Friday, August 24, 2012

I Heart My Tiffin

On a recent foray to Whole Foods, I spied a stainless steel tiffin.  Tiffins, also known as dabbas or bentos, are stackable lunch kits. At less than $20, I bought it on a whim - and - after a week of road testing, I'm glad I did! Why?
  • It gets me even farther away from plastic (I've been taking my lunch to work in glass Pyrex containers with plastic lids (that tend to leak in my backpack- eeewww!);
  • though it's ended up upside down in my backpack with food that included liquid, it did not leak (yay!);
  • the buckle mechanism is cool and makes a nice "clunk" noise when engaged;
  • it's a great conversation piece at work;
  • it encourages me to bring my own lunch;
  • it will be a practical way to carry food to potlucks with out risking spilling food on my the floorboard of my car (which has happened too many times); and
  • it can double as a drum in a pinch.
While I can't use it in a microwave, I usually put my food on a plate before microwaving to get a better distribution of heat anyway. 

Tiffins originate from India and Japan - but many other cultures likely figured this concept as well. There's a whole history of the evolution of tiffins here!  While mine is two tiered, it functions just fine using only one of the tiers.  There are MANY options out there...check on line...but also check in your local kitchen store! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Summer Reading: How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything

I liked this book as it put CO2 emissions in terms that translate to my life...and makes me think about things from a new perspective.  Sure, I know that biking is better than driving my car..but the author (Mike Benner-Lee) points out that if I'm powering by bike ride by eating air freighted produce, my carbon footprint for my bike ride increases. Darn! Another argument for buying local!  The average American has a 28 ton annual carbon footprint.  This book advocates ..but doesn't preach for a 10 ton diet..and provides ideas for how to get there.  It's a fun and easy read that will give you lots...I mean tons of fact fodder for your next fete.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Reading for the Recycler: "Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can, Too"

One of the blogs I followed it Beth Terry's "Plastic Free Life". It's a great blog, that is informative, humorous, and practical.  Beth explains in lay terms (well, as "lay" as you can get when you start talking about plastic chemical compounds) about why and how we should get plastic out of our lives - for health as well as environmental reasons.  She's now written a book - "Plastic Free" which puts all this logic into a pleasantly readable and compelling format that's fun and informative to read.  You can even order it in plastic-free packaging, or download it onto your e-reader.  Beth realizes that while it's impossible to rid your life of plastic, you can makes some changes that will reduce your consumption, and your carbon foot print.  I found I already do many of the things she suggests (clean with baking soda and vinegar and make my own yogurt and hummus), but she's given me some sources for some products that I currently buy in plastic ..and some ideas for some products that I can easily make myself. Rumor has it that she'll be coming to DC for some speaking events this fall.  Stay tuned!