Environmentally “Unfriendly” package

April 18, 2008

This just doesn\'t scream good to me

When you say environmentally friendly to me, it brings to mind things the you can reuse or things that are broken down more easily.

Most packing just goes in the trash, none seems better than the next.

Bread bags (no pic), cereal inserts (no pic) and most vegetable and salad bagging,  pill bottles, tubs for cream cheeses, water bottles and on and on…..it all just lies in the ground waiting.  You can harp on the environmental damage of plastics but then you have to give a big acknowledgment to the waste of the life of a tree for cardboard. I don’t even want to think about glass. Which do you critique the most?

I’ve heard that there are new packages made from corn products or something that breaks down a little easier……. but with corn now being used in fuels, I wonder if that is even a good option-financially or the just in terms of use of land.

I’m by no means a tree hugger, but I’m starting to see that all this plastic and cardboard isn’t a good thing and I try to reuse/repurpose things more now than ever before. You have to start small and start someplace, but most of all you just have to start.



April 18, 2008

This to me is a great idea of how to package food items if possible. Times are financially hard for everyone and people who take a lunch to work would love to have this container to use and reuse, thus making it environmentally friendly. I know alot of people who save these for leftovers. I know so people who will make a food item for a friend and use these instead of sending their glad-ware or Tupperware (that you never get back). It beats going to the dollar store and paying a buck for 3 cheapo containers that you lose. The plastic is thicker than these and surely it take forever and more to break down in a landfill. These containers were sturdy without because like a cheap, crackly piece of plastic. The shape was great and it was pretty air tight. Not vacuum tight, but the lid sealed nicely. 

When I’ve bought food packaged like this, I felt like I was getting something fresh and special. Not “machine spit out and away it goes-no telling how long it had been sitting there”.  With hot food items packaged to reheat, it feels like you’ve gotten a meal from a lunchtime restaurant, a treat. For cooler items, you feel like something has been especially prepared for you. Unique.

These are easy to stack in the fridge and carry in a bag if there are more than one. If you dropped it, stuff wouldn’t fly everywhere–no worries. I would pay a little more for this only because I feel like I would get a few uses out of it.

A sticker on the label encouraging reuse would be a wonderful encouragement. Also limitation would be nice. Is it dishwasher hardy? Microwave safe? What number plastic is it? Can it be thrown in the recycle bin?

As a homemaker, I just really like these type of packaging.

Freshness Anywhere

April 18, 2008

freshness, from the earth

For freshness anywhere, why not start with my own backyard…… or frontyard 🙂

This was my gardening effort last summer (2007). I finally had a personalized, small collection of plants and flowers.  I’m so proud of myself. Not a lot of super hard work, just realizing what I wanted and making it so.

Nothing died, wilted, browned or colorless. Everything seemed to have firm leaves and bright colors. I even put a special treat here or there, my fake frogs. The children got a kick out of them.

I like this idea. My own version of nature without being a “granola and tree bark” health freak. I’m growing up to value the small things and to give thanks for all things. It feels great to nurture something that gives beauty to the neighborhood and makes other people happy as well.  The site of the flowers in my yard actually makes people walking by smile and say “hello, I like your flowers.  We don’t get many open friendly hellos in my neighborhood as much any more.

My elderly neighbors sits on the porch and watch the flowers grow, watch me work. They just enjoy the view.  One said it makes her feel like she is sitting in the park.

I like to make other people smile. Simple things. Good things. Natural and simple living seems to be the theme of  who I am growing into and wishing to be at 37 years old. Wish me luck.

Packaged Freshness

April 18, 2008

 spinach readyto use

As I’ve mentioned. These type of reusable containers with whole leaf lettuces seem, to me, to be the best for freshness.  Look at the bottom of the box.  Just a hint of moisture.  It reminds me of dew, versus the balloon hot house with mushy muck at the bottom.

I have to be honest though and not fully trash regular salad bagging. While the regular packaged lettuce is great when you first get it, you have to eat it quickly, I would rather have the container. I know a machine packed this lettuce, but it “feels” special. It smells clean. It tasted fresh picked.

My bagged spinach(Shop N Save) with the holes in the bag to let the leaves breathe, was really tasty. Firm leaves and an earthy scent without feeling like you were on the farm. Best of all…….. no grit (cringe).  I can’t stand to have spinach that I have to wash and rewash to get the dirt out of. If that is the case, I could just buy it bulk.


Salad Inspiration

April 18, 2008

salad inspiration_budding daffadilseeing the different colors

Spring is in the air. The flowers are blooming. Nature awakening makes me want salad. Who wants to cook when it is warm/hot outside. I enjoy light food during warm weather anyway.

The different shades of green, the different style leaves with splashes of white, red and purple makes me think of salad. Everything nowadays seems to come with a warning tag that it is not good for you. Pesticides you can’t see but give you cancer in your 40s.  Ecoli. Artificial this, fake that. Talk to the right person on the wrong day and they will have you thinking that water isn’t even water today. Good hard work in a garden make we want something light and fresh to eat. Fresh and crisp. A big bowl of mixed greens and a nice pitcher of tea or lemonade is a mental getaway and a treat.

Bad Salad Package–the yuck and gross factor

April 18, 2008

crappy standard salad packagingIt has air and moisture trapped in it

My sister sent me the above picture with the frog in it and it really illustrates what makes a bad salad package to me. 

While my photo of the salad that I happen to buy a lot of has some of these qualities, it gets eaten so quickly that it never gets to this extreme…… where a frog can live in it. It is chopped salad so I do get the brown factor on the edges of the stem edges if I don’t eat it all quickly,  which makes it a bit gross. But it is a cheaper salad so I take the good with the bad. Purchased at Aldi’s.

I got politely asked to stop taking pictures at the Schnucks grocery store  when I taking photos of the salad packages that I didn’t like. I guess they thought I was doing a news piece and didn’t want to be included. my photos were blurry anyway.

A bad salad package is one where there is a lot of air and moisture that is trapped. A mini greenhouse for moisture and it doesn’t keep well if the lettuce leaves are chopped and not the whole leaf, mixed greens pack. When I see a puffed out bag of salad I automatically think of wet and slime, then I check the back and bottom of the bag to see if I can see any wet and slime. GROSS! I don’t care for the feel of the plastic either. Thick without being thick. Hard to open. Nothing really great about the packaging. It just is what it is.



A Great Salad Package–ahhhhh:)Packaged Freshness

April 17, 2008

spinach bag with tiny holes in itthe prefered packageThis is it for chopped lettuceNo wet, no mush, no air--great!

These are the ultimate in salad freshness. Cut/chopped leaf bag that are vacuum packed. Whole leaves in a reusable container. Ready made kits in a container you can eat out of.  It screams fresh and protected. Clean.

Do you see that garden salad mix?  No air.  No bubbles. No brown lettuce. No mush. No wet in the package. It looks good. Smells good. It doesn’t take up a bunch of space in the fridge while you are waiting to use it. This is my ideal of great salad packaging when you eat alot of salad. I just wish the plastic bags had a ziplock on them. The zippered kind, not the two finger press kind.

I found this bag and container at Sam’s Club. I don’t shop there often because I let my card run out but I love this salad…… and there is enough of it that I don’t worry about going back or scaling down the size of my salads if I don’t feel like going back to the grocery for more. With gas prices, I don’t make zippy trips anymore.

I also just adore the bags with the holes in the back, like the spinach above that I buy from Shop n Save. Usually I only see those holes on the whole leaf mixed lettuce bags.  The holes didn’t show up well at all in the pictures. Love those.  Everything feels fresh picked.

All bagged salad should have a notice on it saying that it has been wash. I use a salad spinner to rewash but if give me confidence that it wasn’t just unloaded from a truck and zipped in to a packing machine.

Bag Salad: what I love, like and dislike

April 17, 2008

The WHY of why I love bagged salad. To make things simple, and not over dramatize my love for bagged, pre-washed (very important) salad……… I can’t cook meat very well. I actually give it a second death:)~    I’m not kidding. It’s the joke among my family.

Over the years I’ve manage to crank out a few chicken dishes that don’t involve major preparation beyond: running water over a frozen unskinned chicken breast, thaw, chop, cook……. but when my husband doesn’t eat red meat on principle, I don’t eat red meat because I can’t cook it to taste like anything, and my children don’t eat meat unless it looks like a chicken finger from Burger King or McDonald’s……… SALAD IT IS!

I come from a large family of pretty good cooks so my cooking kind of sucks.  My mother was a professional baker and my grandmother (who had 14 children) was a fantastic cook, she even had a restaurant back in the day:) With people who cook food greatly around you, I just never learned to prepare meal-meals. I can bake a cake like no body’s business and whip up a batch of cookies quicker than I can make a sandwich…. which also leads to why I love salads…… necessity…… I’m fat from the stress relief cookies and the constant tiny slices of cake that add up during a couple of days time.  I really could stand to drop a couple of 50’s and be cutesy again so I depend on having salad around.

Also, I think I have a psychological avoidance to turning on the stove because of the three different meals I feel that I”m fixing for my husband and children. I just want something quick, simple and no fail for myself. I would add healthy to the list, but by the time I add the extra goodies, mine “healthy” title is pushing it. Still better in calories and fat than at a restaurant, but loaded with goodies. Chicken, croutons, sunflowers seeds and fried onions….. oh my! Did I forget cheese (I try). Luckily I’m not a salad dressing freak or I’d be in real trouble. Although, I’ve bought a few salad kits that had some nice Caesar dressings but I find I like Caesar salad at restaurants more than I like them out of the bagged salad kit.