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Eco-Choices Report #2: Farmer’s Markets, Marvelous Mushrooms and TP made from Recyled Paper

February 1, 2011 Lately, we’ve done a lot of research.  We learned all about the local farmer’s markets we are going to patron as soon as they open.  We’ve marked our calenders and planned our route.  Fortunately we live within biking distance of two of them!  One on Saturdays and another on Sundays! If you live in the Chicago-land area you will find all the information you’ll need about Chicago farmer’s markets or visit the Local Harvest website for information about farmer’s market’s nationwide.


Know Your MushroomsWe saw an excellent film titled Know Your  Mushrooms.  It turns out that there are many health benefits to eating mushrooms.  Shitake mushrooms for example are know for their immune boosting qualities.  We were especially interested in learning how to forage for mushrooms in the wild so we looked up the IL Mycological Association and are considering getting a family membership so we can participate their monthly forays. Know Your Mushrooms is available on DVD on Netflix.

We continued the new eco-choices from last week and guess what, they get easier and more habitual every day.  Hankies are wonderful!  I will never go back to paper!  Turns out they are easy to wash too.  I pretreated them with Shout and then threw them in a load of regular laundry. (I will be exploring greener pretreatment options in the future so stay tuned.)  They came out squeaky clean and ready for use.   We did another grocery trip on our bikes and the paper boy baskets made it much easier.  We carried milk and eggs (among many other things) with no problems at all.  Furthermore we did this trip at night!  The LED lights worked out perfectly.


Recycled Toilet Paper

I found out this week from a Washington Post article that 95% of paper products in the U.S. are made from virgin wood! How h0rrific is that!  We are chopping down trees to make a product that is only used once and then tossed away!  The solution is simple:  toilet paper can be made more cheaply and with much less of an environmental impact by recycling discarded paper products (like office paper for example) and making it into TP.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council “If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper  (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees”

They even published a handy brand comparison guide that you can use to find the right recycled paper products to fit your needs.

Ease of Incorporation: A+

Cost & Money Saved: compared two popular brands;  Kleenex is only 1.5 cents a roll less than the Seventh Generation”

Time: Minimal They do not sell it at Target, which is where we usually get our TP,  but a quick google search revealed that both Jewel-Osco and Dominicks do!

Impact:  Pretty Darn Big Let’s face it TP is a necessity of life which means we are always going to have to buy and use it.  I’m not sure how much Al and I use…maybe 12 rolls every three weeks or so, but I do know it adds up.  We’ve got a lifetime of wiping ahead of us.  So I say go recycled all the way!

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