Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Storing Holiday Goodies

It’s the holidays and that means one thing is for certain: there’s going to be a lot of eating. And where there’s holiday eating, there’s baking. And where there’s baking, there’s likely food wrap. I’m thinking plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

I’m all for baking and I’m definitely into eating, but what about that wondrous wrap that makes our lives oh-so much easier? What’s lurking behind the innocuous plastic stretch or versatile aluminum?

Plastic Wrap

Your health – Once upon a time not too long ago, most plastic wrap was made from PVDC or PVC – and of course toxic phthalates to make the plastic pliable. According to Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic, a third of PVC and 10% of PVDC are made up of potentially hormone-disrupting platicizers. These drift in your food. Glad and Saran now use polyethylene (LDPE) for their wrap and have ditched the phthalates. Low on cling but low on toxicity too. Saran Premium Wrap is also chlorine-free.

The environment – Plastic is plastic. It’s a petroleum product. It isn’t recyclable and doesn’t biodegrade. While strides have been made to improve toxic levels in the stuff, plastic wrap gets an F when it comes to a healthy planet.

Aluminum Foil

Your healthAccording to Health Canada, leeching isn’t a big concern when it comes to foil. “Generally” you’re safe from Alzheimer’s if you use it. Keep in mind that aluminum leeches the most when it stores acidic foods such as tomatoes – or when it’s stored for a long time.

The environment – Aside from the mining of bauxite ore, the intensive energy used to smelt the stuff and the 95 million tons of greenhouse gases released annually to bring aluminum into our lives, how bad can aluminum foil really be? On the bright side, most cities and municipalities recycle it.


Here are a few alternatives to make your holiday cooking a little greener…
· Use recycled aluminum foil. Aluminum is after all the most recycled metal on the planet. You can be sure to find it at your local eco-friendly grocer. If you Care is a brand that provides you with the recycled variety.
· Purchase glass storage containers.
· Buy bio-bags for short-term storage. They are made from bio-waste and are biodegradable.
· Store your leftovers in an earthenware bowl and place a plate over them.

Green Happenings

December 8th Rally on Climate Change
Make your voice heard! Be part of an international rally to let our leaders know we are serious about tackling man-made global warming. The Rally will mark the midway point during the United Nations Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Bali. I’ll be at the Yonge-Dundas Toronto rally at noon on Saturday. Click here for a rally near you.

Save the Climate: virtual march on Bali
Can’t make it to the Rally on December 8th? Rally virtually. Sign the AVAAZ petition. Make your voice heard!

In the News

As Nations Gather, Stakes Couldn't be Higher
This Globe & Mail article outlines the challenges of reaching a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires 2012.

Blog: The view from Bali
The Bali conference on climate change is on. There to blog about it daily are May Jeong, one of the 29 members of the Canadian Youth Delegation to conference, and Toby Heaps, editor of Corporate Knights.

Blog: Union of Concerned Scientists Bali Bulletin
US scientists: forces for good at Bali.

Lawmakers Set Deal on Raising Fuel Efficiency
From the New York Times

The Unsung Solution
From Orion, an article by Bill McKibben on waste heat recovery

Other News

BBC – The Greenroom

Ecoshock Radio

Green Bloggers

Grist Magazine


My Green Element

New York Times – Environment

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

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