Archive for February, 2009

February 12, 2009

Hey, whatcha got in that swag bag?

First of all, thank you all for your support. I’m grateful to everyone who left an encouraging comment on my Fark post. I’ll write more about it in my own comment on that post. Right now, I need to ask for your help again.

The annual Blogher Conference is coming up in July. Last year, it was held here in San Francisco. This year it will be in Chicago. But that’s not the only difference. After several of us bloggers made our green voices heard critiquing last year’s event, the organizers listened and have put together a Green Team for suggestions of how to make this year’s conference as eco-friendly as possible.

I’m happy to be a volunteer on the Blogher ’09 Green Team. We’ve already had one conference call and discussed all kinds of issues, from how to get attendees to the hotel from the airport using group transit to planning buffet-style menus requiring no disposable tableware.

One of the ways that conferences… Read the rest

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February 10, 2009

What the Fark?

This Monday, I was happy to be the subject of an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Green Space columnist Sandy Bauers and quite pleased with her article, “She wants to say 2 words: No Plastics,” and followup blog post, “Purging the Plastics.” I was especially honored to be interviewed by Bauers because she “gets it.” Green Space is her column about how to reduce your carbon footprint in everyday life. It appears every other Monday in Health & Science. I stumbled upon Sandy’s year-end article, “Doing The Little Things That Will Save The World,” and was particularly delighted that her #1 and #2 steps were plastic-related: Shop with reusable bags and Drink tap water.

Well, the thrill of the article lasted through this morning when I got an email from Michael telling me that Sandy’s piece had made the front page of Fark.com. Now, I had never heard of Fark until this morning, … Read the rest

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February 9, 2009

Almost Vegan Crockpot Lasagne (Deliciously plastic-free)

I’ve been having fun with my new-to-me crockpot. Thanks to everyone who suggested recipes. One of the perks of having a blog is all the free advice from readers. My first easy project was froghair’s black bean chili. Confidence boosted, I tried vegan lasagne a few days later. Here are the ingredients:

Thanks to my friends Jen and Red for the Rainbow Grocery gift certificate they gave me for Christmas. Most of the ingredients came from bulk bins at that amazing store. Thanks also to JessTrev who told me about Bionaturae tomato paste that comes in a glass jar rather than BPA-lined can and who also told me I could put regular dry lasagne noodles (not necessary to buy the quick kind) into the crockpot if I used enough liquid.

This recipe is mostly a product of my own imagination. We love it. I hope the inspiration keeps coming!

Ingredients:*Dry lasagne noodles (from Rainbow bulk bin, brought home in my own cloth bag)

Sauce layer:*1 glass jar BionaturaeRead the rest

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February 8, 2009

I believe…

… that I don’t always have the right answers.

This month’s Green Mom’s Carnival topic (which will be published tomorrow on The Smart Mama blog) is “I believe.” Once again, I’m struggling with the theme because when it comes down to it, I recognize that whatever beliefs I hold are merely thoughts in my own head which are subject to revision at any time. So, with that qualification, here is a list of what I believe as I sit here at my computer tonight.

I believe that each of our individual actions ripples out and affects the rest of the world. We are not separate from each other or the rest of the universe, so why should we think what we do doesn’t matter?

I believe in the power of the Internet to spread ideas, both creative and destructive, and that each of us is responsible for the content we send into Cyberspace (blog posts, comments, emails, etc.) as well as what we choose to take in.

I believe that one woman… Read the rest

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February 8, 2009

Year 2, Week 33 & 34 Results: 3.3 oz of plastic waste.

I missed a week while I was sick, so here is two weeks’ plastic waste. This past week, I gave in to a substantial amount of new plastic, as you’ll see. But I have good reasons!

First, plastic purchased before the plastic project began:

Dry mustard container, sprinkle lid, & cap.

I used this up making homemade mustard two weeks ago. From now on, all dry mustard will be purchased from bulk bins using my own container.

New plastic waste this week:

Clamshell from Energizer family charger. I finally used up the last of my disposable AA and AAA alkaline batteries this week. I had purchased a big box of batteries from Costco long before realizing how wasteful and toxic they are and determined that once they were gone, I’d stick to rechargeables only. So, the time has come. I wanted a good machine that would charge all sizes of batteries, and this one handles AAA, AA, C, D & 9-volt NiMH batteries. And yes, the charger itself is made of new… Read the rest

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February 6, 2009

Love the Ocean, Use Less Plastic

My friend Eli Saddler from OceanHealth.org wants you to make this a plastic-free Valentine’s Day in 2009. Here are some tips from The FaceBook event he created:

Show your love for that special someone in your life and the ocean on this Valentine’s Day.

Love the Ocean, Use Less Plastic:

1. Bring your reusable bag when you go shopping and/or say “no” when offered a plastic bag.

2. Pick a non-plastic gift to show your love. Really, is plastic the way to say, “I love you”?

3. How about wrapping your gift in a reusable shopping bag?

4. If you live near the ocean, take the time to visit and have a romantic walk on the beach, go surfing, go wildlife watching, or just to watch the sun set. Maybe even take a couple of minutes to pick up some marine debris while you’re there or to even join a beach cleanup that weekend (check your local Surfrider for info: www.surfrider.org).

5. If you go out to dinner, remember to order only … Read the rest

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February 4, 2009

What a crock!

As you know, I’m trying not to buy new plastic. But so many people have recommended crockpot cooking as a timesaving way to prepare healthy meals, that I finally decided to take the plunge. Still, I didn’t buy new plastic. I found a used crockpot for $10 on Craigslist! The seller lived within walking distance, so I picked it up this morning on my way to work.

Did you know you can subscribe to Craigslist Searches? You can. It makes finding what you’re looking for a lot easier. Here’s how:

1) Type your search terms into the Craiglist search box and bring up a page of items. For example, here’s a search page for a crockpot:

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/sss?query=crockpot

2) Scroll down to the bottom right corner of the search page and find the RSS symbol that looks like this: Right clicking on the RSS box allows you to copy the feed URL, which you can use to subscribe to the search updates. I set up email alerts for mine.… Read the rest

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February 3, 2009

BPA in your toothpaste & Recycling the tubes.

03/2011 Update:  This post is about Tom’s of Maine toothpaste in recyclable aluminum tubes.  Recently, the company has announced they are switching to plastic laminate tubes, so the information in this article may be out of date very soon.

As you know, I switched from baking soda tooth powder back to toothpaste last summer when I found the former to be too abrasive for my teeth. At the time, I went with the SLS-Free Trader Joe’s brand and used as little as possible. The TJ’s tube, of course, is all plastic, and that tube ended up in my plastic tally last week.

Recently, I have made another switch, which has its pluses and minuses.

Tom’s of Maine SLS-Free toothpaste comes in a recyclable aluminum tube. Here are the recycling instructions, directly from the company’s web site:

In order to recycle our toothpaste tubes, you must first remove the plastic cap and the plastic threaded covering on the neck of the tube. … Read the rest

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February 1, 2009

When Life Insists on a Time Out

I came down with the flu a week ago. I tried very hard to keep on blogging, keep up with my job, and arrange for the final Take Back The Filter event to deliver our 611 collected Brita filters to Clorox on Friday. But working through fever and chills is not a good idea. After dropping off the filters to Whole Foods in Oakland on Friday morning, I came home and slept for 24 hours straight. But things are still not right.

I’ve been dealing with tingling, numbness, and weakness all over for several days now, with no sign of abatement. I’ve got another appointment at Kaiser tomorrow (Monday) morning (I saw the doctor this past Wednesday, too) and hopefully we’ll get it sorted out. In the meantime, I’m going to take a break from everything that is not absolutely essential for my survival. I hope I’ll be blogging again very soon. But at this point, I really don’t know.

Oh, speaking of Kaiser, I noticed on Wednesday that the SF … Read the rest

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