Friday, November 23, 2007

A new store

Yesterday I found a new store. It's a 'bio' store - everything is biological (green labels everywhere) and it's set up like a big warehouse.
Everything is a lot more expensive than what you find in the supermarket. The veggies, the shampoos and hair dyes - to give an example - a box of hair dye costs 7 euros in the store, and 11 euros in the 'bio' shop. The veggies were more expensive too, but I bought a bag of onions, some celery (wonderful celery, by the way) and some soap. I also tried the bio hair dye. I've been looking for something less harsh and chemical, and this worked nicely. OK, it didn't cover all the gray, but it did cover Most of it, and it looks pretty natural. And there is no (whatever they say) harsh chemicals. (It didn't seem to make my hair as dry as regular hair dyes.)
But it was depressing to see all these interesting products at prices that put them out of my reach. (And apparently out of most people's reaches.) It doesn't seem fair that one has to be wealthy to help save the planet. There are 'green label' bio products slowly making a timid appearance in my grocery store. I buy 'green' 100% biodegradeable washing powder and detergant. But there is nothing, for example, for the dishes. I bought some 'bio' sponges to clean with, and I don't buy window cleaner (haven't for years) but instead use a mix of white vinegar and water. I'd love to be able to buy all my veggies and home cleaning products at the 'bio' store, as well as the clothes they have. But the price is prohibitive.
I'd also love to have a 'green' car, but I noticed that those too were far more expensive than normal cars. Shouldn't they be government subsidized, I wondered? Shouldn't efforts to save our planet be rewarded?

Here is a little snippet that may make you rethink your view on things made of paper. It's from a journalist remarking on the deforestation of Tazmania, and is pretty depressing.
(Exerpt from the online Guardian News):
"Trees are bulldozed or blown apart with explosives and the ground cleared by fires, started by napalm dropped from helicopters. Any native wildlife that survives is culled by sodium fluoroacetate poison, allowing regimented new saplings to grow - monoculture on an industrial scale...Turned into woodchip and then exported as chlorine-bleached pulp, much of what remains of Tasmania's native forests may end up as cheap paper for the hungry markets... "

So thank you, e-book readers. Each time you buy an e-book, you can pat yourself on the back. You saved native wildlife, and that's no mean feat.


MarkD60 said...

Too bad it's too expensive.
The last paragraph about Tazmania is disturbing, sounds like Haiti.

Rosie said...

I so agree with you about the expense. We do what we can but when you have a family and a budget, well it's difficult no two ways about it. I keep hoping that as time goes by and more people try to (or do) use the products the price will come down.

The tree stories are just sad and sort of horrifying.

Sam said...

Hi Mark - thanks for dropping by!

Rosie - It's hard enough balancing a family budget without feeling guilty about polluting the planet too, lol.
Oh well.

Travis Erwin said...

So what is your pick as tops among e-book readers?

Jennifer said...

Hi Travis -
I'd LOVE a sony e-book reader for x-mas. As it is, I read off my old laptop - the keyboard is pretty much shot, but the screen is excellent and I have about 300 books on it! It sits nicely on my lap in bed. Only problem is it gets hot when I read for hours. I have a sort of tray that it sits on when it gets hot. Supposedly the newer laptops don't have that problem.
I am going to get an e-book reader though.

Anonymous said...

I read off my laptop or my Palm Pilot. I firmly believe that once the iPod generation figures out ebooks, the world will be a different place. (Can iPods read books??) Those trees grown in Tanzania are probably processed in kraft mills, sending dioxins into the surrounding waters. When I win the lottery I'll be making hemp and bamboo paper bleached snowy white with hydrogen peroxide.

Until then, we've adjusted our budget to include organic veggies, and Costco actually has a fabulous eco-laundry soap.


Verilion said...

Living in Mexico as a vegetarian made me realise that in order to have planet saving ideals, you also need to have a planet saving budget. Until saving the planet becomes economically viable to the fat cats, the prices will stay up. Makes you wonder how green some of those companies are.

John Nez said...

I usually don't mind paying 15% more for organic foods... but some of those 'Green' products really look like they're price gouging, with just the wealthy shopper as their demographic group.

What I don't get is why Campbell's Tomato soup with low salt has to cost almost twice as much as the regular soup, that has way too much salt!