It's been awhile since we've introduced ourselves so here we go. Dulse & Rugosa is a mother/daughter business started from a sense of place. Our place is a tiny remote island off the coast of Acadia National Park. When Carly was a baby we were the only year round residents. It was all very The Waltons- a simple, wholesome life with goats, pigs, chickens and a large garden. It was also a lot of physical labor especially in the winter. This was way before cell phones and the internet and for our connection to the mainland, we would row ashore on a calm winter day to get a pile of anticipated mail and a few fresh vegetables. We read tons of books and went to bed when the sun went down.
Eventually deciding the strain of making a living combined with the hard physical labor of life on a remote island was just too much we moved ashore and lived a few different lives. However, we never gave up the dream of making a living on the island. Eventually we returned and while we knew the land would be a foundation for our business we also knew that we needed a product that went before being grown, harvested and sold. Lovely ripe tomatoes don't have much of a market on an empty island.
That's when Carly noticed that along the shores were many varieties of Maine seaweed. I had discovered the power of seaweeds because for years I'd struggled with a chronically itchy scalp and was searching for a natural and lasting solution. Carly went on to become a licensed Maine seaweed harvester, flower farmer and maker of our lovely hair and skin care products.
The idea behind Dulse & Rugosa is celebrating the beauty of place- remote Gotts Island and celebrating ourselves with beautiful and nourishing handmade body care.
My town recently banned plastic shopping bags. YEAH! I know some folks find it a bit inconvenient but in general when I'm shopping especially in the grocery store I feel it's accepted. Partly because it's now the law.
At checkout you have a choice. You can bring your own bag. You can purchase a #5 PP 100% recyclable bag for between 50 and 99 cents. You can purchase a brown paper bag for 5 cents. You can carry everything out in your hands or cart.
The best and lowest waste choice is to bring your own reusable and washable bags. Being able to wash your bags is important if you want your bags to last. Clean bags also make your cashier happy. That's why I recommend canvas or other types of cloth. I have a lightweight but super sturdy bag I keep in my purse. It takes up very little room, it's strong, easy to pop in the laundry and that way I always have a bag.
Most folks opt for the plastic bags available right at checkout. Plastic #5 or -Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer. It is strong, tough and can handle some moisture. This plastic is used for kitchenware and containers. While it might be tough I find it rips easily especially when you put in boxes with sharp edges. You can mend the bags with duct tape to make them last longer. While they can handle some moisture you cannot put them in the washing machine so it's important to be a bit more mindful about keeping them clean. Use a damp sponge or cloth to wipe up food spills. The problem with these #5 bags is how to actually recycle them. I'm afraid most of them end up as trash because our local centers can't handle this type of plastic. That's a real problem with these product, while strong they will not last as long or be as easy to clean as a cloth bag and then it can be very difficult to get recycled. The toothbrush company Preserve has a mail in program and more info is here-https://www.preserve.eco/pages/how-to-recycle
For me paper bags seem like a better choice because they are made from trees and can decompose. These bags are not waste free however especially if only used one time. They are bulky and tend to rip especially if wet. When dumped in a landfill they need oxygen to break down so the process can take years.
The best choice for both you and the planet is to invest in sturdy, well made, washable grocery bags that will last and last and last.
I've been wanting to do a "Mermaid Monday" blog series for awhile. The idea behind it is steeped in my years as a primary teacher and thinking in terms of themes. I know mermaids aren't real, neither are unicorns or the pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow but.... we still need a bit of fantasy and inspiration in our lives.
“We are ALL Mermaid Queens. Step up to your crown. Walk a path so Earth-positive that you feel confident owning your queen-ness.”
— KATE NELSON
My first mermaid is The Plastic Free Mermaid. What I admire about Kate Nelson is her integrity and strength. I know her from following her on social media and she is willing to tell us the "inconvenient truth". Her posts on plastic shopping bags and disposable diapers told the entire story of what happens to these products once we toss them in our trash bin. I personally admire her straight forward, no nonsense, no BS take on environmental issues and especially the problems with plastic. I struggle with this, I find it hard at times to speak my truth and when I do I find it even harder to be strong when criticized or even questioned. That's one of the reason I admire this bada** mermaid.
You can find out a lot more about Kate by visiting her website I Quit Plastics. Her blogs cover a wide variety of topics including the problems with plastic, DIY body care recipes, vegan recipes. Plus she also does Mermaid Retreats and provides coaching to individuals and businesses.