Tennesseetransitions


Just Sayin’…
August 5, 2012, 9:47 PM
Filed under: Composting, Food Storage, Greenwashing | Tags: ,

Because I can’t seem to find the time or energy these days to do the research and writing to put together a single feature blog post, maybe it’s time yet again for a little of this and that-things I wanted to write about, none of which would make a full post.

Remember This?

Click on that link up there to read about this product. After only 5 uses, it simply fell apart…

This is a perfect example of Greenwashing, and it makes me mad that companies  put such a spin on their products! Useful and valid products don’t need spin, they sell themselves. Just sayin’…

Compostable plates and cutlery are another example of Greenwashing. Even after soaking them in water for a couple of days, they never did break down in my compost pile, and I got tired of picking them out of my pile when I needed compost. Research showed me that even the USDA tests on these showed that they failed to break down within 6 months, even after shredding and using a mixing auger! Turns out they will biodegrade in a commercial composting facility, but the average home compost pile won’t work. They’re also made out of corn starch and polyethylene plastic and are pricey. My advice: Pick up an inexpensive set of plastic plates and silverware at a yard sale this summer.  Just sayin’…

Remember a few years ago when we all learned that our reusable water bottles were coated with a known carcinogen, called BPA? We were advised to cull them (including baby bottles, kids toys and pacifiers) and buy BPA FREE stuff. I just wanted you to know that most thermal receipts these days are coated with the endocrine disruptor, so I hope you’ll be sure to wash your hands well after handling them. Talk about greenwashing!   Oh, and when you do wash up, don’t use antibacterial soaps. Turns out, once again, that what we all thought was wonderful stuff in the beginning has turned around to bite us in the butt! Using these products is quickly making more and more germs so resistant to antibiotics that they no longer respond to them when needed. The science is in-let a few germs remain, they help build your natural resistance. Do not use alcohol-based hand cleaners after handling receipts. A recent study showed that these products can increase the skin’s BPA absorption. So what’s a body to do? Just use plain old soap and water.  Just sayin’…

OK, enough negativity! On the positive side, I’d like to tell you about my years-long experience with these green colored reusable produce bags. They really do keep fruits and veggies fresh longer, especially if you store each variety of food in a separate bag. I’ve kept just-harvested cabbages in the lower part of my refrigerator for up to 3 months in these bags! I rarely advocate buying more ‘stuff’ but I believe these green bags are worth the money and natural resources used to produce them. The ones that are made in the US are organic, environmentally friendly and if you’re careful they will last a long, long time (but tests done on 15 different produce bags made in China, Korea and Taiwan were not made with food grade film and contained various chemicals known to cause cancer). Just sayin’…

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3 Comments so far
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Reblogged this on ninety-nine and commented:
Re-blogging from my good friend, Sam Jones

Comment by 9tynine

One thing I feel I should elaborate on about chemical scares, since you mentioned BPA (I think that’s the one I’m thinking of), so here goes a bit of a rant: Many chemical scares are the result of sensationalism and exploiting the common naive belief that there are two clear categories of “toxic” and “non-toxic” and that you can consistently apply a zero-tolerance policy for the former.

The truth is more complicated, since life is messy and the human body is more complex than a handful of toggle switches. The quick and dirty summary is that the dose makes the poison. Everything is a poison if you get too much of it. “Toxin” is a somewhat fuzzy class of chemicals that tend to be easier to overdose on because they have a steeper dose-response curve and/or are common enough for people to reach a toxic dose with relative ease. If someone’s trying to warn you about the dangers of a chemical, always listen for information about the toxic dose for humans and how much you’re likely to get exposed to in normal circumstances. If they avoid talking about dose-response or how much you’re likely to be exposed to in normal circumstances, be suspicious of their intentions.

In a lot of ways, the environment is like the human body, since it’s complex and full of living dynamics: It has certain tolerances it can take on, and a lot of the problems we’ve caused as a species are from exceeding those tolerances. The goal is to minimize our various impacts to a level that ecosystems can handle. Environmental science isn’t one of my strong subjects, but I imagine zero tolerance attitudes can lead to greenwashing when a product goes about some more wasteful or harmful production method to avoid producing any amount of one taboo chemical. Environmentalism is harder in practice than the greenwashers want their customers to believe.

Comment by Bronze Dog

Well said Bronze Dog!

“Maybe a person’s time would be as well spent raising food as raising money to buy food.”

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Comment by simpleintn




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