Posted in Deen, Living green, Make your deen green, Pakistani, Parenting, Uncategorized, tagged advice, california, deen, desi, environment, Family, islam, Living green, motherhood, Muslim, Muslim mom, muslim woman, recycle, shopping on June 25, 2010|
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Last year, Mr. LF came back from a business trip to Europe puzzled over Swiss grocery stores’ policy of selling the plastic one-use grocery bags. My response was GREAT idea! Finally California is catching on to the idea, the ban has passed the state assembly hope the Senate has the gusto to pass it too. It would prohibit grocery stores from offering plastic bags and would require customers to pay for paper bags by June 2012.
There is a joke about desis; that you can tell if you are a desi (from Southeast Asia) if you reuse grocery bags or the empty yogurt cups. I guess because we are cheap. Better cheap than a polluter I say. So if they aren’t for FREE anymore, we will definitely reuse them.
This is such an easy way to go green. Imagine how many resources we can save. As Muslims, it is incumbent on us to protect the planet that Allah has given as an Amanah (trust). As Muslim moms, we are the ones who usually buy the groceries for our homes- how hard is it really to make it a priority NOT to use plastic single use bags, paper or plastic.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in the United States alone more than 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are used each year. Worldwide, the number of plastic bags used is anywhere from 500 billion to 1 trillion every year. Meanwhile, Americans throw away about 100 billion plastic bags each year, according to the Worldwatch Institute, as only 0.6 percent to 1 percent of them are ever recycled.
They choked up gutters, suffocated dolphins, accumulate in your drawers. It takes a 1000 years to biodegrade one. The little pieces of plastic act as a sponge for chemicals. They soak up a million fold greater concentration of such deadly compounds as PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of the notorious insecticide DDT), than the surrounding seawater (Reusablebags.com).
Marine life then eats these pieces and dies. It is estimated that over a 100,000 different birds, seals and whales die every year (Reusablebags.com). After the animal dies its carcass decomposes and the plastic is free to roam the ocean and kill again.
These days every store sells multiple-use bags for usually a dollar. They last so long, I have some that are a few years old and they still look the same. Just rinse them out from time to time. Otherwise use canvas bags, they are the best. No one will look at you like you are a weirdo any more than they already do.
Ask the clerk NOT to bag things that already come in bags ie. the bag of oranges, onions. And Milk and Juice jugs are easier to carry without a bag-ever had one burst because the bag broke?
It take just a bit of retraining our habits. Keep the bags in your car and return them to the car when you have emptied out the grocery! I have a big insulated bag (free from American Express) I that I keep in the car along with several reusable bags. Most stores even give you a nickel back for every bag you reuse.
plastic vs paper? NEITHER use an insulated reusable grocery bag
Reuseable grocery bags
Sometimes I forget to take the bags ( am so not perfect :P), that is when I ask the clerk to give me paper bags as a last resort. They are not that great (it takes one gallon of water to produce ONE paper bag) but at least it can go in your compost bin and you are much more likely to reuse them. You can make bookcovers, use it as craft paper or wrap a gift. Or if you absolutely must use a plastic bag- please RECYCLE them.
The next step for my house is getting rid of the single-use Glad garbage bags- I have heard of biodegradable/compostable ones iA
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Posted in Food, Make your deen green, Recipes, Uncategorized, tagged desi, Family, indian, Living green, meatless monday, Pakistani, recipes on May 17, 2010|
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Day of the week to honor Meatless Mondays, when my family made a commitment to go veggie one day a week. So Boss found fresh, crisp okra at the desi store. We all love bhindi.
I am going to use my Ammi’s Bhindi Do Pyaza recipe, this is quintessential U.P. style cooking. You use a lot of onions to give the okra that sweet- salty taste. If made perfectly, its crunchy . When you chop the okra it seems like a lot but like spinach it tends to shrivel up. I make enough for a family of six.
- 1 lb fresh okra, lady fingers, bhindi (wash and pat dry BEFORE chopping into 1/2 inch pieces, don’t use tops, check out the picture for size)
- Olive oil (or canola)
- 2 med onions sliced finely ( I like using my trusty slicer @ .75mm)
- few whole dried red chilli peppers
- 1/2 tsp safaid zeera (cumin seed)
- 1 tsp lal mirch (red chili powder) This is SPICY so adjust to your taste.
- 1 tsp haldi (turmeric)
- salt to taste
- Lemon to cut the viscosity of the okra.
- Heat oil in a wok or chef’s pan-I have anemia so I try to use cast iron pans as much as possible
- Add zeera (cumin seeds) until they pop
- Add onions until they turn color, adding salt at this point help make the onions crispier
- Add the okra
- Then the spices
- Stir fry till the okra is crispy
- Give it a good squeeze of lemon
- Serve with chappati
All the scraps go in to the compost pile. Hope you can make it an easy habit. Happy Eating!
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