Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sourcing Greener Products

Here's a hiccup on the path to shopping greener: I now have to visit at least six different stores to round up greener consumables.

It could be worse.  At the moment, I can buy the following at my local Target, which is about a mile away by foot:
  • Burt's Bees body wash and Baby Bee products
  • Weleda lotions
  • Palmolive Eco+ phosphate free dishwashing detergent (we used to use Seventh Generation, but Target no longer carries it - and I must say that Palmolive works better.)
  • Method cleaning products, hand soap, bamboo-based cleaning wipes
  • Microfiber cloths, sponges
  • Glad 65% recycled plastic kitchen garbage bags
  • Arm & Hammer Essentials 2X concentrated laundry detergent; I also sometimes buy All Small & Mighty because the smaller bottles are easier to tote home.
  • Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid - which smells absolutely divine and works well, too
But alas, Target sells no green paper!  But we can find the following at our Giant grocery store, at a bargain price:
  • Seventh Generation toilet paper
For a few things, we have to venture to Whole Foods, including:
  • Seventh Generation bleach (fortunately, it's not something I have to buy regularly)
  • Seventh Generation tissues (we can buy Kleenex 20% recycled at our Giant, but that's just not good enough)
  • 365 napkins
Even those three stores don't cover all of our basic needs, however.  I also need to go to:
  • Office Depot, for recycled garbage bags.  We could get these at Whole Foods, but I can actually walk to Office Depot.  And honestly, we use them so sparingly that our box of 100 will probably last for years.
  • Babies R Us, for Seventh Generation diapers.  Again, Whole Foods sells them, but WF is about twice as far away.  So if all we're going out to get is diapers, it makes more sense to go to BRU.
  • Lowe's for Marcal Sunrise paper towels.  We could get other products elsewhere, but these are actually pick-a-size - to me, this is an absolutely essential feature in a paper towel, as we rarely only use a tiny piece.
It's even tougher to find organic fabric clothing, linens and the like.  When we bought a new doormat, I had to order it from - but I must say, it's the perfect thing.

Still, plenty of these products were completely un-findable when we lived in a smaller city just a few years ago, so I suppose I'm not complaining, as much as I'm offering retailers a guide for how to get my business - stock more green!

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