Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I am currently on vacation in Vermont with family and as always when I venture away from the plastic-free bubble I have created for myself in LA plastic starts creeping into my life. Plus with the holidays and presents-what is a girl to do!?-plastic will find it's way in.
Here is a picture of my favorite plastic-free Christmas presents!
A cool wooden rolling pin, a handmade tile, yarn, homemade jam, maple syrup, and loose-leaf tea from www.vermontlibertytea.com.
There is definitely a theme to these gifts: they are minimally processed and for the most part unpackaged or packaged in glass. This is one trick for cutting down on plastic: get back to the basics, don't buy things with lots of parts, gadgets, or packaging.
I advertised my desire for plastic-free presents this year and for the most part people were accommodating. I even got plastic free and local in many cases-way to go fam :) On the other hand there were also some conventional gift like DVDs-a.k.a. plastic, encased in plastic, wrapped in plastic...really altogether too much plastic.
So, as the year draws to a close and my plastic consumption has been diminishing over the last 6 months I am recommitting myself to the plastic diet as a New Year's resolution. If you haven't made a resolution yet the plastic diet is a great resolution to take on. I highly recommend it! You don't even have to make it a resolution-you can make it a way of life. Remember start small and build up and no need to give it all up if you have one little slip up :)
Happy 2009! We look forward to your continued readership.
Monday, December 29, 2008
here's how it's done:
1. go to restaurant
3. say "could you please use this container?"
4. hand them your tupperware or re-use a chinese food container
5. when they're putting your order into a bag, say "i don't need a plastic bag."
6. be ever-vigilant. they will try to sneak a plastic spoon in there. you don't need it.
it works.. try it!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Yesterday we had Mont Blanc which is this chocolate pudding stuff with whipped cream on top. She came around to each of our desks and dropped off a bowl of it with a plastic spoon. I didn't want to offend her, or refuse the dessert. So what's a plastic dieter to do? I grabbed my plastic spoon and my friend's, snuck into the kitchen while Anita was delivering Mont Blancs in the opposite corner of the office, washed the spoons, put them back and grabbed 2 silver spoons. Success!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
To set the stage:
Sometime around when I entered college my innate hunter-gather gene got turned on—when it came to hunting and gathering free food that is…free pizza—I'm there…grabbing an extra apple or banana at the cafeteria for later—sure why not?...ice cream social—I can be social if ice cream is involved! Well, time has passed since I was an undergrad and I have become much more selective about what I eat, but when I was at a conference the other day there was a bowl of fruit out and I just grabbed a couple of apples for later—yum apples! It took me a couple of days to get around to eating these apples but when I did I was caught off guard. These apples have stickers on them! Stickers (?!) made of a plasticy material (!!).
Farmer’s market reference:
I have been buying produce exclusively at farmer's markets for so long I forgot produce from stores have stickers! Plasticy stickers! One more reason to shop local at the farmer's market I say. Plus after removing the sticker I thoroughly scrubbed the apple remembering it is likely conventionally grown as well...
Comparing apples and oranges:
My stickered apples went into a bowl in my kitchen with my non-sticker oranges and it painted a nice picture of the difference between my apples and oranges. They were hard to compare as there is very little compassion between my apples (store bought, stickered, far flung fruit) and oranges (farmer bought, stickerless, local fruit).
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Take a listen to NPR's story I heard:
Falling Prices Take Toll On Municipal Recycling
and find out why recycling is not all it is cracked up to be and why we need to choose first to use less, then to reuse, then choose to recycle.
A couple of other thoughts...
1) I'm very skeptical of recycling generally just because a) I know/have seen more people put trash in with their recycling (in municipal pick up bins) than I have seen people do recycling the right way—very discouraging, and b) I have been told by trash/recycling LA County officials (at a booth at a local farmer's market) that "soiled" or "contaminated" recycling materials are unusable and sent directly to the dumb. So, that pizza box you think is recyclable isn’t if it has grease from the pizza on it or the newspaper thrown in with the beer cans that get wet from the beer are no longer usable… You put a) and b) together and you get a lot less recycling actually happening then we would like to think.
2) I've been reading the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by McDonough and Braungart (I'll probably post more on the book in the future but I definitely recommend it). The book talks about the idea of 'downcycling' as opposed to ‘recycling'. Why? Because practically nothing is re-made or re-cycled into what it was before it is down-graded or down-cycled into something lower on the recycling food chain that will be less easy to recycle in the next go round and will eventually end up in a landfill. Example: plastic soda bottles can be made into a fleece jacket but the fleece jacket can't be recycled into anything else and will end up in a landfill, so the re in recycle doesn't go that far—the cycle ends rather abruptly.
3) The Chinese environment (rivers, forests, wetlands, etc.) are reeling from contaminants that are the by products of recycling, i.e. beach runoff from paper recycling ( no one wants to buy grayish reused paper). So, not only is it consuming energy to send our recycled products ‘out of sight out of mind’ and make them someone else’s business/problem, this industry also hurts the environment. We Americans are exporting our waste so we don’t have to deal with the consequences of it—shame.
Just some thoughts to keep in mind...
Monday, December 8, 2008
For as long as Erin and I have been cutting back on plastic,
Sunday, December 7, 2008
So in the spirit of celebrating authenticity, I’d like to share about The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
This time last year, I worked in public relations. I didn’t like my job and I wasn’t doing work that I believed in. My mom told me that “work is work,” but I said that's baloney! I was convinced that I could do meaningful work that matters, and get compensated well for it.
I also struggled with figuring out what to eat. I was stumped when I wheeled my cart around the supermarket or looked at a restaurant menu. I was an unhealthy vegetarian-- not getting enough protein and loading up on desserts to be full. Also an unhealthy marathon runner, eating lots of Zone bars with no clue how to fuel my workouts. I was convinced that something as fundamental as food shouldn't be so complicated!
So when I learned about Integrative Nutrition, a holistic nutrition school where you get certified as a health counselor, I enrolled right away.
During class, the founder of the school talked about doing work that is in alignment with your values. Aha! I knew I was in the right place. Love that word—alignment. I learned how to eat healthy and cook(!), met amazing people, had a wonderful experience, became certified as a health counselor, left the PR job and have had many doors open in my career (in fact, I now work at the school).
If you know anyone who might be interested in attending, class starts in January. Since I'm a graduate, if you mention my name you will receive a $1000 tuition discount. More details here.
Feel free to contact me with questions.
Make it a healthy 2009!
Let me tell you, it's impossible to have a plastic-free party, especially if you're throwing it with co-workers and roommates who aren't on an anti-plastic crusade.
I wanted to cry when we went to Whole Foods and picked up the food for the work party.
We filled the entire back of a van with plastic containers.
The most egregious offense was plastic containers with crackers floating around-- they could have just given us the crackers in boxes for us to set out.
There are highs and lows on the plastic diet, and I had some proud moments yesterday. When my roommates and I went out to get supplies, I brought a bunch of reusable bags. Guess how many I brought-- the perfect amount. We didn't need to use a single plastic bag.
And we didn't use any plastic cups or plates or forks for our party. We pulled out all of our glasses, mugs and cups and put them on the table and that's what everyone used. It made for a big clean up effort this morning, but was totally worth it. And led to some funny pics, like this kid with my hiking cup clipped to his belt loop:
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Welcome to the plastic-less lifestyle Juli :)
There is going to be a new law re: plastic bags in NY. If Governor Paterson does nothing, the new state law will take effect after Dec. 11. and will nullify NYC's stronger law re: plastic carryout bags passed last January.
Click here to take action:
Friday, December 5, 2008
Low and behold...
FOUR bags for each of the four parts of this multi-use pot! Yikes! This is absolutely crazy!
But what is more crazy is the warning (in three languages mind you) on each bag.
Here is verbatim:
WARNING: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children. Do not use in cribs, beds, carriages or playpens. This bag is not a toy. Discard bag and any other packaging materials immediately after removing product. Do not re-use this bag.
Here is how I would amend this warning:
WARNING: To avoid danger of suffocation and death, keep this bag away from babies, children, and all animals-especially animals who live in and buy the sea. Do not use in cribs, beds, carriages, playpens, outside, inside, on land, in the ocean or basically anywhere. This bag is not a toy-this bag may bring death to many animals. Do not discard this bag and any other packaging materials immediately after removing product. Please find a way to reuse them before recycling them. Re-use this bag at the very least! Then write Calphalone and ask then to stop using these wasteful bags in their packaging.
And a picture like this might be a good warning too!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I love makeup.
I don't wear tons of it, but i do love it. (also: perfume)
Lots of makeup, unfortunately, comes in plastic tubes and bottles.
But in the spirit of making better choices, I have tried out Cargo PlantLove cosmetics.
I'm loving their powder foundation, blush and shimmery eye shadows. The power foundation has a similar consistency to my Bare Escentuals.
In terms of packaging, these products come in PLA (which is made from corn starch and can biodegrade over time) containers and the boxes are made from recycled cardboard.
And their ECOCERT certified products have organic ingredients (like sunflower seed oil, shea butter, almond oil, etc).
Nice to have some new options!
Monday, December 1, 2008
This is a must visit (or revisit) web page, lest we forget how important our actions are and how important it is for us all to do something! We need to take action for ourselves and for those helpless creatures who are unfortunate enough to inhabit a world where humans act so carelessly in their treatment of the only planet we have.
Go, and watch the video clip too!
After spending time perusing this page I am reminded of a quote by Bill Bryson. The quote strikes to the core (my core at least).
"If you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going, keep a record of where it had been, [and take care of it] you would not choose human beings to do the job. But here is a very salient point, we have been chosen, by fate or providence or whatever you wish to call it. As far as we can tell we are the best there is, we may be all there is. It is an unnerving thought, we may be the universes supreme achievement and worst nightmare simultaneously."
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Some plastic-free things to be thankful for:
Tap water: I love me some tap water.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
My reusable coffee mug
People who care and are willing to make small changes that make a big difference :)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
This is just a short list of the many thing I am thankful for as a plastic dieter. A year ago I did not know how thankful I should be for these thing, now I know, so THANK YOU!
- reusable, nonplastic, water bottles, i.e. Siggs
- canvas bags
- baking soda
- dairy products, i.e. milk and yogurt, that comes in glass containers
- natural fibers (organic cotton how I love you, let me count the ways)
- Ball jars/glass jars of all types
- the bulk section at Whole Foods
- other plastic dieters :)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
In rural Ohio, researchers are testing a new bridge made of plastic. Plastic bridges offer low maintenance and long life, but there are questions about how long plastic can stand up to sunlight, changing temperatures and stress.
My notes on the story:
- These plastic bridges are supposed to last about 100 years (I mistyped years as tears just now-Freudian slip). Really is that "longer life" than other bridges? Don't most bridges last more than 100 years? I'm thinking Roman built stone bridges... Nonplastic bridges need maintenance obviously but they also biodegrade eventually.
- The man in the story who constructs/tests these bridges actually said, "Plastic bridge may even be greener than concrete." Ugh!
- There was no mention of using recycled plastic for these bridges. I would be less upset about this idea if I knew this was a way of breathing new life into used water bottles.
I am not thankful for plastic bridges! But I will share a short list of plastic-less things I am thankful for tomorrow in honor of the holiday. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The artilce: Timeline: BPA from Invention to Phase-Out (http://www.ewg.org/reports/bpatimeline)
I hope everyone is planning for a plastic-free/plastic-less Turkey Day!
Friday, November 21, 2008
I bought another candle.
A candle sans plastic, of course. Many candles have plastic around them sadly. Now my power outage equipment includes 1½ candles and the Sagrado Corazon de Maria. Score! Who needs a flashlight anyway?
It is 7:00 pm and I am on my way home. I have not used one-time use disposable plastic all day! That means I could make a quick stop and pick up a bag of those peanut butter M&M's that I am craving even though this means buying plastic. I think to myself 'this is okay because you haven't used your one piece of plastic for the day'.
I guess the reason this is unacceptable is because it is indulgent and in a way it is going out of my way to use my one piece of plastic for the day even though I don't need to use it. I have fought the urge and won more than I have lost on this, but sometimes we all need a little chocolate indulgence at the end of the day!
An acceptable exception is this…
Someone else buys and brings a food that comes in plastic, lets say pretzels, to a meeting, potluck, etc. Then at the end of the get together the person says ‘Does anyone want to take the rest of these pretzels home?’ And I (because I can't buy any crunchy carbs because they alllll come in plastic) step right up, palm open. I inherit the pretzels and the plastic bag they came in.
This is acceptable to me because the item involving plastic packaging has already been bought by someone else. The damage is done. I still won't buy such a thing so I am making a difference on my front. Accepting someone else’s food-plastic (or other plastic) doesn't do any more harm, the harm was already done when it was bought/manufactured. But this plastic is now mine and I do have to deal with taking care of it—booo—to the plastic heap with you!
P.S. I inherited ¼ of a bag of pretzel chip things last night-very exciting. The plastic diet really helps you redefine what is necessary and what is indulgence. Who knew pretzels were indulgence. Well, I know now.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here are just a few, recent examples:
Product Packaging: We have dramatically reduced the use of pre pack polybags for product shipped from our suppliers to our stores. LOFT and Factory have already begun this practice, and Ann Taylor will start their efforts in 2009. So far, we have eliminated ten million polybags.
Marketing: Ann Taylor and LOFT began purchasing 10% recycled paper to print a majority of direct mail pieces. Below is the impact of this change after only a few months:
1557 trees saved
567,000 gallons of water saved
94,000 lbs of solid waste reduction
173,000 lbs of CO2 reduction
Energy Awareness: We are implementing an Energy Awareness Program in our stores, and we estimate we will achieve a 7% reduction in energy use within the next year. (See separate Energy Awareness Program posting on anntaylor.com for more details.)
Printing: We have reduced the printing of the Company’s annual report and proxy materials by 75%, through the effective use of online channels, and for those reports we did print, we used environmentally-friendly paper and printing processes.
Product Safety: We have developed a Restricted Substance Program, which bans or limits certain chemicals from our products and in the supply chain. The program will be implemented across all of our brands and channels for the Winter 2009 season.
Recycling: Associates in our Corporate offices have separate containers for recycling at their workstations. In addition, use of the confidential paper shredding and recycling bins that are on each of our floors in the New York and Connecticut offices have saved an equivalent of 475 trees to-date.
Furthermore, we have established a special Task Force to continually review current practices and potential new practices that will help our continued development in this area.
We are excited about the continued success of this Initiative and look forward to continued growth in this area.
Thank you for choosing Ann Taylor. We look forward to meeting all of your future wardrobing needs! If we can provide further assistance or if you have any additional questions, please contact us via email at email@example.com or call us at 1 800 DIAL ANN (1.800.342.5266). We are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST, Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm EST.
Ann Taylor Client Services
Dear Ann T,
Happy National Recycling Day!
I'm writing because I bought a dress in a New York location for a wedding I have coming up in December.
When I went online to show my mom a link for the dress, I saw that it was being offered for $50 less online.
I called the store to see if they would be able to honor the online discount, and they said no.
I practice a plastic-free lifestyle, which I blog about at www.plasticisforever.blogspot.
I explained over the phone that I was concerned about the environmental impact of shipping an item that I already have in my possession-- wasted fuel, cardboard, plastic, etc. They assured me that if I called 1800 DIAL-ANN I could request to have my dress wrapped in tissue paper, with no plastic.
I just called and my request was declined.
I am so disappointed!
I'd love to share on my blog a more positive experience with Ann Taylor. Can you let me know what you are doing to reduce the environmental impact of shipping items?
In a nutshell, beginning in January, folks will be able to drop off filters at Whole Foods Markets or mail them in. Preserve, a U.S. company manufacturing household products from recycled plastic, will recycle 100% of the plastic casing. And the filter material will be regenerated or converted to energy.
Monday, November 17, 2008
...it broke! (there at the bottom and along the side)
Now what am I supposed to do with this?
I bought this...maybe 3 years ago...and intended to use
it as a water bottle, then I learned about Sigg and
Kleen Kanteen and this got relegated to the back of my
closet. It was great for freezing liquid stuff in once
in a while but now...
Now it is just a hunk of plastic that is completely useless.
I'll salvage the straw from the inside and the sip top. Who
knows maybe I'll find a use for them, but the rest is now
going into my plastic heap. I hate adding things to my
plastic heap. It feels like defeat. Ugh! Plastic you are
such a disappointment-a dangerous disappointment!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Check out tips, take a recycling pledge, and get some good ol' recycling education at: http://www.nrc-recycle.org/americarecycles.aspx
I say we make the next 364 days National Plastic Reduction Days! Why should a good thing only be one day a year?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I also did a little internet research into other non-plastic sponge options and found these:
Twist Loofah Sponge-one side absorbent sponge material on side natural loofah scrubbing layer.
Caldera cellulose sponge and dishwashing brush from Smith & Hawken.
More Twist sponges these are also cellulose "from renewable tree farms".
I’m interested in trying out the cellulose sponges. They are biodegradable/compostable-double plus! Since I plan on having to do dishes for the rest of my life I think I’ll have plenty of time to try these different options out over time.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
POW! you can only imagine my excitement when i got an email from the brooklyn green team today announcing their new "bring your own mug" challenge. since i started the plastic diet in june, bringing my own mug is the single most EASY and AMAZING change i have made. no longer do i feel guilty about drinking coffee and then throwing out the cup! (no longer do i drink coffee [at least this week], but that's a different story.)
read on for details about the brooklyn green team's challenge.
oh and in case you think i'm lame for posting 2 re-posts in a row.. it's called "re-using" one of the super important but oft-overlooked of the three r's!
"Why did they even buy me? I sit here on a dark crowded shelf day after day. And then….for a moment, I think my life is going to change. They open the cabinet, our eyes meet. Their gentle hand grazes against my aluminum body. At last! Today is the day they are going to proudly walk me down the street as I carefully hold and keep warm a most precious commodity - the morning coffee. But no, they move right past me and reach for the cereal. Maybe tomorrow"
-Your Travel Mug, 2008
Does your travel mug feel this way? Neglected? Passed over for a wasteful, disposable, one time only headed for the landfill paper cup? Don't let this happen. Because the Brooklyn Green Team in partnership with GreenEdge Collaborative NYC has a new challenge for you and your mug!
THE BRING YOUR OWN MUG CHALLENGE!
Sign Up email firstname.lastname@example.org and write I Shower Fast! Include your first and last name and zip. Please pass on to friends and make the impact stronger.
Today, there is no way to compost or recycle the billions of disposable coffee cups used in the U.S. each year. That's because cups are lined with a petroleum-based plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leaking.
Most disposable coffee cups have a life of only 5 minutes before they are tossed in the trash. In a single week, the average coffee joint goes through 4,000 cups and plastic lids!
Every year, Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee. Of those, 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper cups— enough to wrap the earth 55 times if placed end-to-end!
The Biodegradable Cup – a step in the right direction, but will you really compost it when done?
Environmental Defense Fund's Starbucks Paper Project
Disposable Cups vs. Reusable Mugs from Triplepundit.com
Cups and Other Coffee Packaging Hard on Environment, says study from Packaging Digest
Use a travel mug. Often made of stainless steel, these beauties will keep your coffee or tea hotter longer than a dispoable cup.
Suggest that stores offer a discount when you bring your own. Patronage stores that already offer this. If you buy coffee five days a week, and use your travel mug, you save 260 cups per year!
If you love the SIGG water bottle, which you can find at 3rLiving on 5th Ave in Park Slope or Go Green on Atlantic, you should try their NEW Thermal Bottle. It keeps your hot beverages hot longer than just about any bottle on the market.
If you like to make your own coffee at home check out this Travel Mug Coffee Press. It is 100% spill proof.
For you tea lovers try a mug w/built in strainer!
Did You Know? Starbucks conducted a waste audit in 2003 and found that 589,800 pounds of paper were saved from landfills thanks to 13.5 million people who brought their own mugs!
Can we Solve the Climate Crisis? YES WE CAN! One Sip at a Time!
Monday, November 10, 2008
It's that time of the year again: What would Martha Stewart do?
The BiteShe'd leave the tacky PVC holiday yard decorations at Kmart. Bring in the cheer with natural pieces (such as wreaths and snowmen) instead. How's that for a good thing?
- Saving for attorney back pay. Those plastic Santa scenes can cost upwards of $150, way more than a real snowman.
- Homemaking with less plastic. PVC used for outdoor decorations degrades after long sun exposure and seeps into groundwater.
- More space for back copies of Living. Pinecones and snow can go right back to where they came from: nature.
Personally SpeakingJen just dumps her decorations in her compost pile when she's done with them, saving the cornucopia for the chickens. Try that with a plastic reindeer.
- Make a scarecrow
- Set out cornstalks and pumpkins
- Set out gourds
- Make a cornucopia
Saturday, November 8, 2008
It was someone's last day, so we celebrated with coconut chai from Bonobos.
I love my work because we eat together which is pretty efficient in terms of waste.
But 30 plastic bottles of chai kind of kills me!
Oh and listen up, PlasticFreeLA!
Bloomberg is proposing to charge 6 cents for every plastic bag shoppers use at the cash register!
This is super exciting. 6 cents doesn't sound like a lot-- but remember what I said in my last post? 10 cents here, 10 cents there and before you know it-- we have a healthier planet. Well look at what the article says:
"Just a few weeks after Ireland adopted a similar, though much heftier tax in 2002 — charging shoppers 33 cents a bag — plastic bag use dropped 94 percent, and within a year, nearly everyone in that country had purchased reusable cloth bags."
It just goes to show everything looks different, even a 12 minute piece on 60 minutes, when you look at the world through the lens of the plastic diet. We need more people to put on these plastic diet glasses.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
First of all giving kids bucket loads of candy just isn't healthy for them. Giving them little boxes of raisins as treats on the other hand will get your house egged, so candy it is I guess.
Second, giving kids individually wrapped anything in plastic isn't good for the environment!
Third, most kids don't even say "trick-or-treat" any more. They just walk up and open their bag and look at you. Or their parents push them at you when any blind man can see the kid is scared, too young to get Halloween, and shouldn't be eating candy anyway.
Fourth, gools and goblins are a think of the past! I was disturbed by a lot of the "little girl" costumes I saw that we revealing and skimpy.
So, over all it was a bit disappointing. In the end I ate a few pieces of candy (I had forgotten that Charleston Chews even existed--yum) but tended toward the Dots in their little paper boxes. And I began planning my strategy for next year...I'm thinking Free Trade chocolate coins that come in those shiny gold metal wrappers....
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Re: use of plastic packaging
Thank you for your e-mail, and we completely support your decision. Hal and I are looking into a corn based packaging solution as we speak, and we are also considering not using any packaging at all…
The store owners that buy our cards often request the cards to be in sleeves in order to keep the cards clean, however I think there is going to be a shift in thinking real soon! All of our cards are printed on recycled paper and our letterpress cards are 100%tree free, so we are almost there!
I truly respect your intentions and I will let you know once we have solved this problem on our end!
Positively Green Cards (No plastic sleeve, printed on recycled paper, using soy ink-yeay!)
Selfish Kitty Calypso Cards (Cute and no plastic cello sleeve)
Almost everyone else!
Really big loser:
A package of Christmas cards that said “Eco-friendly Rudolph” with a cute Rudolph (with a green shining nose) on the front of the card, but then the cards came in a plastic box! There is noting eco-friendly about plastic Rudolph even if your nose is green.
Also, I am going to be emailing Two Piglets Letterpress, (I like their cards a lot!) they go to the extent to use acid free paper and soy ink, but then all their cards are in plastic. I think they need to hear from me.
Another card maker I love Red Cap Cards is also going to be getting an email because their cards are so cute (see above), I want to buy their cards (really I do), but I don’t want any more wasteful “cello-sleeves” ever. It is a fact that I do not need any more cello in my life-end of story.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I bought bamboo utensils! Just 2 seconds ago!
Look at how cute they are.
do you want to know all about them? i thought you would!
To-Go Ware® - Reusable Bamboo Utensil Set with Recycled Carrycase
"...absolutely perfect for cutting down on takeout waste"
The newsprint style actually contains recycled newspaper!
Bamboo is an organic, beautiful & earth friendly material known for
its fast growth cycle and natural strength. Highly adaptable, bamboo
can grow almost anywhere and protects the environment by generating
more oxygen than other trees. While gaining popularity, bamboo is still
mostly an untapped renewable natural resource.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
*Let me remind you Kerry and I have no control over these ads. So some of the ads are for products that are the antithesis of what we stand for, but some aren't obviously.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tonight there were 9 of us in the room.
And on the table we had:
3 plastic Dasani bottles
2 plastic Poland Spring bottles
3 cans of soda
2 plastic bags (one for bread, one for popcorn)
1 zip lock bag
1 chex mix bag
1 yogurt container
1 plastic knife
1 plastic spoon
1 glass snapple bottle
Do you think all of that got recycled? hmm.. no
Do you think ALL of that could have been avoided? you betcha
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The challenge was to not use any plastic when that's all we had for plates, utensils, cups.
I couldn't eat swedish meatballs or penne with vodka sauce.
But I had some chips with dip and bread with mango salsa and a cookie.
I could have also had a burger or hotdog with no plate, but didn't get around to it.
And I wanted some wine but didn't have my own cup, so when my sister Suzanne left I asked to use her cup.
Someone overheard us talking about plastic and was curious. It was funny to hear Suzanne explain about the evils of plastic and how easy it is to reduce plastic use in everyday life.. she was a skeptic a few months ago but now she's on board!
I noticed I'm getting better about explaining the plastic diet to people, too. Here's what I say:
1. On principle, I don't use one-time use plastic. Things you use and immediately throw away. Just don't believe in it. Some people don't believe in unicorns or ghosts or God. I don't believe in one-time use plastic. People can't really argue with that.. seems fair enough.
2. I explain that even if you don't think about it consciously, we're all intelligent people, and at some level we're aware that wasteful practices like buying coffee every day and tossing the cup are not good choices. I repeat the phrase "you are an intelligent person" a few times. People like that :) They start nodding in agreement. And then I explain that the blog attempts to bring these issues to a conscious level, so that as an intelligent person, you are thinking about it and able to make better choices.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Well today I made a comment about the packaging used at my standby I-haven't-eaten-lunch-yet-and-it's-3:00 lunch place in a an online survey my receipt asked me to participate in (whenever I could win $1000 or free food I am a sucker for surveys.)
If there are any other comments you would like to share about your most recent visit to Rubio's, please enter your comments below.
So I said:
I would really encourage you to stop using plastic in your food packaging. Your use of plastic actually limits what I am willing to buy at your restaurant. I only order tacos because they comes wrapped in paper. I always tell the counter worker not to put my order in a plastic bag, but you also use a lot of other plastic (i.e. plates, clam shell containers, straws, salsa dishes) that could be replaced with more environmentally friendly options. Thank you for taking my comment into consideration. Progressive thinking in terms of eliminating plastic packaging will benefit our collective health and environment.
So, the lesson here is: Step one-participate and tell them your opinion. I hope step two will be-watch change happen. Of course we will need a lot of participation in step one in order to see step two come to fruition.
Check it out:
Bottled Water Quality Investigation: 10 Major Brands, 38 Pollutants
Yup, you gotta love your Sigg (and filtered watered).
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
"Let them eat from plates!"
Gusto is also America's first all-organic restaurant. We're talking 100% organic. How amazing is that? Plus when I was there they had just gotten a liquor license so our wine was 30% off :)
I didn't see a single piece of plastic.. and they use non-plastic takeout containers (I think it's cardboardy like what they use at Whole Foods) except for salads which come in PLA containers and their take-out utensils are PLA. The containers and utensils are "recycled, tree-free, biodegradable and organic." Sweet.
These are some of Gusto's sustainable practices:
- Recycling and composting.
- Using only wind energy.
- Use of solar lighting.
- Energy efficient kitchen equipment.
- Water conservation equipment.
- Biodegradable take out containers, cups and flatware.
- Environmentally friendly packaging (Most is biodegradable).
- 100% recycled paper, bags and boxes.
- Printing with soy ink.
- Green cleaning practices including biodegradable products.
- Built our restaurant with recycled woods and eco friendly materials.
- We wear all organic uniforms.
- Use of organic flowers.
- Green word of mouth:
- We use our restaurants to interact with our Guests and create environmental awareness.
- We learn and collaborate within our communities to improve our attitude toward the planet.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. And how you eat. So how can you change the world one meal at a time?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tea: a beverage made by steeping leaves in water.
How simple and quaint you are my morning beverage.
How can you possibly be messed up with plastic?
Oh let me count the ways....
Some tea has plastic cellophane on the outside of the box you buy it in, some has the bags individually wrapped in plastic on the inside...some tea has BOTH! Really it is too much. In the store I have opened boxes to look inside and then put them back on the shelf, I have shaken boxes to listen for a paper sound or plastic sound on the inside. Some individually packaged tea comes in those little tear open envelops that seem plastic-y as well as paper-y...what is this miracle material? I give up. Nicely packages tea bags are wonderful, but I think today was my last purchase of this modern convenience. It is all loose leaf-all the time for me (after I finish what I bought today :).
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
I emailed Erin today wailing that I need to buy a new hair dryer and alarm clock.
My hair dryer sounds like it's about to explode and/or set me on fire.
And I use the alarm on my cell phone, but ever since I got a new phone... it's not reliable.
9 times out of 10 the alarm fails to go off. not a good situation!
But then I got to thinking instead of buying another appliance.. maybe there is an alarm clock feature on my macbook.
I did a google and why yes, there are many options!
I downloaded this one:
I changed the settings so the computer can wake itself up from sleep mode and start playing Party Started by Cat Empire. I'll let you know how it works out!
Thank you plastic diet for saving me money!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
don't take that to mean i've been using lots of plastic-- i have not!
here's a post from the blog "love your city," that i thought you might like
ignorance is bliss?
Filed under: trill
i am currently taking a class called ‘culture & the environment,’ which is essentially about how those two are, have always been, and will always be, inextricably tied. yesterday the teacher asked, by show of hands, how many people think that we are in an environmental crisis. FIVE people raised their hands. FIVE. out of a class of maybe 40 or so? 22.214.171.124.5.
the question that followed asked the opposite, how many people thought that this whole environmental crisis thing is non-existent, just a trend.
and someone actually put up their hand.
“uhhh uhh well it’s not that there isn’t a crisis, i just think its toootally blown out of proportion.”
THERE IS FUCKING FLOATING PILE OF GARBAGE IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN THAT IS THE SIZE OF TEXAS*!
*696,241 km…don’t mess.
vice magazine did an article on it a while ago, which spurred hours upon hours of internetting on my part. i needed to know more and i was honestly a bit disappointed in myself for not having had any idea that such a thing existed. i would just read the vice article if you don’t know, because they will explain it better than i, and they have pictures.
nevermind that animals are dying because of they plastic they are eating.
nevermind that plastic is now at the bottom of this food chain that we are on top of.
plastic is forever.
forever and ever and ever.
one day when we destroy all of this beauty, it will just be plastic and diamonds, straight chillin.
even “biodegradable” plastic doesn’t go anywhere. it just gets broken down into the tiniest of polymers that get ingested by the tiniest of creatures. plastic is not food. it makes animals sick, it makes them die, it makes them change their gender. what the fuck son.
all the plastic that has ever been created is still on this earth.
now i’m all riled up and off-topic, so i will just leave you with a link to this great blog called plastic is forever. it’s these two women who are on a “plastic diet,” basically trying to cut out as much plastic as possible. feed your mind.