Think we can't live without plastic? Think again. In 2007 I committed to stop buying any new plastic & I've almost succeeded! Won't you join me? Let's see what plastic-free looks like today… for the health of our bodies, our oceans, our planet. ~Beth Terry
It was an interesting week. Attended a funeral. Ate a whole lot of chocolate. Bought a bike. And began a Vision Quest. Went through a bit of plastic, too. So here’s the tally.
Plastic items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
1 Sicilia lemon juice bottle and cap. It took over a year for us to finish this, and we’ve got another one (expired) in the cupboard. We mostly use fresh limes and lemons now. I guess we should use up the bottled stuff before it gets moldy, if it hasn’t already.
1 Sicilia lime juice bottle and cap. Same as above. And we’ve got another one of these in the cupboard too.
New plastic purchased since the plastic project began and used this week:
1 prescription bottle and cap. As I’ve mentioned before, these bottles cannot be refilled in California. It’s against the law. Even our vet won’t reuse them.
1 bit of plastic from a bunch of organic bananas. No, I haven’t … Read the rest
No, because this one my friend Axelle is doing. And a few days ago, I started to do it too. No, we’re not constipated. (Although that is the tagline for the No ‘poo forum.) We’re all just attempting to give up shampoo. And conditioner. And most hair products in general.
I’ve written about solid bar shampoos and how they can help us save plastic bottle packaging waste. But giving up shampoo altogether saves not only packaging but excess ingredients and a ton of money. And according to believers, it’s a lot better for our scalps and hair.
Inspired by Life Less Plastic once again, I asked Jeanne to write a few pointers on her experience going shampoo-free. This is what she had to say:
I know you’re probably feeling extremely skeptical right now. I was the same way. When I started my no ‘poo experiment, I kept… Read the rest
I purchased a box of CitraSuds natural laundry detergent today at the Ecology Center in Berkeley, CA. I am always on the lookout for environmentally safe products and was happy to learn that your laundry powder is biodegradable and contains no chlorine bleach or synthetic perfumes or dyes. I was also happy to read on the box that the package is made from 100% recycled paper.
However, after opening the box, I was disappointed to find a plastic measuring scoop. While I realize the scoop may be made out of recycled plastic, the fact is that it is not biodegradable and cannot be further recycled – not where I live anyway. Therefore, I am returning the scoop to you in the hopes that you can find a use for it. I don’t need it, and most of the people I know do not need a brand new scoop each time we buy a box of detergent.
Now I have gone and done it. And in a plastic tube, to boot.
Why did I buy toothpaste in the first place? Two reasons. First, my baking soda, wintergreen oil, stevia powder combination had been working fine for many months. But in the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling like it’s too harsh on my gums. My mouth feels kind of sore after using it. And then last week, during my radio interview on Tomorrow Matters, one of the callers said she worked in a dental office and believed that plain baking soda is too abrasive. I had heard this before, but hadn’t really believed it until I started noticing irritation in my own mouth.
Second, my dentist really wants me to have some fluoride on my teeth, and since giving up both toothpaste and Act fluoride rinse, I wasn’t giving them the treatment he thought they should have. Yes, I know there’s fluoride in our drinking water.… Read the rest
Back to dealing with plastic. I wonder if it’ll be another whole year before I have a second plastic-free week.
Plastic items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:
1 plastic wrapper from a Wholphin DVD. I subscribed to Wholphin before starting this project. I believe I’ve received my last DVD, and I won’t be renewing. The really stupid thing is that I haven’t watched any of them since I subscribed. I used to buy a lot of things that I didn’t end up watching or using. My friend Axelle is currently borrowing these DVDs. Hope she’s enjoying them.
1 Ikea fluorescent light bulb. The weight of this week’s tally includes both the plastic and the glass because I can’t weigh them separately. Instead of saving this light bulb in plastic purgatory, I’ll be getting the mercury out of the house as soon as possible and dropping it off at Cole Hardware on 4th Street in SF. Yes, I realize… Read the rest
I started writing this post last night and then all of a sudden felt like I was whacked in the head… sniffles, sneezing, stuffed up nose… and couldn’t sit upright anymore. So I slept for a few hours and now I’m trying again because I have a lot I want to write about before I go back to sleep.
It’s been a really busy week, and I’m excited to talk about a few things. Last night, I had just gotten back from a heated community hearing addressing a proposed Safeway expansion in our neighborhood. Oh, did I say expansion? I meant domination. Look at the hugeness of the Monstropolis they want to construct on the entire block of College Ave between Claremont and Alcatraz:
What a year it’s been. I’ve given Fake Plastic Fish a little makeover, and I’ve uploaded the year’s worth of plastic tally photos to Flickr, where they can be viewed all together or individually with links to the original blog posts.
I’ve learned a lot, but I’m not done yet. Sure, I was careful not to accumulate plastic waste last week, but there will be more this week and in the weeks to come. Even after a year, we still have some products in plastic containers from before I started this project, and those will enter my plastic purgatory at some point. And there are plastic dilemmas I still haven’t solved: mainly in the cat food/cat litter arena.
I may take a mini blogging break this week to focus on Take Back The Filter work, getting through my email finally, and basically being a nice person for my Michael, Soots, & Arya to live with. (Yes, we finally made that chore chart last night.)… Read the rest
Last weekend I finally saw the documentary What Would Jesus Buy? on DVD. It follows the crusade of “Reverend Billy” and the “Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir” during this past Christmas season as they traveled cross country spreading a message of anti-commercialism, support for local businesses, and hairspray. Well, the hairspray was more method than message, but I digress.
Say what you want about environmentalists taking on the language of the Church to make their points, (and by the way, there’s been quite a bit of debate about that very issue this week on the Green Bean Dreams and TallgrassWorship blogs) Reverend Billy’s evangelical escapades, offensive or not, grab attention and draw converts to the cause. He exorcises shopping demons from Wal-mart and Disneyland. He gets himself banned for life from Starbucks. He’s been arrested more times than his wife Savitri can count.
My friend and co-worker Marika picked up a bar of Pure & Natural soap for me while shopping at Target. Marika is very sweet. She makes the best cupcakes and brownies in the world, and she lives to love and protect animals of all kinds (even though she tortures her dog by making him wear orange sweatshirts.)
So anyway, she thought of me because Pure & Natural soap comes packaged in 100% post-consumer paperboard packaging that is embedded with flower seeds to encourage users to return it to the earth rather than throwing it away. Cute idea. And the soap itself is labeled as 99% natural origin. That’s great. But what’s the 1% that’s not natural?
Listed among all the ingredients you’d find in most natural soaps is “fragrance.” That must be the unnatural 1%. And what is in the fragrance? I didn’t know, so I called Pure & Natural’s toll free number (1-877-711-8188) to find out. Will answered… Read the rest