Friday, January 15, 2010

More bulk bin options in NYC

Most Americans have gotten the idea that they should have and use re-usable grocery bags. The next step is a big one-- getting everyone to seek out food with less packaging. I checked out the new Whole Foods store on the Upper West Side last week and was encouraged to see that it has a bulk section. I think it is the first Whole Foods in NYC to have one- does anyone know if others in the area do? They even had a big sign encouraging customers to bring in their own containers, which is awesome!

Most natural or organic food stores have bulk sections. A couple examples are Westerly Natural Market and Integral Yoga's food store.

The biggest and most heavily used bulk section I've seen is still upstairs at the Upper West Side Fairway (do the Harlem or Redhook Fairways have bulk sections?) Although the UWS Whole Foods might give it some competition.

My new favorite came about from a commenter on this blog! 4th Street Food Co-op. It is a pretty tiny place, with most of the space dedicated to bulk food items. They have phased out plastic bags entirely, in favor of cloth and biobags. And they have bulk items not found other places, like pasta, oils, vinegars, soaps and shampoos, and spices. I haven't joined as a member yet, but I'm thinking about it.

Do you buy food items from bulk sections to avoid packaging? Do you bring your own bags and containers? Where do you do your shopping?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Plastic Free Deodorant, a Success Story

I started using plastic free deodorant in November and haven't looked back. Here is how it works:

- container (mine is a plastic food container, but a tin would be nice)
- powder puff (my sister gave me one from her house)
- 1 part baking powder
- 1 part corn starch
- spritz of perfume (optional)

It works really well! In fact it works a lot better than the roll-on 'deodorant crystal' I was trying to finish up. I'm just tossing the rest of that stuff out.

Screening: Garbage Dreams, January 14

Promoted from comments:

We are screening the film Garbage Dreams at the Queens Botanical Garden next week. Thought you might be interested in attending or posting it to your blog.

A Compost Movie and Discussion Night: Garbage Dreams
Thursday, January 14th, 7pm
Fee: $5/person

Join the Queens Compost Project for a screening of the film Garbage Dreams with a short discussion of waste issues to follow. Garbage Dreams follows three teenage boys born into the trash trade and growing up in the world’s largest garbage village on the outskirts of Cairo. It is the home to 60,000 Zabaleen, Arabic for “garbage people.” Far ahead of any modern “Green” initiatives, the Zabaleen survive by recycling 80 percent of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalization of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community.

Screening will take place in the Queens Botanical Garden auditorium; entrance is on Dahlia Avenue, through after-hours gate behind the Visitor and Administration building.


Here is a trailer for the film.