Tuesday, April 21, 2009


We no longer use regular granulated sugar, which is made from sugar beets, and isn't real sugar anyway. Some time ago, I switched, first to "raw" sugar (and I have a funny story about canning with white sugar and my daughter asking why the sugar was white - because she'd become accustomed to seeing sugar as large, brown-colored crystals :), and then to cane sugar, as raw sugar is about twice as expensive.

So, I've been using this brand of sugar, which is only available to me in these little plastic bags.

According to their website, and the information printed all over the packaging, the sugars produced by this company "are the first American sugar products certifed Carbonfree".

So, last night, when I was pouring the last bit of sugar out of the bag and into the sugar bowl, I turned the bag over and over looking for the recycling symbol. One would think that a company that made such a point of talking about their carbon-freeness would be sure to take more care that their packaging was in keeping with their company's mission statement of Eco-Friendly practices.

The bag went into the garbage.

This morning, I found a link to this company.

Very cool!

The products are made from all non-recyclable materials that might otherwise end up in a garbage dump somewhere (like the bag that contains the "carbon-free" cane sugar).

While the best answer is always *use less*, it's good to know that someone has discovered a (good) use for our garbage ...

... and they'll pay for the trash, too.

I don't think they take Florida Crystals bags, yet, but eventually, it's possible that I'll be packing our "on the road" snacks in a lunch box made from recycled bags that used to hold my sugar.

Now, that's innovation!


  1. Wow, hard to believe they don't take their packaging into account. You should send them a link for this post.

    I have seen some of those products at the innovative website. Saw the worm poop in recycled soda bottles sometime last year. Pretty cool idea, I thought.

  2. I've been using their worm poop for a number of years but didn't realize they had so many products available now. I'll keep an eye out. I just got some stepping stones made from recycled rubber.

  3. Hmm....so I gotta say, this is where public school comes in handy. ;-) Chunky's school is a drop off point for these items. The school gets the money for all these products. Of course the closest thing I use in those types of packages is the yogurt containers...and those get saved for seedlings.

  4. i buy florida crystals in big, brown paper 25 lb bags. and i live in the middle of nowhere! have you asked around for special ordering? t not k

  5. Just wondering if here is any wrong with beet sugar, other than it isn't sugar cane sugar? Health worries?

    I used to buy on C&H sugar which is (at least used to be) cane sugar. Of course, money being what it is, I have switched to 25 lb bags of whatever Sam's Club has!

  6. Lisa: You'll like this article.

    But I switched because we were eating raw sugar, in an attempt to get our food as close to "natural" as is possible. But then we switched to cane sugar, which still goes through a pretty rigorous processing. I stick with cane sugar, though, because sugar beets are a genetically-modified food.

  7. That's the sugar we've been using for a very long time. Florida Crystals. Probably the only LOCAL food we find. Ours comes in big plastic jugs. We put the plastic jugs in the recycle bin. Sometimes we reuse them as they have a nice handle grip. But most get recycled.

    But if I bought it in plastic bags I could bring the plastic bags to Publix Grocery Store and put them in the plastic bag recycle bin there. I put all plastic bags and pieces from bread bags to even the little plastic strips from the envelopes I use to mail buttons, into the Publix Plastic Bag Recycle container in front of the store.

    Do the groceries stores in Maine have plastic bag recycle bins out front? If they do you can put the bags in those bins.

  8. Bayberry, That's a really good idea about the plastic bags.

    I've been thinking about it, since I posted about throwing them away. I imagine there are a couple dozen uses for them that I've simply not consider, but should. At very least, since they do have a ziplock closure, they might be useful as a sandwich bag ;).

  9. I have a friend who works at Florida Crystals and asked - they are coming out with a new fully recyclable bag and new artwork later this year. They are constantly looking for new packaging that can be more eco-friendly - but the options are limited due to moisture and transportation needs.

  10. Wendy, We buy a lot of tortillas. You probably make your own. : ) But I save those bags because they are zip lock bags, we use them over and over and over. I never buy zip lock bags. When the tortilla bags are too well used, I wash them out and recycle them in the plastic bag recycle bin at the grocery store.

    Lehman's catalogue has a cool thing for hanging wet plastic bags to dry, and I've been tempted to buy it, but it looks so simple to make. All I need s a carpenter, ha ha It is just a wood base with wood dowels coming out of it. One could use it to dry zip lock bags as well as cloth coffee filters and cloth tea bags.