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Monthly Archives: November 2007

My change today is to make sure that if I buy new clothes (which I’m not doing much these days – I’m mostly buying second hand)  I wash them before wearing them because they may have a wrinkle resistant formaldehyde finish (according to Ecoholic). Yikes.

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Someone asked me how they could make their holidays a bit more environmentally friendly today. If you google it there are lots of lists out there. Here’s what I came up with:

  • no wrapping paper unless it’s reused (a friend has taken to keeping the funnies from her newspapers and wrapping all gifts in that) or is reusable (like gift bags)
  • keep the paper mailings to a minimum
  • buy used (I’m a big craigslist user)
  • buy online (the trucks that ship your gifts are shipping a lot of other stuff at the same time so it’s more environmentally friendly than everyone driving their individual cars to the mall)
  • buy local (for the feast, too)
  • don’t use disposable dishware at parties
  • make sure your live tree (fake trees consume energy and petroleum-based materials in their manufacture, but there is the argument that buying one will save you a trip to the tree lot every year in your car) is recycled or composted (not landfilled)
  • if you put up lights, consider LEDs
  • avoid buying excessively packaged gifts
  • compost all those food scraps
  • recycle whatever you can

As for me, my big change this year will be e-cards. Every year we mail a family photo to friends and family, this year it’ll only go out to those few who don’t have email (yes, there are still a few holdouts out there). Everyone else will get an e-card.

I’m trying to figure out how to keep my trips to the Loblaws (my nearest reasonably priced organic produce vendor) to a minimum. I’d like to be eating more organic fruits and veggies – not so much for myself, but for my sons (and for the lighter footprint on the land). So a hockey teammate of mine recommended an organic food delivery service. I decided to have a look and do some comparison shopping, and found several such services here in Toronto:

Food ShareFront Door OrganicsGreen Earth Organics, Mama Earth Organics, Plan B Organics, and Wanigan(used to be called WOW foods). 

Why organic?

For the land: Sustainable farming methods that don’t damage the soil and retain the land’s biodiversity. 

For the planet: Apparently it uses less energy per unit of yield.  

For your body: No chemical pesticides means you don’t ingest them with your food. 

The David Suzuki Foundation has an article on it here. Environmental Working Group has a list of the highest pesticide load to the lowest for those who don’t want to bother (or can’t afford to) with getting all organic fruits and veggies – they suggest just the top 12, or the "dirty dozen".