Green Living Workshop and Sharing in Community

Grace van Thillo shares a conversation from the recent Simpler Living workshop

Thank you, Cassie Lewis, for inspiring us toward healthier, non-toxic home cleaning and toiletry products that are safer for creation. Cassie encouraged us all to share cleaning items we use; and from one another we learned about the wonders of lemons, castile soap, white vinegar and baking soda, to name a few. Our comfortable conversation offered many useful suggestions. Here’s a website with many of the products we discussed: Recipes for Safer Cleaners . We invite you to keep the discussion going with questions or ideas for safer cleaning that you use in your home.

Also, the Simpler Living group actively bounces ideas via e-mail about many practical creation care topics. Please join in! Here’s a recent discussion about ways to avoid plastic bag use when shopping for produce.

Donna began by emphasizing the creation care covenant she made, and asked the following question, “I was serious about my commitment to not use plastic bags for shopping, and that has really made a difference in my habits. But I have a question: How do you keep your produce together till it gets weighed at the checkout? I have a friend who just puts everything loose in her cart and annoys the checkers. Any thoughts? Bring your own paper bags? Or are there re-usable bags made for that purpose? – Donna Turner

“My solution is to use plastic bags for fruit and veggies (which then go into my canvas bags) and then reuse as much as possible for wastebasket liners, etc. but I know that is far from perfect. Any other ideas out there?” – Phil Petrie
“My neighbor sewed small cloth bags for the loose fruits/veggies, similar to the ones on ‘small cloth produce bag’ sites; or to make  . . .alas that’s not my forté! BUT together, we could have a bag making party, perhaps!! I also place fruits/veggies in the small baskets till check out, or lay them atop my cloth shopping bags, and sometimes use small plastic ones to re-use.” – Grace van Thillo
“I just put my produce loose in the basket many times, while smiling sweetly at the checkout 😉 I also save and wash and reuse bags from previous trips. And there are nice crocheted bags for produce that you can get at People’s. My CSA often packages things in brown paper bags (lunch-size bags). But boy, those organic veggies do not keep as well w/o the plastic! One thing that can help is the little plastic (still plastic!! 🙂 egg-shaped thing that releases some gas (it’s the same gas released by some fruits–totally natural!) that prevents fresh foods from aging so quickly. I bought one at Whole Foods (not sure yet how much of a difference it’s made). You can replace the little packet inside the egg every few months.” – Cassie Lewis
“This is a good question and I gave up trying to be creative about it a long time ago, but am glad you’ve brought it up again. I don’t bag anything that’s bunched – bananas, celery, broccoli, etc. I reuse store plastic bags till they fall apart! I never wanted to use anything heavy to add weight, though that’s really a small concern, I guess. I was thinking that some very lightweight net material could be used to make small bags, and it might be fun to have a party to make some. I have a net bag but it is so big and I only buy large amounts of things like apples, so would love something for the smaller items.” – Carolyn Lief
“Thank you, all. I like the idea of making cloth bags. I could do that! Maybe after we’re in our new house we can have a bag making party there. Net would be good – you don’t want it to weigh very much” 😉 – Donna Turner

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