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There are some chores that I really dislike and some that I tolerate just fine. Ironing my husband’s work clothes is one of those. We save a lot of money by not packing them off to the dry cleaner’s, and from what I understand dry cleaning is terrible for the environment anyways. My husband likes his shirts really crisply ironed, so I go through a lot of starch. It comes in those terrible aerosol canisters, and I have never seen any sort of alternative to buying those aside from the great big jugs that you have to mix with water yourself…that task has always been a bit intimidating to me. The other day though, I noticed that they were finally selling individual pump-spray starches. They held the same amount of starch as the aerosol ones…but they were priced fifty cents higher per bottle.

Are consumers who are trying to be more ecologically conscious being exploited? Yes, we absolutely are. Does it cost more to make a pump spray starch than it does an aerosol? No way. Are growers who grow organically forced to jump through erroneous and expensive hoops to get their food certified as organic and does that cost get passed on to us? Of course, it does. Are consumers letting this happen over and over right in front of our eyes and doing nothing about it? Unfortunately, we are.

The really sad part of this story is that I walked out of the store that day having purchased two cans of the aerosol starch. In that brief little moment of indecision, I couldn’t justify the extra cost. Wow, is the actual cost huge! The reality is that aerosol cans shouldn’t even be on the market. The EPA should have banned them twenty or more years ago, along with thousands of other products including Teflon. Then again, what can we expect of one of the most corrupt and useless agencies in our country? The answer to that is a lot. We should be expecting a hell of a lot out of them, but instead of protecting the citizens of our country they are approving new pesticides that kill honeybees…that happened a few days ago, yep.

The simplest thing that we can do is vote with our dollars. Ultimately, the most important thing that we can do is to get personally involved in our local governments and start taking action. I find that everyone is more easily able to empower themselves with baby steps however. So my suggestion is that if you buy starch, spend the extra fifty cents and but the pump bottle. That is what I am going to do the next time that I buy starch. Believe me, I know how incredibly hard it can be. We have been on a tight budget since the day that my kids were born. We make it happen somehow though, and we do it because it is important…with baby steps, every day.


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