This week I have been trying out the bamboo toothbrush. It has nylon bristles, and after emailing the company owner about this, he sent me some highly technical information about Nylon 4, which has been developed to biodegrade in compost or sewage sludge. I have to say, I am a bit doubtful, but the information I read seems to show that it does indeed, after some weeks or months biodegrade down to carbon and water. Seems counter intuitive, but there you have it. Anyway, must be a whole lot better than a whole plastic toothbrush.
As a toothbrush it works well. I tried the medium this time, might try the soft next time. It does feel slightly like you are brushing your teeth with one of those disposable bamboo chopsticks, but there you are. It comes in child-size, but none of the children seem inclined to try it yet. I found mine at my local wholefoods shop, but there is also a website.
It does feel good to be able to put all the packaging into the recycling bin.
I found all-paper packaged, recycled Australian-made kitty litter that can be composted. When I say 'found' that indicates a degree of personal exertion. Actually, I cast my eyes along the selection at the supermarket, past the considerably cheaper generic version I usually buy. I'll try it and see if it has the kitty tick of approval.
On the tea front - I am enjoying making pots, and have been using infusers. Although twice, yes, on two separate occasions this week I have made tea without in fact putting any tea in the teapot. It makes a very weak brew... I am clearly too vague to be attempting tasks of more than one step early in the morning..
I also ventured into a local coffeshop that Fran had recommended for 'naked' tea. Sure enough, there was a shelf at the back with enormous jars of the most exotic teas you can imagine. One had blue cornflower petals tossed through it and smelled inexplicably of peaches. I chose vanilla tea, which smells a whole lot better than it tastes, but it is an adventure. I think when I go back I will ask if they can order in some boring English or Irish Breakfast for me.
I am still feeling a little overwhelmed and horrified at the ubiquity and nastiness of the global plastic mountain, but I will say that in avoiding it, I am starting to enjoy my shopping expeditions so much more. I had no idea that there was a tiny coffeeshop in town with a steam-punk brass coffee-roasting machine, and a jumbled collection of arcane global foodstuffs and kitchen-ware for sale, let alone giant jars of exotic tea. Shopping has begun to be an adventure.
And speaking of the nastiness of plastic - here is a trap for the unwary. I bought a bunch of metal drinkbottles for the children last year, but only last week discovered that many metal bottles are actually made from aluminium, which is of course, not foodsafe, so requires... a plastic coating, usually...BPA. I checked our bottles, and two were aluminium, and when I took them outside so I could see inside them in the sunlight, they did indeed have plastic linings which were turning yellow, and blotchy as they slowly disintegrated with use. Oh, it was awful. It would have been better to have them use a plastic bottle! So, check your bottles to make sure they are stainless. Aluminium is very light, and gets pits and pockmarks in the surface with use. If you have a corporate logo bottle, it is probably aluminium, because they are much cheaper. I have now bought replacement bottles and double checked their stainless steel credentials..
One more change. You know how stew recipes often require you to toss meat around in a flour and seasoning coating in a plastic bag? Well, goodness, it turns out that is so much easier to do in a mixing bowl. Have we just 'convenienced' ourselves into making life actually harder, not easier?
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (13). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much.. and now extra frugal adventures with Partner Paul..