Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fabric Softener or Health and Environmental Menace?

The other day I was in my local grocery store and I happened to pick up a bottle of fabric softener to check the ingredients.  I am curious like that.  While I have been known to make my own laundry soap and hang my clothes outside (or on bars over heat vents) to dry, I have to admit I like my clothes to smell nice and "clean."   But what IS the smell of clean that comes from fabric softeners?  What ingredients make up that blue, green, yellow or pink liquid that we pour into our washing machines, infuse into our clothes and then pump out into our septic systems, sewers and waterways?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eco-Stepping with Community Supported Agriculture

"Hello, yeah, it's been a while.  Not much, how about you?" 

Okay, so now that you're in a '70's kind of mood, let's talk about Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs.  Community Supported What?

According to Wikipedia, community-supported agriculture (in Canada Community Shared Agriculture) (CSA) is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farming operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme, and sometimes includes dairy products and meat.

Still feeling the 70's or even the 60's?  Maybe even a little hippie-ish?  Let's press on with a little history. 
Community-supported agriculture began in the early 1960s in Germany, Switzerland and Japan as a response to concerns about food safety and the urbanization of agricultural land.  That may sound like long, long ago and far, far away, but recent news has indicated otherwise.