Going Green with Prices Through the Roof!

           These days the “buzz” is all about “going green”. Something some of us have been doing for a long time.  Now that there is so much information on the subject all over that we are thinking that we can do more….but can we?

            I just recently saw a wonderful article in a magazine on making your own cheese and I thought, “Oh, I’d love to try that.”  The recipe began with 1 gallon of milk….have you seen the price of a gallon of milk lately? Now I think that if I do actually try it, I will just be splurging so that I can taste my own homemade cheese (not to mention that guilt we all have now, “If I don’t buy that I can almost get another gallon of gas.)

            This week I went looking at the organic foods because I do understand even though we love the idea of organics, they won’t be available long if we don’t buy them. I needed just a few things, coffee, sugar, flour, spaghetti and sauce.  I started with the coffee; I have to have decaffeinated. Normally I pay about 2 dollars for a brick of coffee. I found there was only one brand of organic decaffeinated coffee and it was $5.88. My mind balked, then I tried to be reasonable, it was only an extra four dollars and it would be organic. I moved on to the sugar and flour. I haven’t bought flour for a while as I had some stocked up but when I last bought flour you could get a 5 lb bag for about a dollar. Apparently it has gone up, along with everything else, and now was $2.37. However the organic flour was $4.38. My mind immediately said “Never”, but I tried to be reasonable and think of all the benefits of organic food, no chemicals, pesticides etc. (My mind started to wonder if pesticides and chemicals were actually used on all these foods anyway?). It went into the cart and we moved onto the sugar. At first organic sugar seemed not too bad $1.78 unfortunately that price was only for a 2 lb bag and I usually pay just over $2 for a 5 lb bag. The spaghetti and sauce were a bit better.  Organic spaghetti (all these had only one brand) was $ .99 only about 20 cent more than I usually pay and the organic sauce was $2.37 which is about double what I usually pay. In the end, the things I bought cost me more than double what I would have normally spent on those items. -----This is one receipt Phil will not be seeing.

            In these days when all our extra money is being burnt up in our gas tanks, I am not sure how we are supposed to buy or organic, let alone, buy any other “green” things i.e.: solar power etc.

            I have decided to content myself with what I can afford. Most of these things I have always. I try to buy locally. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of local food available to us. We have no farmer’s market here but we do have a flea market where last week I found a man selling local honey. We also have some people who sell vegetables on the street corners. Recycling is another thing I can afford, but there isn’t a lot of recycling that goes on here either. There are some trucks that buy cans and the store now have put out containers for recycling the plastic grocery bags.

              I do reuse a lot of things, plastic grocery bags (because for some reason the grocery stores manage to give me at least one even if I bring in my cloth grocery bags) get reused in the bathroom trash cans, coffee grounds feed the worms, leftover food into the compost bin or to the chickens, old wheel rims made a small table and wooden wire spools made stools (a subject for another article), plant pots and six packs are constantly reused until they fall apart; we have a future homemade heater involving aluminum cans that is in the works now as well.  Solar lights are around the front of the house and along the path to the greenhouse. They come in handy when the power goes out. They are also a good battery charger when the power goes out. Rainwater is collected from a gutter on the greenhouse and reused to water plants.

            I am sure as we go along we will find even more ways to be “green”. These ways along with the few organic things I can afford to buy each week are what I will do to try to be more “green”.  Maybe it isn’t possible to have the solar hot water heater, or to buy all my groceries organic but I will just keep doing the “green” things I have always done and keep looking for more “green” things that I can do.


                     Rebecca Whitford