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our whole foods makes me crazy. "local" does not mean from 3 states away. Georgia produce is not local if you're in west TN. Alas, it is sometimes the only alternative. Esp. for bulk-buying.

Stephanie Scarpulla

You & Molly are great! I love that the blog is local and addresses issues that you might run into at your very own grocery store. So very practical and informative and above all - inspiring! Keep blogging!


Hi girls,

Thanks for your great blog and for sharing your efforts and thoughts along the way... I love to hear others talk about the things that I am doing/striving for but somehow feel I do on my own. I don't have many conversations about these things since everyone is so very busy. But it is such rich territory! So many easy ways to use less and create less waste. We are down to about a bag a week, but I can't get MV refuse to give me a less-frequent plan for trash pick up... Composting, reusable bags, recycling, including recycling of the thin plastic bags that magically make their way in to the house no matter what I do, rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, thoughtful shopping etc etc all help. We should make a master list of what we each do and compare - I'm sure there are a million things I haven't though of that you all do.

I too am mixed about the new WF. I went yesterday and requested, as I have at the other store, that they carry a LOCAL and ORGANIC cheese. They carry Petaluma Creamery non-organic, but they make an organic jack and cheddar too, which WF stocks occasionally but not often. Five WF staff were standing behind the cheese counter (boy, there are a lot of employees in that store!) and they all looked at me blankly for a few beats. Then, one of them said, "well, we do have a local and organic option - Mt. Tam." I almost fell over. Mt Tam!!! Yeah, right! It's $25 a pound!!!!!!! For a party or for a special cheese plate, sure. I love Cowgirl Creamery. But it doesn't really work for a grilled cheese sandwich for a 7 year old. And since a round is $18 bucks, it doesn't really work for me either.

Mill Valley is a "liberal and progressive" town. But there are such limits to that, still. Maybe we could all meet with the Sustainability person who works for the City (I have met her, but can't remember her name) and come up with some community education/resource ideas...

mary good

GREAT tip re: cheese at rainbow...we had been wondering how to get around plastic and dairy!

i just think whole foods is such a scam. when i first moved to sf 12 years ago, i used to picket them with a food activist group because they sold strawberries sprayed with methyl bromide...atrocious to farm hands AND the environment. they do so much greenwashing, but if you scratch the surface they are a dirty corporation.

so good to read a blog update from you. it really helps with my own personal overwhelm around going non-disposable, and puts a little zest back into my efforts. you're amazing! xo

molly de Vries

Love your post Mary......Had to share my favorite piece of writing ever( Walt Witman)

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body…


that is beautiful... thanks Molly!


Hey Mary- I always wonder about whole foods... never feel totally great leaving there the way I do when I leave Rainbow... thanks for the sweet words. together everything is easier :)


Hi Kathleen-
I like your idea about talking with the sustainability person for Mill Valley. Also, I have had the exact same cheese experience. Petaluma seems like the only option (good price, not organic, we buy it as it is local- hope they can get in the organic!) and I am wondering how Rainbow Grocery can get such amazing local cheeses (Sierra Nevada Cream Cheese! wow!) AND put them in compostable containers and WF cant get on the ball. We shall see... and yes, $25/lb is not an option unless we are entertaining someone REAL special :) So pair that frustration with trying to get something without a plastic wrapper and it will basically make me not want to eat cheese (or get a couple of goats). Anyway, glad to know you are also on it and hopefully together and even with others in town we can make some changes...:)


Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, Stephanie!


Right, the lesser evil, eh? I do feel stuck at times with only that solution as I dont have time to make the journey to another better store. makes planning essential (which is not always the way it can be, however). Thanks for sharing... :)


I sort of stumbled across your blog one day by acident and have been loving it ever since! We used to live in a pretty sustainable community- surprisingly downtown in a large city- I was always dreaming of moving out to the country to raise our kids and had visions of all the excelent food we would find there. Low and behold 3 months into living in the country this is not so. Grocery store and package products reign supream out here! I long to be able to walk to Whole Foods again- even though it drove me nuts! We often drive into the city to go to the Farmer's Markets to buy the food that is grown in the country where we live- bizzar isnt it?( we also run other errands and make the most of each trip!) Anyways we have decided this isnt for us- time to move back downtown into a co-op! Until the day our lease is up (8 months to go!) however I have your blog to remind me that a sustainable community is out there and to just keep fighting the good fight! Thanks and keep up the good work!

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Mary and Molly are mothers, artists and friends who inspire each other to no end. We are entirely different, yet we are exactly the same. Our devotion to quiet and classic simplicity is equal to our thirst for radical and spontaneous eclecticism. Communally minded, fueled by passion born from outrage, we have embarked on our journey towards a non-disposable life.

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