26-year old Samuel Huber started what he calls “eco-running” as a way to help the world while out doing his favorite thing, running. On his eco-runs, he carries a few small garbage bags and picks up litter all along the route. Recently, he has made the switch to biodegradable, compostable BioBags. Check out his web site and mention of BioBags and this blog, Fake Plastic Fish, at http://eco-runner.blogspot.com. I want to not only commend him for his efforts but join in the eco-running movement he’s trying to start.
So, this morning, BioBag in hand and latex gloved, I did a 30-minute eco-run towards Berkeley and back. My bag was full within the first 12 minutes, and I found I needed to stop picking up big things and concentrate on the items that, if washed down a storm drain, could end up inside the bellies of marine animals: bottle caps, small toys, a comb, a pacifier, plastic bags, even a rubber glove.
Good lord, what is that Death Star looking thing on your roof, Beth?
No Worries. It’s my new Urban compost tumbler and tea catcher, ready to devour food, garden, and some paper waste and deliver rich, fragrant compost… in 2-6 months, depending on how diligent I am in feeding it.
But it’s made of (gasp) plastic!
That’s right. 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. The only part that is not recycled is the tea catcher, and I’m having a few regrets about ordering that part. Seems like I maybe could have figured out another way to catch the compost leachate without buying a brand new piece of plastic. Well, live and learn.
So, how does it work?
Glad you asked! Simply add your “green” (fresh leaves, grass, food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, anything wet and pungent) and “brown” (dry leaves, grass, shredded paper & cardboard) waste, close the lid, spin the compost tumbler a few times to mix… Read the rest
Okay, I know this photo is not as creative or fun as the previous ones. It’s a gray, drizzly day and the photo fits the mood I’m in. So let’s just cut to the tally:
Items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
8 Refresh Endura single-use eyedrop containers (#4 plastic).
1 Ak-Mak crackers inside wrapper.Finished the box this week. I’m now sticking with Wasa Crispbreads because they are the only crackers I’ve found without any plastic packaging.
1 plastic label from a bottle of Fantastik spray cleaner. Now that the bottle is empty, I’m going to reuse it and make my own spray cleaner. Thinking of using No Impact Man’s recipe. Does anyone have a better one?
1 plastic film from a pint of Haagen Dasz ice cream. I can’t believe this was still in the freezer and I didn’t know about it. Now that I do, for sure the rest will be gone this week. How could it not be!?
Check your plastic water cooler bottle. If you see a 7 inside the chasing arrows recycling symbol, your cooler could be leaching chemicals that disrupt hormones and possibly cause cancer. (This is the kind of cooler we have where I work. I think I’m going to start drinking tap water.) Read the following article published 3 days ago:
Scientists issue warning about chemical in plastic
By Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
6:49 PM PDT, August 2, 2007
In an unusual effort targeting a single chemical, several dozen scientists on Thursday issued a strongly worded consensus statement warning that an estrogen-like compound in plastic is likely to be causing an array of serious reproductive disorders in people.
The compound, bisphenol A or BPA, is one of the highest-volume chemicals in the world and has found its way into the bodies of most human beings.
Used to make hard plastic, BPA can seep from beverage containers and other materials. It is used in all… Read the rest
With the recent surge in anti-plastic bag sentiments, a lot of folks are jumping on the reusable bags bandwagon. I think it’s great that people are starting to give a thought to the bags that they use to carry their purchases home. But not all bags are created equal, and I wish more people would think about the type of reusable bag they choose, rather than rashly purchasing the cutest thing they see in another expression of thoughtless consumption.
I’ve been thinking about the issue of reusable bags for some time, but I am moved to sit down and actually write this out tonight after reading a review of Reisenthel’s nylon shopping bags on SustainLane.com. The reviewer says that she was glad to find the compact, foldable Reisenthel bags, made by a German company, because she sometimes forgets to take her large Trader Joe’s tote bag with her and ends up with a collection of new plastic bags from the store. With the Reisenthel nylon… Read the rest
My SoyaPower soy milk maker arrived today, and I made my first batch of homemade soy milk tonight. (The dried soy beans have to soak for 8-10 hours, so I put them in water this morning and made the soy milk when I came home.) This is a magical piece of kitchen equipment. You put in water and the soaked beans, press a button, and 15-20 minutes later, you have soy milk. And it tastes good. And the texture is smooth. After it cools, you can add sweetener or any other flavors you want. But actually, I tasted the unsweetened soy milk tonight, and I have to say it’s quite refreshing without anything else added.
Okay, so you want to know about the plastic and the packaging? That, after all, is what we’re here for, right? First the good news. Sanlinx, Inc ships the soy milk maker in its own box, so there is no extra packaging. Inside the box holding the machine in place are molded paper pulp forms rather than styrofoam.