I’ve been wanting to do this one for a few months now. Grassroots has a "we don’t want to spend all day counting inventory" sale on right now so I picked up a hemp shower curtain to replace our old fabric one. It’s not as bad as an off-gassing PVC one, but it’s getting a bit manky (even with laundering) after several years of use nonetheless. And who knows if chemical fungicides had been added to it to make it mildew resistant… It is likely that it’s been coated with persistent contaminants to make it water-repellent. Yikes.
Why hemp? Because it’s naturally anti-fungal and antibacterial. Because hemp plants use much less water than cotton. Because hemp is grown without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Because hemp controls erosion of topsoil. Because apparently hemp replenishes the soil with nutrients and nitrogen. Because hemp grows in Canada. (Actually, all of these reasons make me want to buy everything from hemp!) And because it doesn’t require a vinyl liner.
It wasn’t cheap, but it should last a lot longer than the manky old chemical filled PVC/nylon/other ones that are too hard to clean to keep around for any length of time.
I finally got around to deciding which organic food delivery service to use and we got our first delivery on Monday night. We went with Front Door Organics over the other companies for a couple reasons:
- “Because of the high environmental costs associated with the aviation industry, FDO will not purchase any products that travel by air during their journey to our warehouse.” They have a link (update in 2011: cant find that anymore, but I’ve updated the link) to David Suzuki’s site regarding air travel and there’s an article by George Monbiot that drives the point home very well here, too.
- They choose fair trade over non-fair trade whenever possible.
- They don’t hike up the prices of the other organic grocery items that they offer.
- They indicate whether the produce is from Ontario or Canada on their website in the This Week’s Fresh Box section and the grocery section so you can make an informed decision.
I like them even more since I got my first box for a couple of reasons:
- The fresh box had very little packaging in it (2 plastic bags and 1 plastic container for the mushrooms)
- They take back any plastic containers that the produce may come in for recycling.
This is another FYI post… I carry a list of EWG’s dirty dozen fruits and veggies to avoid because they have the highest pesticide load. Buying all organic fruits and veggies can be difficult to find and expensive, but if you just buy the top 12 on the list, you can avoid the majority of your pesticide exposure.
Environmental Working Group’s list (go here for the complete list) of the top twelve fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide load is:
1. Peaches (worst)
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Grapes – Imported (i.e. not U.S.)
DavidSuzuki.org has (2011 update: had – can’t find it now) a slightly different list that comes from ConsumersUnion.org but I couldn’t find it there:
1. winter squash
4. green beans