Monday, March 1, 2010

One Small Change, Month Three

March! It's March! And it felt mighty Marchy out today--blustery wind and icy raindrops. But the ground is mostly bare. I think this is the first time in four years that I have seen bare ground in March and I'm pretty excited about it (much to the annoyance of all those winterophiles around here). Even though it's all brown and dead and mucky and gross, I can kind of imagine I see blades of green grass if I squint my eyes and tilt my head, just so. Try it. I haven't been able to muster crocuses and pasque flowers in the same way, but maybe with a little practice...

Anyhoo, to wrap up February's One Small Change, which, as you may recall, was to reduce/eliminate plastic use in the personal care/household cleaning department (i.e. the loo), here are the changes I have made:

1. Subscription to Seventh Generation toilet paper (individually wrapped in tissue, no plastic except the tape on the box, which, by the way, makes and excellent Trash Monster costume/prop).

2. Shampoo bar. Thanks to comments left in regard to my dissatisfaction with baking soda, I found and purchased a bar of J.R. Liggett's at the health food store Friday. I've only used it once, so the jury's still out. I'll keep you posted.

3. Spa night. Really...I've instituted a weekly Spa Night, where I revel in a bath full of hot water and bubbles, slather myself with lotions, creams and pumice scrubs in an effort to use up a back log of "product." As I finish it off, I'll replace it with homemade plastic-free substitutes (avocadoes, honey, cucumbers, tea, etc). And no, I do not want to discuss the environmental implications of all that hot water.

Still to do:

1. Find a plastic-free deodorant replacement that works for the Man About the Place.

2. Write a letter to the cotton ball/swab company encouraging them to switch to non-plastic packaging.

Once that's done, and all the old stuff is used up, I think we'll have mostly eliminated disposable plastic from the bathrooms (there will still be reusable plastic containers, and, like I said, I'm going to keep buying vinegar in plastic bottles, and then there are the bandaids, and I completely skipped over the tubbie toys when I did the inventory).

Marching onward into the Kitchen! This month I'm going to inventory and assess what we've got going on in the kitchen, in terms of use, storage and new, disposable packaging, and see what we can do about it. I've been very slowly working on this for a while, and it's been rather frustrating, but I hope to make some progress this month and maybe put into place some systems so we always have homemade bread and yogurt on hand, etc. And it might involve a few shopping trips to local antique stores for more storage containers. Yea.

Speaking of shopping I fell off the Buy Nothing wagon pretty big last month (I was going to try and continue January's Buy Nothing change, with a few exceptions). I'll tell you more about that during the kitchen inventory.

As always, it's never too late to make One Small Change.


  1. Great work. Look forward to your kitchen post.

  2. I love your spa night idea! I jammed another bottle of conditioner into the dresser I use for bathroom storage and wondered how we are ever going to use this stuff? Conditioner seems to multiply in our house. I did finally get myself some awesome sunscreen that comes in a glass bottle. Small potatoes compared to all you have done!

  3. Ooh, Mary, what brand is the sunscreen in a glass bottle? I've never seen such a thing!

  4. Andrea -- you can find it here. It's darn expensive. Their lab is in Berkeley and I bought it at an "open house" at great discount. But three months later I am still using the same bottle.

  5. one small change = spa night! rock on! i've been thinking of you when my bathroom cabinet (full of plastic) stares me down every evening. i have made imporvements on shampoo though and we started making the version in rosemary gladstar's the family herbal. we basically mix an oz of dr. bronner's, a cup of tea, rosemary essential oil and maybe a few other e.o.s. you can also add jojoba, and she has a whole list of herbs mixtures. i am digging it!

  6. Wow, sounds like you are doing awesome! We did the 7Gen subscription also and I love that you can recycle all the packaging. We have switched to family cloth, so no more need for this, but it is great and totally affordable!
    Love the spa night..
    Good luck with the kitchen! I have a feeling you are going to have a very successful month!

  7. Hey! I hope your March is going awesome so far!

    Make sure to stop by the One Small Change blog to enter into our latest giveaway and see what the community is up to!

    We also started a face book fan page which can be accessed from the blog! :)



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