Good Finds

Eco-Good, Says June

Sunday is my day to shop for groceries, a job that I absolutely hate to do (not to start this week’s posts with a complaint, but really). It’s right up there with laundry. With the food (and growing children in the house)…you eat, you buy, you eat, you buy, you spend a fortune. A vicious cycle. With laundry…you wear, you wash, you wear, you wash. I just wish for once some new clothes would appear in the dryer when I reach in there. Give this woman a thrill, would you?

As you know, I love cooking and I love food. So how can I not love grocery shopping? I think it’s the place. When I am at a farmer’ market or a specialty food store, I’m in seventh heaven. I’ll linger, I’ll puruse, ooo…yes, of course, I’d like a sample. But any place with flourescent lighting makes me want to twitch (hence the reason I’ve virtually cut Walmart out of my retail diet). Too big, too bright, and waaaay too commercial. florescent lightbulbs really should just go away. From food to people, nothing looks good under them.

One of the things that I buy continually, as I’m sure you do, are paper towels. Bounty, Brawney, whatever you call them, we all use them all the time. Recently, though, it’s been making me sort of crazy to buy them. We try to be eco-friendly around our house. We use reusable shopping bags, lunch bags, the kids take plastic (I know, those should be bamboo or metal. We’re working on it) forks in their lunches and we rewash them, we buy all natural-this and all-natural that. Without getting utterly obsessive about it, we do enough things here and there and hopefully they are adding up somewhere in the scope of the Universe.

But the paper towels. When the kids were little, we would let them build castles out of the rolls when we came home from the store, we had that many. Ri-doncu-lous when you think about it, as it’s just paper that’s manufactured and then thrown out after the smallest usage. It’s a product we need and use, obviously,  but there has to be a way to cut down on the waste.

bambooWell, I think I found it and I couldn’t be more happy in that Mrs.-June-Cleaver-kind of-way. See, it’s the little things in life, wink wink. I know this sounds ridiculous, but we have to cut down the waste where we can and I’m ready to try this one. Someone, go make a mess. Quick.

-only $9.95 at Williams-Sonoma
-A single roll of 20 sheets replaces 60 ROLLS of the regular stuff (goodbye castles)
-Can be washed about 100 times (and then you have to yes, buy another roll of them. There’s an irony afoot)

And….while I’m on my cleaner-living rage…you like (LOVE) Nutella, don’t you? In this house, we do and we’ve become particularly fond of whipping up Marocchinos after dinner sometimes. It’s a dollop of Nutella and a shot of espresso topped with foamed milk. Hurt me, baby. I think I audibly swooned the first time one of these drinks touched my lips.

BUT, if you read labels (as I do and  am trying to teach my children to do as well), you quickly realize how much weird/scary/unneeded ingredients there are in foods we consume pretty regularly. Nutella was one that landed on my radar recently as a friend of mine noted that in Europe, the Nutella that is sold there does not have partially hydrogenated oils yet the US version does. After checking the label, I found that it lists “modified palm oil” and finding a real answer as to what that is exactly is proving tricky. The quick answer seems to be that it’s an oil that has been tinkered with by someone and that it should be avoided. Could be some crafty wording on the part of Nutella execs, just so they don’t have to use the ever-feared word “partially hydrogenated”.

I love Nutella, lord knows I do, but I’m going to try to stay away from thing that I can’t define, label-wise.

thTherefore…I found THIS. Natural Choco Dream (found at Whole Foods). It seems to be the lesser of two evils, as it doesn’t have anything “modified” on its label, although it does possibly have some canola oil in it, and as another friend pointed out, “what’s a canola?”. Good point, if you are looking for natural-from-the-earth products. Ultimately, beyond the label, the flavor just kicks Nutella’s chocolate-y butt. Really. It’s not quite as smooth as Nutella (hello modified oils?) but it’s SOOO much more hazelnutty. By far, in fact. And on top of it all, it even uses Fair Trade cocoa, which if you have read anything about, you want to support. Lots of folks suffer out there (many children, in fact) for our chocolate consumption.

So, there. Your little, Eco-June-Cleaver tips for the day. See what else you can drum up today to make your planet and your bod a little healthier. Lots of littles add up to something big.

Happy Monday, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Eco-Good, Says June

  1. Yummy. Thanks for the tip! I’ll give it a try. That is–as soon as I finish the last three tablespoons of Nutella I have left in the jar so I can properly recycle the container.

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