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Some nuggets from our GreenGroup meeting

Our GreenGroup had two meetings last week: Tuesday we met at the SW Community Center, and then Sunday we went to Jen's house and were wowed by her totally green house and experiment in permaculture out in the yard. Here are a few of the things we discussed on Tuesday:

Erin reminded us that New Seasons sells shampoo, hand soap (and what else -- lotion?) in bulk. You can bring in your own container, have it weighed before you fill it and they will deduct the weight of the container from the total weight. This is a great way to keep plastic containers out of your home and the waste stream.

One of our members just finished Fast Food Nation and discussed how conventional cattle farming takes up a huge amount of natural resources and energy. Cutting back on (or eliminating) conventionally-raised beef is a good goal to have. Oregon Country Beef is raised far more sustainably (though still not perfect) and is available at Whole Foods and New Seasons.

Kelly and her family are planning a move and are working with a green realtor! I can't remember her name, but she is a former architect who is great at looking at existing homes and figuring out how they can be turned into green homes within the buyer's budget. We will be eagerly following her progress!

Have you heard of Azure Standard? It's an online, natural bulk food store based in Dufer, Oregon. If you place a $400 order you can get free delivery. This is a great idea if you want to buy with a group of friends -- or a GreenGroup of friends, as we've been discussing, thanks to Jen!

Betty brought show-and-tell: a Forever Flashlight. It requires no batteries -- all you do is shake it and it will shine for 5 minutes. I like this idea because batteries will die even if they aren't being used (like many of our flashlights) and we frequently only need a flashlight for quick uses.

We also spent some time talking about whether we could ever give up toilet paper. One of our members has been pondering the total elimination of paper products. Washcloths and handkerchiefs instead of paper towels, napkins and facial tissues, so what about toilet paper? Is it really any different than using cloth diapers? I think toilet paper is another one of my sacred cows, but it will be interesting to see if she tries it. Could you?

Whew. And that was just a little of what we talked about. We'll write a separate post on Jen's place!

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