Paris: The Jardin des Plantes

Last spring, we came upon this winged creature in the Jardin des Plantes, and since he is made completely of recycled materials, he makes a good photo for Earth Day.

Each year, I take small steps toward becoming greener. I recycle books, plastic bags, cans, jars, bottles - as do most of us. We never use styrofoam, and we try not to overdo paper towels. We've learned to cut down on our driving, and my husband prefers to bicycle to work in the summer. We compost. We try to use what we have instead of buying new. We try to buy locally and fresh, with no additional packaging.

But there is so much more we can do.

I am appalled at the wasteful packaging that runs rampant in the health and beauty industry; my goal for the next year is not to buy products that use lots of plastic molding.

I was encouraged recently when I found paper bowls that were made from corn, potatoes and limestone.

I've found one of the best ways to be green is to have the Frugal French Gene.

How about you? Got any tips for me?


Carry tote bags everywhere, so you never need plastic bags from the market. I have dozens of totes now, in my car, in my market basket, etc. It's very satisfying not to take plastic bags home from the store.
Oops! I forgot - I have some, too, only I never seem to remember to use them.

Of course, some of mine are from Ed L'Epicier and Leclerc - I like those the best!
I'm finally remembering to take the cloth bags in with me when I'm shopping! It's taken me years.
The dragon was there the last time we were too! Seemed like great fun.
I was really impressed with this creature, Tanna.

Funny, we always bring string bags along when we travel - an old habit that started when we were forced to buy a string beach bag in Myrtle Beach so I could carry clothes and make room in my suitcase for stuff I bought.

I seldom see anyone else using string bags in Paris, though, even though I saw them in stores.

Now if they could figure out a way to make a suitcase that converts into a granny cart...
kitoko said…
At least if you are into scrapbooking or cardmaking, you can run all of the plastic packaging through a cuttlebug to emboss it.
I know, this was Greek and or French to most of you, but at least it is reusing...
Mimi, glad to hear there is yet another opportunity to buy bags. I got the 80c variety from monoprix the first time, the ten euro from La grande (overpriced) Epicerie Paris this week and next week off to Ed L'epicier.

thanks mimi
I liked Ed bags the best as the ones I got were lined with some sort of net that reinforced them. A bit sturdier than the Leclerc bags. Of course, I save all the bags I get in France - they add cachet to my brown bag lunches.
Toni said…
I just got back from walking to the market today. I carry my backpack and use that instead of bags. I've also changed the light bulbs in the laundry room to those low energy ugly fluorescent ones. I figure I can live with that light in the laundry room, as well as the guest bathroom.

The other wonderful thing that's happening is that they're now making the pots you buy plants in from organic material, so you can plant the whole pot!
Toni, I love those pots! They make planting easier and cleaner.

I used to be able to walk to the farm market when I lived in Madison. Now I have to take my gas guzzler. But maybe by summer's end I will be able to bike there.

Off to my spinning class today to get ready...
Zoomie said…
There's a dragon like that inside the Gare de Lyon in Paris, too, so you're in good company!
Oh, Zoomie, I must have missed that last year - my husband recalls it but I do not. I was too busy looking for Le Train Bleu!
Towards Paris said…
What a great dragon! I feel much like you... that I take additional steps each year towards becoming greener. In taking those steps, I become increasingly aware of how much more I can do and gradually do find myself becoming more and more green.

Ugh. Yes, I was just recently thinking about how ridiculous all the packaging on beauty products are. Even contact solution and such... all come ridiculously over packaged. Even if we recycle all that packaging, it takes so much energy to recycle it and it is unnecessary.
Good point, Towards Paris! Recycling does indeed require energy - somehow we have to reduce our need. Other than a safety seal on cosmetics, I really wonder how much packaging we need. I bought some foot insoles recently for my cross trainers and was appalled at the plastic packaging when simple cellophane would do.

Are you listening, Dr. Scholls?
Zoomie said…
I hope you found Le Train Bleu - we did and we LOVED it! So deliciously Belle Epoque, non?
Yes, I did find Le Train Bleu, Zoomie. And I hope to find it again next trip...
Bruised Orange said…
I was thinking about something I heard recently: You know the plastic bags we get at say, Subway or wherever? We use them for like one minute after they make the sandwich, we carry it to the table and throw away the bag. THat one minute of use creates garbage that will not break down for 20 years! I never really thought about it that way before. So good on you all for using tote bags and stuff like that! I've got a long way to go myself before I'm living more 'green'.
It is really an uphill battle, Bruised Orange. I am so accustomed to using plastic that I have to really make an effort. Why did the eco-movement take almost 40 years to catch on?

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