Category Archives: Localvore Shop

JOURNEY TO ZERO WASTE, Part 2

By Maya London-Southern

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Bulk in the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

BULK! It’s so important that I’m writing my entire second blog post about it. Even if everything you need isn’t available in bulk where you live, chances are this is where you can find a lot of things you do need or want.

When it comes to shopping sustainably, bulk is the ultimate lifesaver. While items bought in bulk likely still came in disposable packaging, the customer’s choice to buy in bulk as opposed to individually wrapped products reduces the amount of packaging used. The truth is, unless you’re growing all of your own food, it’s practically impossible to buy food without someone producing some type of trash along the way. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and by refusing this unnecessary packaging in everyday shopping, a consumer is voting for change.

 

Packaged pasta (the bag will end up in landfill) vs. bulk pasta at the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

You might be thinking about the paper and plastic bags that many grocery stores have for customers to put their bulk products in, and you might be thinking these bags aren’t very sustainable and don’t really align with the Zero Waste movement. You’d be right to think so. Paper is always better than plastic, but because the bag is made to be used only a few times at most, it is an unnecessary waste of resources. Some grocery and health food stores even charge you extra for using their bags and give you money back if you bring your own containers. There are several sustainable alternatives to the bags at the store:

Jars

A tower of jars filled with chili spice, chickpeas, and olive oil, all of which I bought in bulk.

The perfect container for so many things, especially liquids—it can even be a to-go cup for cold drinks. If you plan to use a jar for liquid, it’s not a bad idea to test to make sure it won’t leak—Mason jars have always been reliable for me in this regard.

When using it for bulk, weigh the empty jar and lid (called collecting the tare or unladen weight). Write the tare on the lid or type it in your phone—you can type the PLU (product look-up) number into your phone as well. This way, you can tell the cashier the weight to subtract from the total weight of both the jar and the bulk product in it, so you won’t be overcharged. I love using jars because they’re easy to clean and easy to unpack—I just move the jar from my shopping bag into my pantry. Jars are easy to access as well. Many grocery stores sell empty ones, but you might already have a few in your house already, they’re just filled with food. Once they’re empty, hold on to them rather than tossing them in the recycling (you can scrub the stickers off with white vinegar or olive oil).

 

 

 

Cloth bags

A pillowcase-turned-bag.

Jars are great, but sometimes it’s easier to bring lighter, more compact containers. Reusable cloth bags are perfect for this. Some grocery stores sell them, but you can also make your own using old pillowcases. I cannot stress how simple this is. As long as you have access to a sewing machine and know the absolute basics on how to use it, you can do this. Believe me, I CANNOT SEW and I did a sufficient job.

To make it, you will need a pillowcase, a safety pin, and either ribbon or string. I’m writing my own instructions that I adapted from http://sewdelicious.com.au/2012/02/pillowcase-to-drawstring-bag-tutorial.html.

 

  1. Turn the pillowcase inside-out.
  2. Think about how big you want the bag to be and cut accordingly. When cut into fourths, a standard pillowcase will make four bags that are a great size for bulk shopping.
  3. Sew the cut sides so that three of the four sides are sewn, but leave a slit (about an inch or two long) unsewn at the top of one of the sides near the opening.
  4. Fold the top of the opening the length of the slit over itself and stitch all the way to create the casing for the string.
  5. Turn the bag right-side out.
  6. Pin the safety pin to the string or ribbon. Pull it through the bag’s casing.
  7. Once the pin is out of the other end of the casing, determine how long you want the drawstring to be and cut the string or ribbon accordingly.

 

Other bulk products to watch out for

Grocery and health food stores range in the amount of bulk they carry. It wasn’t until I was actively trying to only shop in bulk that I realized my food co-op in Middlebury, VT had oil and liquid soap in bulk. The Brattleboro Food Co-op has an even wider selection: along with all the food, there are soaps, oils, shampoos, vinegars, honey, nut butters galore—there’s even beer on tap in refillable growlers and soap bars for you to cut for yourself.

Bulk in the Brattleboro Food Co-op.

Now that I’m regularly shopping in bulk, I can’t imagine going back to buying packaged products. I have so much fun filling my jars and bags, and I’ve saved a lot of money because it’s cheaper (not to mention I can no longer buy those packaged snacks or drinks I used to impulsively grab off the shelves). I honestly love bulk, and I love knowing that I’m not bringing any new garbage into my house that would eventually end up in a landfill. Not to mention, I’m avoiding unhealthy food, because that usually only comes in packaging. Altogether, I feel so much healthier, thriftier and better organized. I cannot recommend bulk shopping enough!

Thanks so much for reading, check back for more Zero Waste posts soon!

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Maya London-Southern is a 2017 Green Writers Press summer intern and a student at Middlebury College.

 

 

 

 

Spring News for March 2016

We are a growing Vermont publisher with exciting news to share!

9780996135771-PerfecBandCt.inddBlackberries and Cream ~ a Classic Children’s Novel from Green Writers Press Selected for the Alabama Book Festival and named a finalist for the Foreword Review’s IndieFAB Book of the Year

Other news on upcoming books:

Clarence MajorHaving written more than eight novels, including My Amputations and Dirty Bird Blues, alongside a dozen books of poetry, Chicago Heat and Other Stories is Clarence Major’s second work of short fiction and first book with Green Writers Press is coming out September 6, 2016. Here is a quote from Clarence—and we are honored to be his publisher!

At the same time one of the most pressing issues for all of humanity is the environment, namely climate change. I would like to support efforts to bring about awareness of the problem. We are running out of time. —Clarence Major

And last, but not least: We are so excited about Green Writers Press having 5 finalists in the annual Foreword Reviews IndieFAB Book of the Year Awards:

Richard Jarrette, A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances—Poetry
M Jackson, While Glaciers Slept: Being Human in a Time of Climate Change—Memoir
Lauren Alderfer, Teaching from the Heart of MindfulnessEducation
Leslie Rivver, Blackberries and Cream—Juvenile Fiction
Sydney Lea, What’s the Story? Reflections on a Life Grown Long—Essays

“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews magazine. “The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”

GWPIndieFabFinalists

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Please welcome, ANNA MULLEN, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Assistant Editor!

AnnaMullenAnna is a poet, naturalist, and aspiring morning person from the suburban foothills of the North Carolina Appalachians. She has special love for writings about the sea, speculative fiction, animal consciousness, psychologies of climate change, and queer ecology. She studied Environmental Literature at Middlebury College and as a poetry fellow at Bread Loaf Orion’s Environmental Writers’ Conference. Most recently she served as Treleven, Inc.’s writer-in-residence, working on poetic and scientific sketches of their sheep flock in New Haven, VT.

Thanks for taking the time to help support our growing list!

We are dedicated to the “LOCALVORE” movement in bookselling.

 

A Special Offering from our Localvore Store

 GWPnewMastheadGreetings friends of GWP. . . now we have a store set up ON-LINE to order special editions, preorders, cards, posters, and more…. a community store, but on-line! This is a way to keep the “Localvore” movement going into publishing—shop local, right here in Vermont!


We are offering a selected series of So Little Time photographs that will be a treasure for our readers and supporters, too. Help us support our artists directly! Our f
eatured SPRING 2015 artist is First Nation’s photographer Neil Louie.

Neil Louie is a freelance photographer from Chilliwack, British Columbia, and graduate of the VAN Arts College Photography Program. Neil is the nephew of Chief Martin Louie, of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation group in opposition of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project, a proposal to construct twin pipelines, running from Bruderheim, Alberta, to Kitimat, British Columbia. Groups like the Yinka Dene Alliance have been organized to campaign against the project.

We will donate 90% of the photo sale to Neil Louie (includes the gallery commission); 10% to the First Nation’s Tribal Council of the Nadler Whut’en band. Thanks for considering this beautiful image and Neil will be thrilled to make the sale. Here is the image, and the link:

online

 

New!  Notecards
These 5″ x 7″ notecards of each bird from The Bird Book are available through our online store, as single cards, or in a full group of 26! They are printed right in Brattleboro, Vermont on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, too.

The Bird Book is a children’s alphabet book by artist and educator Brian D. Cohen and writer Holiday Eames, created for their son, David.Each letter of the alphabet, in both uppercase and lowercase, corresponds to the bird illustrated on each page. The descriptions are a delight to read for inquisitive children and adults alike.

online

LOOK FOR OUR NEW LOCAVORE BOOK CSA THIS SUMMER! A BOOK A MONTH WITH AN ATTRACTIVE TOTE BAG  Click here to find out more and maybe even sign up.

Thanks for your support and being a GWP ‘localvore’ shopper!