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Monthly Archives: June 2007

Like many, many people, I love chocolate. I love to bake with it, I love to eat it, I love to melt it down and make real hot chocolate, fondue, truffles… You get the idea. But the chocolate industry, especially in the Ivory Coast, is full of unsafe conditions, low, low wages, and child workers, many of them slaves.

The Better World Shopping Guide has a list of companies (that sell in the US – some of them are in Canada, too) that sell slave-free chocolate, but they usually sell them in small bars for $3-4 per said small bar at health food stores. I need more than that. I want to buy bulk chocolate that I can cook with. All I found prior to today was Cocoa Camino (fair trade certified) chocolate chips at $6/228g. Ouch! (That’s about a cup and a bit of chips.)

Today, however, a friend (a fellow chocoholic) found bulk Cocoa Camino chips for $16.99/kg at Noah’s Natural Foods. (Updated March 2008: they don’t seem to have them anymore, just the standard 228g bags and bulk non-fair trade chocolate chips but I found them at The Big Carrot.)

~Lynn

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So I have two little ones who are both still in diapers and I’m currently on maternity leave. That means I’m busy. And while we do try to make most of our own food (Owen bakes bread, croissants, pain au chocolat, I bake the cookies, muffins, make yogourt, and we both cook – from scratch. No microwave here. No TV dinners.), there are definitely nights when we need to take a break and eat something someone else prepared. And days, like yesterday, when you just want a treat.

I always bring my own bags to take out places, but yesterday I made my first waste-free take-out purchase. Mind you, it was an easy one: croissants (from Bonjour Brioche – yum!). I brought a big tupperware container and she happily obliged me when I asked if we could use it.

So now I’m looking for some sort of unbreakable container that isn’t plastic to bring with me to my favourite local take-out spots in which the cooks could put steaming hot food instead of the styrofoam, waxed paper and newsprint. The paper isn’t so bad, as it’s mostly green binnable, but the styro has to go…

I’m working on this one. Not ready to commit to package-free take-out all the time yet, but once I find the right receptacles, I will… For now I guess I might lug around my pyrex type stuff… And if the food isn’t hot then the plastic tupperware will do.

~ Lynn

It’s farmer’s market season again here in Toronto, and I’ve been making my way out with the boys to one of the three that is close to me (mostly the one at the East York Civic Centre, but occasionally to the Riverdale Farm organic one – unfortunately my boys are usually napping when it opens and I miss all the good stuff by the time they wake up) every week so far.

I’m going to keep it up as long as the market season is on in doing my part to buy locally. It takes some effort with the wee ones, but it’s worth it… Besides, the food is just so superior to the garbage in the supermarket.

Oh, and I asked a couple of the farmers if I brought the pint & quart containers back would they re-use them and they gave a resounding yes. So that’s on the list, too. That 2nd R…

I haven’t been getting read my whole Saturday Globe and Mail for a while now, and the guilt of having all that paper delivered to me has been eating away at my conscience… Today I finally cancelled my subscription. I’ll get my news online!

When I’m out and in a place where there’s no recycling or green bin, I’ll be sure to take my recycling and green binnables home and do the right thing there. We always do that when camping so why not on day trips out of the home? Besides, with two in cloth diapers, I’m always toting tons of stuff around anyway, I might as well tote home my landfill diversion, too.

So I have a terrible habit of often overfilling my kettle (rather than putting only a cup’s worth of water in), just in case someone else might want a cup of tea or I find some other use for boiling water at the time (like preparing reusable wipes or using it to unclog my drain). That stops today! I will only fill it up with as much as I need.

I own a push mower, but last summer we kept letting the grass get so long (2+ weeks will usually do it) that the push mower just couldn’t cope and was completely ineffective… at which point I would head over to my neighbour’s house and beg to borrow her electric mower.
I’m vowing now to manually mow every week to avoid the usage of a powered mower. Two weekends in a row and counting…