Alright, it's time for a confession......
I'm probably going to lose major points on my Crunchy Mama card for admitting this.....
Hang on, let me procrastinate a little bit....
You know those kids picture books called "What's Wrong Here?" Well, this was my dinner prep set-up tonight. See anything amiss?
Yes, sigh. I use non-stick spray. Me, the Tallahassee Cloth Diaper Lady (I've really been called that. Multiple times, actually.) The mom with the washable tissues, the one without any paper towels, the one bag of trash a week lady, stainless steel water bottle carrier, organic buying club member, farmers market enthusiast - yes, that's me. And I...dramatic pause and head hanging in shame...use non-stick spray. As in, highly processed and possibly toxic canola oil, and container that is extremely NOT biodegradable or even remotely recyclable.
But hang on! That's our dinner set up in the picture above. We had blueberry waffles, and I tell you - nothing lifts those waffles off the iron as easily as Pam. Nothing. See how nice?
I've tried to use other things. In fact, I have a really nice silicone pastry brush from Pampered Chef that I use to brush olive, coconut, and other oils onto pans, muffin tins, etc. But for the waffle iron, nothing else seems to work as well.
I tried to go two months without buying any non-stick spray. I really did! But we are big waffle fans over here, and I've been known to make them twice a week. I've also been known to stir in finely grated zucchini, but I'll save that for another confession post. Each time, even with copious oil brushing, I still had little bits of waffle left on the iron, and ended up having to wash the whole thing. And if you've ever tried to wash an electronic kitchen appliance (by the way, you're not supposed to), you know it's somewhat of a challenge.
Tonight, to make myself feel better about the Pam, I thought about the organic blueberries I was using, and patted myself on the back for making the waffles from scratch rather than popping open a box of frozen Eggos. Heck, I even used organic, free range, vegetarian fed farm fresh eggs! Surely that offsets the CFCs! But then, I open up Facebook and there being shared among my friends is this graphic, which you can find here.
Now, I'm not sure where this came from, or how accurate these numbers are. But all the same the message is clear. Burying something in the earth does not make it go away, it just removes it from our sight. And besides, can something truly biodegrade if it's been disposed of in a plastic trash bag and buried in a landfill devoid of sunlight and oxygen? I'm thinking no. The graphic had the intended effect on me, and instantly made me feel guilty for my non-stick spray habit. I only use it for the waffle iron (no really, I promise!), but still, all those bottles add up.
I need to do better at finding a solution. I've seen oil misting bottles in stores, but have no idea if they work or not. I feel like I live a pretty "sustainable" lifestyle, but I'm sure if I thought harder there are more bad habit products I could find that I need to learn to do without. Like the mesh bath sponge I know and love. I'm going to venture to guess that's not so green, either.
What bad habit items do you have lurking in your house? What can you just not do without? Come on, let's all confess, but let's also help each other out. Is there a product you have learned to easily live without? Share your swap outs for living a more re-usable and less disposable lifestyle.
And if you've got one of those nifty oil sprayers, do tell. Because I'm pretty sure I'm making waffles again this weekend.
Claire Williamson, Representative