This is the inside of my freezer. The weird, brown lump on the top shelf is a pantyhose leg filled with cat litter. The bowl on the bottom shelf is full of white vinegar. These are my not-so-successful attempts to remove the foul polyurethane odor, which seems to have penetrated all surfaces. A word of advice….if you’re having wood floors refinished, be sure to remove all food from your refrigerator. Our pantry goods seem to be OK, probably because they’re mostly unopened, and grains and pasta are stored in jars. However, we had to throw out every opened package of food in our fridge and freezer, because the food absorbed the polyurethane fumes. Stuff in plastic containers, jars, or bottles is OK, but everything else had to go, including about 5 pounds of flour, a package of corn tortillas, half a package each of frozen blueberries and carrots, and an opened package of butterscotch chips. Such waste! I’m so angry that the floor people never bothered to tell us that this could happen! We certainly had no idea, or we would have moved everything to our garage freezer. Fortunately, thanks to the pantry challenge, I didn’t have as much stuff in the freezer as I usually do.
On a happier note, I purchased a dozen of these reusable cloth bags from Wal-Mart, for $1.00 each, and I love them!
In my article, The Real Cost of Plastic Shopping Bags, I discussed the environmental impact of single-use plastic bags, which are manufactured from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. I personally hate plastic shopping bags, but in the past, when I tried to bring reusable bags to Wal-Mart, the cashiers seemed either baffled or annoyed. They clearly had no idea how to pack them, and were irritated that I was making them do extra work. However, I’m pleased to report that because Wal-Mart is now supplying reusable bags, they’ve trained their cashiers in how to use them, so there’s much less opposition.
These bags are very roomy and durable. They can carry the same weight as 2-3 plastic bags, are 100% recyclable, and are made from 85% recycled materials. We took some on vacation, and they were really useful. I rounded up all the plastic bags in the house, put a few in the vehicles for wet pants emergencies, and put the rest in the van to take to my local consignment store. No more plastic bags for me!
Just a note…if you plan to use these bags, be sure to put them back in your car right after you unpack them, so they’re always there when you need them. Also, don’t forget to take them in the store! A Wal-Mart cashier told me that most people who buy them forget them in the car, and then end up getting plastic bags anyway. I wrote “DON’T FORGET BAGS!” on an index card and taped it to my steering wheel. Hopefully this will remind me until I get into the habit.
While we were in Florida, everything bloomed! The crabapple tree is gorgeous,