Archive for July, 2008

July 30, 2008

Take Back The Climate

I’ve been asked to present the Take Back The Filter campaign (urging Clorox to take back and reuse/recycle used Brita water filter cartridges) as part of a panel at the California Resource Recovery Association’s (CRRA) annual conference next week. I am excited to have the opportunity to share the campaign with this audience, and when initially asked, wasn’t at all nervous about speaking: I’ve been talking about not much else for the past 3 months!

Not nervous, that is, until I found out that the theme of the conference is CARBONOPOLY: Climate Change Is Not A Game We Can Lose.

Oh dear. I know about zero waste. I know about the problems of plastic. I know why I don’t want Brita filter cartridges to continue to be landfilled or incinerated. But I hadn’t related the issue to climate change. In fact, I actually knew very little about global warming except that we’re all supposed to use less energy, buy fewer things… Read the rest

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July 30, 2008

Calling Californians: please take a minute to support plastic bag legislation!

Hi all. Last week, I got an email from Californians Against Waste urging me to send a letter in support of AB 2058, the California bill to protect the environment from plastic bag pollution. I wrote and faxed my letter last week and didn’t even think of forwarding the request here. Duh! Here’s a copy of the letter I sent, which is partially copied from the sample that CAW sent me.

This afternoon, I received an email from my friend Benn at Chicobags urging bloggers to spread the word. So this is me doing just that! Here’s the letter from Benn. Please follow the links to either send your own letter or use the form on the Heal The Bay web site provided. It will only take a few minutes. This is important legislation and necessary, since the plastic bag industry has taken legal action against towns like Oakland and Fairfax that have tried to pass their own bag bans.

Action Alert: Please consider sharing this important plastic bag news with others… Read the rest

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July 29, 2008

Why Twitter?

Yay! I used intense reasoning and peer pressure to get Burbanmom to join Twitter, and she hasn’t really tweeted yet! That’s okay. It took me months to start tweeting, and it wasn’t until all the fun at the Blogher conference that I realized what the crazy progam was good for. So now that I do, I thought I’d share my thoughts about Twitter, in the hopes that more greenies will join and add their green voices to the Twittersphere.

Before I continue, I want to say that I am receiving no compensation or other incentive from Twitter to talk it up. My whole reason for writing this post is that I have a dream of a big green Twitter community able to send and receive information from each other, plan activist strategies or just lend moral support, using a tool that is a bit more direct and raw than blogging. And I hope that after reading this post, many of you will be inspired to join up if Twitter sounds like a tool that would work for you.

Okay. What… Read the rest

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July 27, 2008

Year 2, Week 6 Results: .2 oz of plastic waste.

I took my mini plastic stash (.2 ounces! Yes!) outside today to hang out with my…

MASSIVE TOMATO PLANTS!

Okay, okay, don’t laugh. You guys told me I was an idiot to think I could grow 4 tomato plants using one cage, so I bought 3 more. The plants may not be humongous yet, and certainly not like Allie’s plants that are reportedly taller than she. (Of course, I’ve never seen what Allie looks like. Maybe she’s really, really short.) But don’t forget, I got them in the ground weeks and weeks after Jennconspiracy gave them to me, so I’m confident I’ll be up to my eyeballs in tomatoes by this fall. And learning to can them. Thanks for all your great advice.

Okay, here’s last week’s tally. It’s all new plastic waste:

2 plastic tags and 2 plastic tag hangers from tomato cages. One of the three new cages was missing its tag, so I only ended up with two.

Plastic cap loop and foam cap insert from a bottle… Read the rest

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July 25, 2008

Blue Sky Cleaners: Non-toxic and Plastic-free?

Nowadays, I stick to buying clothes that can be washed at home rather than dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is expensive and environmentally harmful. But I do still have several items of clothing, as well as some wool blankets, that cannot be machine laundered at home, and for those I need a good outside cleaner.

In the past, I have taken clothes to the dry cleaner down the street, not thinking about much more than the fact that I didn’t want any plastic bag covering my clothes. The cleaner would comply with my request, and I’d do an extra bit by returning my used hangers to them. This takes care of the waste problem, but not the more serious problem of the toxic chemicals used in the cleaning process itself.

Thanks to Big Green Purse, I’ve learned a lot about dry cleaning recently. Which is great because I was almost taken in by the “green cleaner” down the street. Rockridge Royal Cleaners on College Ave has posters in its windows … Read the rest

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July 24, 2008

Blue Chair Fruit Company: plastic-free at the farmer’s market

Our Temescal farmer’s market was beautiful this Sunday, all the colors and crowds alive with the joy of summer. So many fruits to sample and enjoy on the spot. And, sadly, still so much plastic in evidence… bags & containers. Last year I wrote about plastic at the farmer’s market and the effort to educate vendors and patrons about alternatives. This Sunday, one vendor left me pleasantly surprised.

Blue Chair Fruit Company produces extraordinary jams and preserves that are packaged in glass jars with metal lids. That’s fine enough. But what caused me to stop at their table were the tiny metal tasting spoons they were using to give samples. While other vendors of prepared foods (including the women hawking her pesto spreads in the next booth) used disposable plastic spoons or even (to a lesser degree) disposable compostable spoons, Blue Chair used durable spoons that would be washed and reused.

I chatted with Rachel… Read the rest

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July 22, 2008

I went to the woods…

…because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

I spread a sheet on the ground and set up my chair in a eucalyptus grove overlooking Lake Chabot. I sat in that chair from 12:30pm yesterday to 11:00am today, not quite 24 hours. It was cold and foggy most of the day, and very cold last night. Thank goodness for my mummy bag with hood, which kept me warm enough.

I drank water and listened to the rumblings of my empty tummy. Thoughts were thought and visions beheld, although not of the fantastical burning bush sort. The sound of eucalyptus bark peeling from trees was like a chorus of creeky doors opening and closing, inviting me over and over again to wake up. And the leaves fluttered all night like little birds over my head. After dark, a skunk and I were mutually alarmed by the presence of the… Read the rest

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July 20, 2008

Schwag & Twitter at Blogher ’08

The Blogher Conference was kinda overwhelming. I feel like I’ve returned from another planet and need to be quarantined and debriefed. It was refreshing to go out to dinner last night with Michael and his sister and cousin and find out that they had never heard of Twitter. Have you? Because I had heard of it, and even signed up for it months ago, and then never “tweeted” because I didn’t understand why I should. But OMG, everyone at Blogher08 was tweeting up a storm. So, never one to resist peer pressure, I started tweeting too. Wanna follow me?

It was fun to hang out with some real live green gals whom I’d only so far met through cyberspace. From left to right: Jenn from The Smart Mama, me, Michelle from Green Bean Dreams and Jenn from Tiny Choices. Mamabird from Surely You Nest preferred to take the picture rather than be in it.

We also met Green L.A. Girl Siel, Have Fun * Do Good’s Britt Bravo, and Big Green Purse’sRead the rest

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July 20, 2008

Year 2, Week 5 Results: 1.4 oz of plastic waste.

This post will be short because I want to get in a review of the Blogher Conference before retiring to the woods for my vision fast. So, here’s the tally:

Plastic items used this week but purchased before the plastic project began:

1 Ziploc bag. I’ve been using this bag for over a year, and finally it has a big hole in it and needs to retire. I’ve been using it to store bread, so far not having found a plastic-free way to keep bread fresh. I buy local bread that comes in a paper bag (like Acme Bread or Grace Baking Co) and then put the paper-wrapped bread into the Ziploc bag. Note to self: Ziploc bags and kitchen knives do not get along well together in the sink.

And the new plastic waste:

1 outer wrapper from a case of Instinct canned cat food.

Tag hanger from a new broom. The rest of the broom is entirely plastic free. Check out the way I carried it home. Remind you of anyone?

1 Refresh Endura single use eye drop container.

Blogher Conference name tag.… Read the rest

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July 17, 2008

This doesn’t belong on BART!

I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me: three days of the Blogher Conference in San Francisco, Michael’s sister coming to visit during the same weekend, and then my vision quest retreat on Monday/Tuesday. I plan to blog my usual plastic tally on Sunday night, but we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick story and also let you know about another neat bloggy thing.

A few days ago, I was sitting on BART, reading or something… not really paying much attention to my surroundings. The train stopped at a station and a couple of loud, scruffy guys got off. Suddenly, from halfway down the car, a tall man jumps up, grabs a plastic garbage bag full of bottles and cans, marches toward the open door by me, throws the bag out onto the platform, and yells to the scruffy guys, “This does not belong on BART!” Then he stomped back to his seat, all the while muttering and sputtering and visibly upset. The guys on the platform… Read the rest

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