stated the students are drinking their way through about 150 gallons of filtered, flavored water per day and cutting down on soda drinking.

Another innovative feature of this cafeteria is to go tray-less. This may require more trips to the food counters but the students are responding positively. Going tray-less is saving on water and wash products, as well as on the amount of food wasted.

This sounds like they are taking seriously environmental benefits. Good for them!

Lee Jackson
Books for home and family

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Napkins, “Going Green”, and Manners

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In a recent post I talked about using cloth napkins versus paper napkins when we are trying to “go green” in our kitchens. By eliminating disposables we make one small mark in this vast sea of waste and consumption.

Did you know that people did not always use napkins at the table?

At one time, in very early history, people wiped their hands on pieces of bread. Later, they used handkerchiefs, or small pieces of material, to wipe their foreheads when it was hot and to blot their lips at the table. For a period of time, people just wiped their hands on anything that was available – their pants, the back of their hands, or whatever.

Later, during medieval banquets, tables were covered with many elaborate vessels for holding food. A servant would carry a towel for the lord and honored guests to use in wiping their hands.

Forks came into use in the eightenth century by all classes of society. Napkins varied in size from covering the entire front of a person to smaller sizes. Eventually napkins about the size of our present style became part of the table appointment.

Now, when we sit down at the table, the first thing we generally do is open the napkin halfway and place it on our lap. If you have to leave the table during the meal, the napkin is placed on the chair. We never put the used napkin on the table during the meal. And we never use the napkin for anything except to wipe mouth and hands. At the end of the meal, the napkin is loosely placed on the table to the left of the plate.

That’s our little napkin story for today. I hope you have a good day!

Chef Crombie

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“Going Green” in the Kitchen, Continued

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Some of you may be saying, “I’m just a kid. What can I do?” Big or small, doing everything to save the earth and the air we breathe is everybody’s business and responsibility.

When you come home from the grocery store, do you end up with lots of plastic bags and extra packaging? Where will those plastic bags end up? You’re right. They are going back to the garbage heap where they will take hundreds of years, if not more, to break down. Or, they may fly around outside, being scattered by the wind. Birds can try to peck at them or might even get caught in them. Plus they make our world look dumpy and trashy.

So, what can you do about it?

You can take the plastic bags that have accumalated and take them to a neighboring recyling center. Hopefully, they will be made into some useful products. Then, next time shopping time comes, to remember to take the grocery tote bag (or bags) with you. Think how many plastic bags this will eliminate!

Individual snack packs are certainly handy. But it doesn’t take much time to make your own snack packs. Pour a quantity of food, whether it is crackers, chips, cookies, or whatever, into reusuable containers for the lunchbox or car.

In addition, buying food in quantity saves money. However, buying in larger quantity is only good if you know you’ll use it.

Throw out the plastic water bottles. If you want to take water with you, use a thermos bottle or other non-plastic container.

If you wash dishes by hand, run hot water into a clean sink to rinse them. This way you won’t be running the water all the time. If you use the dish washer to wash dishes, wait to run it until it is full of dirty dishes. This saves on water and electricity.

When you think about it, it really isn’t so hard to make small steps that impact the world. Every little bit you do toward this cause helps to keep our environment cleaner and healthier.

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