Living greener with my new yogurt maker

  • Jan. 18, 2008 1:00 p.m.

Submitted by Sheila Karrow-Do you ever think about which Christmas presents are green and which presents colour the earth with less hospitable hues? This year, I received the greenest Christmas present ever. Disguised in styrofoam and plastic, my new yogurt maker has made my life greener in many ways. This discovery began shortly after unwrapping the present which was given to me by a dear friend. The first thing I did, not surprisingly, was to make some yogurt. The directions read: heat milk to 180 degrees, let cool until temperature drops to 110 degrees, then add yogurt culture, stir and let sit in your yogurt maker for four hours. Since moving to Haida Gwaii from Ontario almost four years ago now, our family has tried to change our lifestyle by living healthier and fuller lives. We began this journey by hanging our first clothes line, gathering firewood and more recently, canning vegetables from our garden. We have learned the rewards of making jam from a variety of local berries and preparing meals from venison, salmon and shellfish. Many people are aware of the 100 mile diet and the great challenge we face as islanders, to live sustainably. There are simple changes we can make, like walking instead of driving short distances, buying locally produced food and using a clothes line. (Did you know that running one clothes dryer is equivalent to using 77 laptops?) But what about the harder choices: where we live and work, using fossil fuels, and what we purchase from stores?My New Year’s resolution was the same this year as it has been for the past four years: to tread upon this earth a little lighter. Well my friends, the biggest change this year so far, is our yogurt maker.This plastic container is simple in many ways. It does not require electricity, except for the heating of the milk, which you could do over a wood stove if necessary. It produces a healthy product with active culture, and the benefits to this food are endless. For myself, I make a berry smoothie each morning and use this “almost organic” yogurt to begin my day. The greatest benefit of this homemade yogurt went unnoticed until I opened my cupboard and discovered that used yogurt containers did not fall out onto my floor. Unbelievable, but true, this Styrofoam coated plastic container has saved me from buying three containers of yogurt a week. Considering we have lived here for about three and a half years, that is a potential savings of 546 yogurt containers. We still buy the milk to make this yogurt but the milk container is recyclable here. From now on, our family will not be buying yogurt. Just think of all the yogurt containers we will no longer be accumulating. I have tried to find uses for these yogurt containers: water containers for painting classes, donations to schools, storing crafts and tools. but eventually you know where they go. Unless the plastic is marked as number 2 on the bottom, which is recyclable, it will end up as landfill on our island. And, did you know that last summer, the dairy companies cleverly designed a smaller but taller container of 650 ml for the original 750 ml container? This happened right under our noses and many of us did not even notice the lesson on size and volume. Yes, the new ones do look larger but they hold 100 ml less yogurt. The size reduction meant less yogurt for more money, resulting in more plastic packaging per product. As a consumer, I was frustrated by a feeling of helplessness, knowing there was nothing I could do about this change. Well, no more my friends, because now I have a green Christmas present. Although very white in its appearance, my green yogurt maker is sure to provide a healthy product (fewer corn derivatives!) and drastically reduce our household waste. Now I am going on a search for more green products. Care to join me?

Just Posted

Northern Haida Gwaii Hospital to get secure room for psychiatric patients

Cost anticipated at close to $1 million for Masset hospital

B.C. oil tanker ban squeaks through final vote in Senate

Bill C-48 bars oil tankers from loading at ports on B.C’s north coast

Queen Charlotte explores banning single use plastics

Council seeking community input on options to reduce plastic waste

Masset fishing derby proves to be a catch

All ages participated in the competition to bring in the top salmon and halibut hauls

Yarn Bombing mastermind is back in town

Big Canada Day longweekend in the works

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read