Thursday, September 29, 2005

Got Bag?

Here's another idea from a reader at

I'm a dork. I save plastic grocery bags because there's no reason to get a new one every time I go to the store—it's wasteful. However, every time I go to the store, I forget to grab one from my drawer of many bags. When I come home, I add the new bag or three to the already full drawer. How can I stop this repetitive pattern of destructive behavior?

The solution is simple. I designed a visually stark but effective [and clever] sign to tape to the back of my door. Now, when I leave for the store, I'll be reminded not only that I need to go back and get a plastic bag, but also that I'm a dork.

Click here to get to his site, or to download his cleaver sign.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Child Bike Trailers for Three?

One reader asked about cycling with 3 children. It is possible, but I need to work out the logistics myself before becoming an advocate, but wouldn't just an old fashioned bike seat work for a younger child? The bike seat would be attached to the same bike that is pulling the trailer.

Here is another solution for cycling with your children. Great for older kids since they get the experience of balance. I've seen older children riding across Iowa on this type of bike seat. They seem to like it and they also have a great feeling of accomplishment.

Buy My Book

Well, really, it's not my book, but I like the name.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Keep Those Bags Away From Me

I freak out every time I go to Kroger without planning on the trip. The reason I get so worked up is not over my lack of grocery list, or plan for what to buy, it's usually that I forgot to put my bags in the car. What do I mean by bags? I have a whole assortment of cloth bags and a few paper bags that I try to bring with me every time I go to the grocery store.

Kroger seems to be the worst at getting rid of their plastic and burdening them on me. I have counted the bags, and one trip alone, I left the store with 50 plastic bags, no exaggeration. Here's how they add up: My eggs usually leave the store in two or three bags, without a single additional item added in the bag. Same thing with my bread- each loaf in a bag or two by itself. I figure it's their way of saying "it didn't get damaged by the bagger, it must have happened when you loaded up your car". Or maybe they think we will say, "wow, look how many bags of groceries I got for my money, I'm really saving big at Kroger".

There is no way on earth I can use all of the plastic bags again. Sure I use them to pick up dog poop, or as plastic liners in the kitchen garbage can, and even to contain a soilded diaper when we are on the road. But there is no way I can use 50 by my next shopping trip.

So this is why I keep so many cloth bags in my car. In fact, my whole family or at least most of my sisters and parents does the same thing. I knew I was making a difference when my daughter of 3 said to the sales clerk, while out with my mother in law (who doesn't believe in recycling) "oh, we don't need a bag" . So maybe slowly it will rub off on everyone slowly, but it needs to start at home.

Here's a cleaver idea for when you are out and about and forget to bring a bag with you.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Vote No- Save the Organic Industry

From Jer:

After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards. Now, large corporations such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, & Dean Foods--aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are moving to lower organic standards by allowing a Bush appointee to create a list of synthetic ingredients that would be allowed in organic production. Whether you buy organic products or not, this attempt by corp-agriculture is designed to give them greater control of what is offered in stores. The definitions of what is organic in no way affect commercial produce.

I ask that you take the time to call your senators and ask them to vote "No" on the "rider" to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

You can find your senators here: