This is what I want for Christmas. Framed, please. Oh, except I don’t DO Christmas. Doh & double doh! I knew that anti-consumer attitude would come back to bite me in the ass some day….

Edited: I don’t have wall space for it either.

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I’ve been burning a lot of CDs lately, which forced me to deal, really deal, with a problem that has been plaguing me for a while now: what the hell to put them in. Let’s face it, jewel cases shatter if you look at em wrong, & who wants to be responsible for more little plastic bits in the landfill? Those little paper envelopes get lost on the shelf or accumulate in disorganized stacks. For a while I was folding my own; these satisfied the DIY itch nicely, but over time they start to look kinda wrinkled & unkempt.

What to do, what to do? I wanted sensibly designed, reasonably cheap, recycled paperboard. At first there seemed to be only one game in town as far as recycled goes, but sleeves do not solve the spineless disorganization problem, plus I wasn’t crazy about having an open side. My tenacious googling finally struck gold: Stumptown Printers sells blank Arigato Paks, shipped flat. You can rubberstamp, print, embellish to your heart’s content, or just write on the spine, fold it up & be done with it.

Problem solved! Plus, you get to support a groovy cooperative letterpress shop. What could be better? (Well, if they sold them through a retail outlet in my neighborhood, that would be perfection itself, wouldn’t it?)

P.S. You can fit up to 3 CDs in one of these! I just cut squares of paper to layer between the CDs, & they all sit snugly in there together.

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I happen to have a thing about glass bottles & jars. This fetish predated—but has only been encouraged by—my environmentalist plastic angst. The plastic angst never goes away, although it does fluctuate, most recently spiking a couple of years ago after I saw horrible pictures of plastic bits found inside a dead albatross chick. On the other hand, last year’s chemical-leaching panic merely induced another lefty-Cassandra eyeroll: oh, so now after we’ve been saying for decades that plastic brings every form of evil upon the world, you’re suddenly gonna run out & spend a bunch of money on glass food containers because you’re afraid for your precious babies? (Not that I’m prioritizing albatross babies over human ones, just annoyed at the greenwashing consumerism so prevalent among human American adults.)

Anyway. I shall resist getting into my lefty-Cassandra eyeroll du jour re: the perils of free-market capitalism & the current state of the economy, blah blah blah. Instead, let’s talk about food! Here we have homemade yogurt, which is both economical & environmental.

I went to a yogurt & cheesemaking class at Institute of Urban Homesteading a few months back. When I signed up for the class I only saw the cheesemaking part of it, but as these things often go, the yogurt is the part that has thoroughly infiltrated my daily life. How wonderful to spoon yogurt out of a mason jar! If you’re lucky (geographically as well as economically), you can just roll on down to the store & buy St. Benoît in a quart mason jar for $5-something. But here, let me do the math for you: a half gallon of organic Straus milk is $4-something & you get two lovely quart jars of yogurt out of it. Plus the satisfaction of making it yourself, of course.

On the other hand, you might end up eating more yogurt than you knew was possible. I suspect that the plastic angst has actually been keeping a lid on my yogurt consumption for most of my life. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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