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tankgirl
cool, thanks for the suggestions. I don't buy wool or DC only things so I have no idea about this stuff. I know there is environmentally friendly dry cleaning, but I am still new to this area and don't drive, so it might take me a bit to figure something out if I want to go that route. I think I am going to wait till it gets a bit warmer and wash it how ketto suggested and dry it outside in the sun.
Persiflager
Does anyone know of a way to clear slow-draining shower drains that doesn't involve pouring an entire bottle of chemicals down there? I'm pretty sure it's just hair clogging it up (the inevitable result of sharing a house with two long-haired girls!).

Thanks!
avaadore
This was mentioned on another board a few months ago and it's supposed to be pretty great. I think it was in the groddy gross out board.

http://www.zipitclean.com/more_info/gadget_guy.htm

tankgirl
QUOTE(Persiflager @ Feb 9 2009, 09:36 AM) *
Does anyone know of a way to clear slow-draining shower drains that doesn't involve pouring an entire bottle of chemicals down there? I'm pretty sure it's just hair clogging it up (the inevitable result of sharing a house with two long-haired girls!).

Thanks!


Pour some baking soda down there, a few shakes, then about 1/4 -1/2 cup of vinegar down. Plug it up for 5ish minutes and chase it down with some hot water. Sorry it's so vague, but really, it doesn't need to be precise.
Persiflager
Thank you very much, tankgirl and avaadore! I really like the zip-it but I think I'll struggle to get hold of one in the UK, so I'm going to go with the baking soda and vinegar.
rubberdollz
Persiflager, I've used the baking soda and vinegar trick quite a few times on the drain and it is great. If you check out this website: www.vinegartips.com it has a TON of ways to use vinegar in your home for various things. I'm an avid vinegar user and haven't touched a chemical in quite some time. I think the only chemical I use in my home for cleaning is toilet bowl cleaner but that's only because I haven't found anything that cleans it good.

On that website it does tell you to heat up the vinegar before you pour it down the drain, which is what I do. I haven't tried it with room temperature vinegar so I don't know what the difference is?
stargazer
my stepdad is a big proponent of vinegar and baking soda for the drains. he uses vinegar at room temperature. he normally runs the vinegar/baking soda combo every couple of weeks for maintenance.

persiflager, if your roommates long hair may contribute to clogging up the sink, then you might want to purchase a Hair Trapper.
vixen_within
rubberdollz, how do you heat up the vinegar in a way that doesn't let it evaporate?
rubberdollz
I think according to the website you use 1 cup of water. I put the vinegar in a glass measuring cup and pop it in the microwave for about a minute or so and I haven't had a problem with the vinegar evaporating. You are using so much of it and I'm not taking it to a point of it boiling, just hot.
freckleface7
I am finally remembering to use my cloth shopping bags - hurrah!
weird looks I still get be damned- I feel smug sometimes now even lol.
(& I even re-used the cardboard drink tray at the fast food drive thru the other night ( I know I know!) & the woman working was like ' cool!' smile.gif )
ketto
It seems like a helluva lot of people use their own bags here at most grocery stores, but I went to Wal-Mart a few weeks ago to pick up some work supplies and told the cashier "no bags". She kept saying, "So...you're sure? Really? No bags!? You're sure?" She was flabbergasted. I didn't think it was such a big deal anymore. A town near me is attempting to go plastic bag free.
rubberdollz
I think a nice incentive to using your own bags is some stores offer money off. I mean it's like 10 cents per bag but hey, it's still 10 cents! My husband won't carry them though and we shop at different stores so he'll come home with a ton of plastic and here I am carrying my own re-usable bags. Even if that means keeping some plastic ones and toting them around. I know Whole Foods when plastic free on their bags and all they offer is paper, I think it's cool but the paper totally sucks and those handles always break!
whatagirlwants
Which stores are offering a discount for using your own bags? I haven't heard anything about that discount here in Los Angeles. 10 cents is still a discount to me, even tho its such a little amount. I see using my own bags when I shop more of a benefit towards us anyway since we doing our part to be green for the earth. smile.gif
rubberdollz
Well around here, Kroger gives 10 cents off for using your own, Whole Foods does and if you bring your own bags into Trader Joe's they give you a slip of paper which you write your name and phone number on and they enter you into a drawing for like a 25 dollar gift card towards their store. Something like that???

I'm not sure about any other store though?
ketto
Here in Canada Superstore doesn't give you a discount, but charges you to use their plastic bags. Frankly, I think it's a great system. It seams like almost everyone who shops at superstore either has their own baskets or their own bags. Winnipeg is cheap cheap cheap. tongue.gif
tankgirl
I buy a lot of things in bulk and try to reuse my bulk bags. I sort of wish there was a way I could go and fill up my glass jars and they could just take off the weight of the jar. Bags are so flimsy, but they are the only thing you can really refill. Someone needs to invent something better.
Persiflager
I have another question! I need to put heat pads on my neck, and am trying to work out which is more environmentally friendly - a hot water bottle (which I already own), or one of those packs you put in the microwave. Am I correct to assume they're full of weird stuff that will be difficult to dispose of nicely?

Thanks!

By the way, most UK supermarkets now charge for plastic bags or give you loyalty points for using your own.
ketto
Actually, the ones we use are full of wheat. If you google "wheat bag" or "hot wheat bag" results will come up for a number of companies that sell them. I think they work well.

http://www.wheatbags.com/
http://www.painreliefcushions.co.uk/natural-wheat-bags.html
http://www.heatwheat.com/shop/
Persiflager
Aha! That's perfect ketto, thank you very much.
girl_logic
QUOTE(rubberdollz @ Feb 27 2009, 04:04 PM) *
I think according to the website you use 1 cup of water. I put the vinegar in a glass measuring cup and pop it in the microwave for about a minute or so and I haven't had a problem with the vinegar evaporating. You are using so much of it and I'm not taking it to a point of it boiling, just hot.


Aha, thanks Rubberdollz. My computer got cooties shortly after I asked about this (computer repair dramarama) and I'd forgotten about this post!

Persiflager
Very late reply....

I can report a baking soda/vinegar success! It took two attempts (I didn't bother to heat the vinegar), but our shower is now draining smoothly and I have converted my housemates.

Thank you!
freckleface7
I have a ? please:

I just bought a Jeep (Patriot) & it gets great gas mileage (the same or better as my old sedan) & I'm contemplating the idea of getting a plate frame that says " Green is the new Black."
but don't want people to be like ' uh Yah- and yet she's still driving an SUV.'

I really want to continue to spread the green gospel & feel I made an excellent choice but don't want to look like a hypocrit.
hoosierman78
QUOTE(freckleface7 @ May 27 2009, 12:51 AM) *
I have a ? please:

I just bought a Jeep (Patriot) & it gets great gas mileage (the same or better as my old sedan) & I'm contemplating the idea of getting a plate frame that says " Green is the new Black."
but don't want people to be like ' uh Yah- and yet she's still driving an SUV.'

I really want to continue to spread the green gospel & feel I made an excellent choice but don't want to look like a hypocrit.


Honestly, I don't think a 'Green is the new Black' plate frame would be hypocritical at all. You have a very fuel efficient vehicle that provides more versatility than a typical small/medium car. Sometimes there is a need for 4wd, and until they start making hybrid versions of them that are affordable, that's about as good as you can do. SUV doesn't have to be a bad word. 28 MPG HWY is a very respectable number.

Now, had you put that frame on a big hulk of a vehicle, that'd be a little different.
freckleface7
I appreciate that Hoosier.
I looked at hybrid Suv's & they were either {Ford Escape Hybrid} much too small (we have 2 large puppies & a teenager) or outrageously over-priced.
our dealer told us that while the sticker says 23/28, it's very possible to get 27/32 from our Patriot. granted, it's only a 4 cylinder rather a 6 or 8 but she's so crazi fun to drive & has so much pick up (& some sort of variable transmission past the D on the auto thing) you'd never know it.
I think I may order that frame now.

weird thing happened while shopping at a dept store yest.
I get up to the register & produce my plasticated World Market shopping bag & ask the cashier to please put my things in there instead; she says ' oh, good for you.'and then proceeds to rings stuff up & then just Stands There, looking at me till after an awkward 45 seconds or so I mumble ' or, ok, I can do this myself ', bag my own stuff and scoot out of there feeling really weird.
I'm tellin' you - people in my area are s l o w to catch on to green business practices! huh.gif
lilacwine13
Freckle, at least the person acknowledged you had a bag. Most of the cashiers in my area either don't see the bag so I have to tell them or they start throwing stuff into a plastic bag so fast that I barely have time to whip mine out and tell them they don't have to do it.
hoosierman78
Not only that, but the Escapes & Highlanders are more or less FWD station wagons with a lift kit and AWD system. Perfectly fine most of the time, but now and then you just need to be Trail Rated, or at least I do anyway.

Another nice thing is the lifetime powertrain warranty. The CVT transmission is not a cheap replacement. One thing to keep in mind and I'm not sure if they told you this, but in the fine print of the lifetime warranty, it stipulates that you have to take the vehicle in for periodic inspections at the dealership. I want to say it's every 5 years. They won't mail you a reminder either. Just a quick, easy way for them to void the warranty.

I hear you on the bagging practices, it's the same here. A couple places have started to sell them, but most of the time they have stuff in the plastic bags before you even have the chance to pull out the reusable one.
freckleface7
ok so I'm not ordering the Green Is The New Black plate frame after all.
it's $30** for 2 tiny scraps of metal & a touch of plastic lettering!
instead I have ordered this : http://www.cafepress.com/cp/moredetails.as...orNo=0&pr=F
which if it doesn't show here has several small multicolored peace signs at the top & the word IMAGINE across the bottom. it was 1/2 the price of the one I wanted & has ~pretty~ colors smile.gif
I wish it had a green sentiment, but I do have a 'Peace. Love. Earth. Recycle' magnetic sticker on the back of my Jeep now too.

going shopping in all sorts of places tomorrow and am armed w/ my various reusable bags (the Dollar Store has bags for duh- $1** & they aren't bad); I'm tempted to take notes of how I am treated for the practice, rate them, and then publish it in the paper as our city recently won some sort of Green Inititive Award.
tankgirl
It's really strange how in different parts of the country people react to the green bags differently. Around here everywhere has them right at the cash register and a lot of places expect you to have them. Even Walmart has a stack of them in the bag corral and every time I go there (I know I shouldn't but some of their food is just so cheap ) the cashier is always so nice about me using my bags and bagging my own groceries.

I went to NH for a few weeks last month and I hardly couldn't even find any reusable bags in any of the grocery stores, they didn't even keep them near the registers. I also hardly ever saw anyone using them. All my family members that I mentioned using reusable bags to just said "that's a great idea" and then went on to get their groceries plastic bagged. I think I am going to buy a bunch of them and send them to all my family up there and tell them if they don't use them I will stop talking to them, haha.

When I lived up there I walked to the grocery store and back and it was a bit of a hike so I always had my big army backpack to put the groceries in so I didn't even realize how uncommon it was.
ketto
Tankgirl, maybe a year or two ago I was picking up some things at walmart and brought my own bags. When I told the cashier no bags she kept saying, "really? No bags? You're sure?....So, no bags then?" It was so weird. I worked at a grocery store for 3 years and tons of people brought in their bags. I was shocked it was such an anomaly at evilmart.
freckleface7
a lot of stores here have reusable bags at/near the register too, but that doesn't really seem to make much an impact on the cashiers.
- when you bring your own bags are you supposed to bag your own stuff too?
that might explain the weirdness in Hamricks the other day!
lilacwine13
Seriously, I think it depends on store to store and even cashier to cashier. Some days I've brought my bag into Wal-mart with no problem, while others I've brought it into the local grocery store and had the person taking the stuff out of the plastic bag because they didn't see or hear me say I brought my own until it was too late. However, I don't see too many other people with their own bags around here, so it could just be where I live.

Freckle, most of the places I go to are willing to bag it for you if you brought your own, but it could be a regional thing. A lot of the big grocery stores don't have baggers, so I'm used to doing it myself.
freckleface7
I got a new reusable shopping bag that says " I used to be something else." that was made of re-used cotton. yah!
(cvs $8.99)
hoosierman78
They just opened an Aldi grocery store where I'm at. If you haven't seen them, basically they are a discount grocer, selling some name brand, but mostly generic branded foods at a steep savings over typical grocery stores. They don't bag anything for you, but give you the option to buy bags. I had a cart full of stuff, bought 3 of their canvas bags for $1.99 each, and wound up using only 2. They're huge and seem fairly robust.

Just thought I'd pass that along to those with an Aldi near by.
tankgirl
There's a few Aldi's near me but I have never seen bags there. I always grab a couple of boxes and shove everything in there. I'll have to check out if they have reusable bags, I am always in need of big sturdy ones so I can fit more in.
freckleface7
Hooiserman:
they had an Aldi's in my hometown in IN of LaPorte {25+} years ago.
it was kinda.. shady.. like it was super Super cheap, like damanged (read: mangled) goods, off off OFF brands, you get the idea. we'd go there every once in awhile.

then in Germany, they were all over the place and a lot better. very clean and modern and popular and yes- as they do in Europe anyway- you brought your own baskets/bags/whatever.
my girlfriends & I would go there on "treasure hunts" bc it was a great source for cheaper candy & we'd get a kick out of trying to guess what was really inside a bottle or can bc we couldn't read the language. laugh.gif

they opened an Aldi here where I live a few years ago & I'd say it's probably a mix between the 2: relatively clean & with great (better than before) generic brands. the mr & I buy our chips & canned goods there & stock up.
they have the bags there you can buy also - at the end of the register.

* I have a Green confession in the Confessions thread that I am too embarrassed to post here.
hoosierman78
Freckle:
I seem to recall a somewhat shady Aldi's in Lafayette while I was in college - though being a poor college student, I didn't seem to mind too much. Besides, those frozen eclair things they have are awesome!

The treasure hunts sound like fun, I'll have to try that the next time I'm out of the country. I'll eat almost anything, though I'm sure there are times that the surprise is less than pleasant.
freckleface7
hoosierman: along w/ grocery stores, go to a hardware & toy store also next time you are abroad.
the hardware store in the local german village where we were stationed had *everything* in teal !
plungers - rope-mopes- you name it.
it was surreal to say the least!
but wandering around a hardware store was still somewhat familiar & made me feel closer to the US when I was most homesick & after my first few trips there for small purchases of key copies etc, the proprieters tolerated me well enough.
and the toy stores. ha. it was just too much to resist pushing every button we saw to make everything there talk.
no doubt that was uber annoying for the clerks but how often do you get to hear Elmo say I Love You in German?
cheap thrills for the poor travelers. laugh.gif

today's best Greenie: $48.50 in credit at the used book store !!
MadameHooch
I want to try and take my green efforts up a notch by bringing my own containers to pack up leftovers when I'm at a restaurant. However, I must admit I feel a bit silly! I've yet to do it (I meant to take a nice little container to the diner with me last night to package up the rest of my Greek Salad, but I left in in the car and was admittedly too lazy to go back and get it.)
pepper
Thats' like my idea to make some sort of washable clear plastic baggie type thing for buying groceries with, I think about it but never do it. I end up throwing out so many of those flimsy bags they have for tomatoes and fruit and the like, it's tragic. I bring my own shopping bags or take a box but end up with all this plastic anyhow, sheesh, how to get away from it all?
Get off my butt and stitch up the suckers, that's how! One day dry.gif .
Persiflager
Ooh, I bought some great re-washable mesh vegetable bags! They live in my bike panniers and get used all the time.

I can't find the ones I bought but these (on etsy) look good.
koffeewitch
Persiflager: those bags are so cute...I bring my own bags to the store, but I, too, need something for my veggies. It's inexcusable that I haven't sewn up my own, why else do I have that uber over-priced Viking machine sitting around for?!

My best excuse for my plastic baggies is that I re-use them for cleaning out kitty litter pans. Since there is now flushable/bioD cat litter on the market it's not a very good excuse.

In Ecologist magazine last year, I read a stat about how many POUNDS of fabric each american throws in the trash every year. It was unbelievable; I wish I remembered the exact stat, but it was like 50 lbs of clothes, blankets, etc. per household. Can you guys even imagine how many bags, quilts, baby sleepers, pillows, etc. could be made from all that used fabric goodness people just pitch in the trash?
pepper
People *throw out* Fabric?!? I have never even imagined such a thing. Wow. There are just so many uses from restitching to donation to rag tearing for home use or factories that make rags. A lot of second hand stores send clothes that can't be resold here to third world countries or rag factories depending on the condition. I would never throw out fabric. You know how I am about craft supplies though, I never throw out Anything!

Ok, these bags I wanted to make are out of the plastic you can get at hardware stores for table cloths and such, it's on a roll and comes in different grades but... I'm not sure it's safe for food storage. I did make up some unbleached cotton sackies years ago and they worked fine, just maybe need some kind of label so you know what's in them. Spritzing them with water actually helps keep things crisper in the fridge than sealed in plastic anyhow, so long as they don't freeze in a too-cold fridge!

koffeewitch
I know, it blows my mind that people throw out fabric, too...but start looking in dumpsters near apartment buildings and you will see it for yourself. I can not believe what people throw away...especially kids clothes.
Just a generation or so ago, every household had a rag bag and EVERY scrap was saved as something potentially useful and precious. But now we have PAPER TOWELS, so nobody uses rags anymore. I admit it, I DO keep paper towels in my house and I go through (maybe) a roll or two per year. They are good for vomit and overflowing toilet messes, etc. The really gross stuff.
pepper
Kids Clothes?! You have Got to be kidding me! Holy Maude, those things are so expensive, how could anyone bear to put them into the trash! I am flabbergasted.

Ok...

I've got a roll of paper towels here now too. I never used to buy them but I line the kitchen compost container with one folded up so that food doesn't get glued to the bottom. I mix it in with the compost outside when I dump it. I guess I could use newspaper but I don't get the newspaper so I'd have to scrounge it from somewhere. I might just start putting some shredded junk mail into the bottom instead, a small amount of that is fine in compost.
koffeewitch
Hell, kids clothes are so expensive and outgrown so fast, I only buy them second hand. My neighborhood is so poor it's even more distressing to see people throw kids clothes away. If you can't cut them down to fit a younger child, or donate them to goodwill, or make a t-shirt quilt out of them then atleast place them BESIDE the freakin' dumpster for other people to take and NOT in the bottom yucky area of the dumpster where they get stained up and mildewed and become unsalvagable for anybody...
ketto
I've been thinking about getting a hold of some re-usable veggie bags for a while. I like the ones on etsy, I'll have to sew some up.

My mom was getting really fed up with the amount of paper towel being used in our house so she cut up a bunch of tea towels and made about 30 cloth napkins. Now it takes forever to go through the paper towel and I much prefer the cloth anyway.

When I buy veggies, I usually grab the paper mushroom bags and put all my fruits and veggies in them. At home we use the paper bags for garlic sausage, fruits, veggies. Everything keeps a lot longer when it's not in plastic. Then we just use the old paper bags in the fire place, but cloth bags would be nice so we're not wasting as much paper.

I can't believe how wasteful people are with kids clothes too. My mom used to make a large proportion of our clothes when we were young. Now she constantly adjusts my nieces clothing. Takes out pants and shirts, adds extra fabric to the bottom of pants she's outgrown. Makes one of her old shirts into a dress or nightgown.
koffeewitch
ketto, your mom really rocks...I make SOME of our family's clothes; and I can usually re-construct thrift clothes to fit better/ look better, but I'd love to be able to do more.
koffeewitch

Here's a short video on why the cap and trade system just doesn't work. It increases carbon emissions and makes wealthy polluters even wealthier.
http://www.naturemoms.com/blog/2009/12/08/...-cap-and-trade/
ketto
Paperboy and I are trying to live green now that we have our own place. I was really torn up about not composting but I was convinced it would be too smelly in an apt with no outside space. Then I realized I could get a bit tupperware container and keep it in the freezer. No smell, no bugs, and I just use compostable bags and bring them to my folks place.

I came up with that a couple of weeks ago and our garbage has decreased significantly. I'm also a crazy recycler. I make sure paperboy remembers to even throw the toilet paper roll in the recycling bin.

My mom gave us some napkins too so we're using about 1 roll of paper towel a month. I'm very happy with that.

It's crazy how fast plastic bags add up though. I recently heard that a few grocery stores in the area will recycle plastic bags from any stores so when I have too many to do anything with I'm planning to bring them there from now on too.
koffeewitch
http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Ketto, you've got to watch The Story of Stuff; you'll love it. It talks about how products are made to fall apart and be replaced. They study to see how quickly a product can break but still retain brand loyalty in the buyer. The environmental consequences of all our "stuff" are dismal.
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