Saturday, February 28, 2009

Where are we at?

Where are we at?....we're still here! If you have been following our blog for a while now you know that over time Kerry and I have let more and more time go between posts...a whole week this time! Don't worry we didn't get sucked into the Great Pacific (Garbage Patch) Gyre...though it is not out of the question.

I thought I'd reflect on our posting (or lack there of) a little today and talk about where we are at. It has been 9 months* of the plastic diet (!) and plastic reduction has become a way of life for Kerry and I. It has become everyday, normal operating procedure, status quo, etc. This is a good thing! We don't have quite as many questions and maybe a few less plastic related frustrations (this is debatable). I think this has reflected on our posting habits. Reducing plastic is less of burden and is less unknown now. So, there is less to report...but there is always something to fact the other day I was asked by my mother, "Do you think you will still keep this up after the year is up?" My automatic response was "YES, of course". It would be hard (near to impossible) to all of a sudden one day (June 1st, 2009-but who's keeping track?) stop caring about reducing my plastic consumption…stop caring about the impact of plastic…stop wanting to make this world a better place—just because our one year project is "over". I think this is especially true because I have always been an environmentalist. What I (and others around me) have learned in the last 9 months is how strongly I care about being a steward of change for the environment. I mean really this is the only planet we have, it is AMAZING, and I kind of like it here :) Reducing my plastic use is just one thing I (and you can) do to be more responsible and I am sure I will keep up my efforts as long as there is plastic (a.k.a. forever). I have wonder if I will be as committed (dare I say militant) about not consuming plastic after June 1st 2009. I really find it hard to believe that I will stop questioning my choices, purchases, and decisions just as much as I do now. Just like they say about any diet…diets don't work you have to change your lifestyle—and I have changed my lifestyle! So, I guess in June I will no longer be on the plastic diet I will just be living the plastic-less lifestyle :)

* We are full-term! We have been gestating in the plastic-diet-womb for 9 months now. We are ready for life in a plastic-less world!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

recycled, reusable and non-plastic produce bags!

Check these out...they are great reusable "baguettes" for buying/storing your fruits and veggies.
They are made from old tee-shirts, cloth mesh, and have a drawstring top!

I got one that I love to use from Anna Cummins (of JunkRaft/JunkRide fame) at the LA Go Green Expo. Now you can get one too! They are available for sale at the bring your own website shop!
Check it out: and remember to BRING YOUR OWN :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

canal plastics center

i have to go here tomorrow to pick something up for work!
it's a plastic dieters worst nightmare!

also something kind of comical happened today. i had to pick up a sign from kinkos and it was wintry-mixing outside.. snow and rain.. and i was on the phone with erin aka plasticfreela and she HEARD me ask the guy at kinkos for a plastic bag! i was so mortified but i couldn't let the sign get ruined!

Friday, February 13, 2009

dish soap

I need to find a new soap for washing dishes (by hand) that comes in a bar...any suggestions?

I'm getting near the end of my environmentally friendly liquid dish soap that comes in a plastic bottle and I would like to find something even more environmentally friendly by eliminating the plastic bottle. I like a lot of suds/bubbles when I'm washing dishes, because it makes me feel like the soap is working, but if that's not possible in bar soap form (I guess I assume it is not available) I can live.

If you have a good bar soap source for dish washing let me know!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I've been doing boot camp and marathon training and thus eating more protein.

So I've started eating yogurt every day for breakfast.

Convenient for me, not so much for the environment.

Not only is the yogurt pre-made but it's portion-controlled and I know exactly how much protein I'm getting.

I know that Erin makes yogurt.. I've made yogurt once before but don't know about doing it on a daily basis.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


mushrooms are temporary, plastic is forever

I went on a mushroom foray this weekend and learned much, but most importantly I learned don't eat just any mushroom and second most importantly I learned that (like most other living things) mushrooms don't like plastic! If you store mushrooms in plastic they will not be able to breath (just like if you were to store humans in plastic) they will sweat (like humans) and then decay and turn mushy (you know where I am going with this). I had noticed that the mushroom sellers at the framer's market are the only people who use paper bags—now I know why—it's not just that we are kindred spirits :)

If you buy loose mushrooms the best way to store them is in the refrigerator in a paper bag or folded in an envelop of wax paper or place them in a glass container and cover it with a dish towel or moist paper towel—no plastic wrap or plastic bags please!

So, why is it that you can find mushrooms sold in plastic wrap at the grocery store—probably because you shouldn't buy mushrooms at the grocery store—or maybe the mushrooms are sealed with nitrogen (or some gas other than oxygen) to keep them looking fresh...either way go natural! Join your local Mycological Association and learn to find your own mushrooms (if I can do it in LA you can do it anywhere) or grow your own While Button or Portabellas (sadly this option involves plastic).

The take away here, at any rate, is that mushrooms can be added to the ever growing list of living things that DON'T LIKE PLASTIC!

Friday, February 6, 2009

These are the only kind of mailing envelops that should be on the market!
(Are you listening Amazon? You who ships books to people in plastic.)

Look how great they are...

  • Double reinforced corners offer superior edge protection (okay)
  • Cushioned with recycled newsprint (sure)
  • Self-sealing (nice)
  • Plastic free! (WOW)
Sustainable Attributes:
  • Made from renewable resources (yes)
  • 90% total recycled content, 50% post-consumer (awesome)
  • Exceeds CPG guidelines (great)
  • Recyclable with mixed papers (perfect or it could be composted)
Viva CareMail mail packaging products! These envelops are soooooo much better than the plastic, bubble plastic, and plastic-paper hybrid mailers on the market—that can't even be recycled. Just goes to show if you look around enough you will find a better option, and by better I mean plastic-free. Happy mailing :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

making a difference! new year of the trees

wanted to share this very cool newsletter article i just received. you can check out the whole newsletter online here.

Dearest reader

A lot is happening on planet earth. On one hand it seems like we humans continue to bite the life out of mother earth. On the other hand, awareness to natural health and ecology is constantly on the rise.

Three years ago I wrote in this very newsletter about a ceremony I was invited to lead at an orthodox synagogue for Tu B'shvat - New Year of the Trees. I deliberately didn't write how disappointed I felt after seeing all the disposable plastic plates, cups, and utensils that were used during the event. I decided to focus on the bright side - that the participants were open to learn about the advantage of whole foods over processed foods. One step at a time.

Last year I participated in a different New Year of the Trees, that took place outside of the USA. This time, in addition to the plastic plates, cups, and utensils, sodas and artificial snacks dominated the tables. Since it was a charity event, I didn't want to be a party pooper and kept my mouth shut.

Recently I received an invite for this year's event. This time I decide to write to the organizers. I began by thanking them for organizing these important charity events. Then I added that I find it contradicting that a celebration for the trees, for nature, turns into an ecological disaster with plastic plates and junk food.

To my surprise the organizers wrote back to me, asking how they can handle the situation differently. We had a meeting in which I presented them with various options like serving finger food - mainly fruits and nuts which are the traditional foods of this holiday and for which there is no need at all for plates and utensils. To use biodegradable cups (made from plants like corn and sugarcane instead of oil). To put a marker next to the cups so people can write their names on the cup and re-use it during the event. To avoid sodas and processed snacks and instead to serve water, natural juices, fruits, and nuts.

The organizers were so excited from these suggestions that they asked me to make a presentation during the event itself on how New Year of the Trees is related to our commitment to the ecology and what we humans can do to help.

On a personal note, not only that I'm happy to be sharing this information with a large audience of adults and kids, but also I'm happy to attend an event that I will feel comfortable at.

On a similar note, in this month's newsletter, I'm introducing a new company that I've joined - Elements for Life. In addition to the focus on financial profit, this company is also committed to human health and the environment, not only on a philosophical level, but also in a very practical way. You're invited to visit their website, which has a lot of information, so take your time to read the information.

In April we're headed to a special journey in Israel. You're invited to join us. See the details in this newsletter.

To a greener, healthier, peaceful world,

Zohar Zemach Wilson
Founder & Director
Alok Holistic Health

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Plant lovin

My plants need a little lovin. I am by no means a green thumb but I have begun to suspect that my plants can't live by water alone—they need nutrients too! So I have had a mission to find plant food that doesn’t come in plastic packaging. Plant food does exist in this form in paperboard boxes, in plentiful amounts actually, like in this picture:

But it does not exist in plentiful (or even pitiful) amounts for indoor least not what I could find. I was so excited to find plant food in paperboard boxes and so sad to find out it is not “formulated” for indoor plants. The outdoor formulas, I was told, could kill my indoor plants :( I ended up buying this all-purpose indoor plant food variety (pictured here with my nutrient-needy Donkey Tail plant).

This one is concentrated so it will last a looong time (and it is #2 recyclable plastic), but mostly I was sold on the little eyedropper feature. I can see myself reusing this someday looong in the future for something else...after a very thorough washing out of course as plant food ≠ people food!
Does anyone know of a plastic-packaging-free alternative for plant food? It is a little too late for me this time but maybe not for others.