As a member of the #Blogher09 Green Team, I had the privilege of participating in a conference call with one of the Blogher Conference’s largest sponsors: PepsiCo. Why did the Green Team want to speak with Pepsi? Because in addition to peddling sodas and other flavored drinks, Pepsi has gotten into the bottled water business. Its brand is Aquafina. And we felt that Pepsi’s bringing Aquafina bottled water to the BlogHer conference would undermine the steps the Green Team had taken to encourage attendees to carry their own reusable bottles and to drink the local tap water.
In preparation for our meeting with Pepsi, the members of the Green Team as well as several members of the Green Moms Carnival wrote posts about the problems with bottled water. The conference is over, but bottled water will continue to be an ongoing issue, so I thought I would share with you the other posts these highly intelligent and articulate women came up with.
Chicago is one of the best cities to see without a car! And boy, did I see a lot. I won’t bore you with all my trip photos in this post. Here’s a link to my Chicago vacation photos on Flickr, for those who are interested. I’ll just give you a glimpse of the car-free fun I had. Click on any photo to see the larger version.
My feet are my favorite mode of transit. Sunday evening, after I checked into the hostel, they took me around the neighborhood and over to Buckingham Fountain to see some wonderous sights in the dark:
Monday morning, I met up with a Fake Plastic Fish reader: the one and only Clif Brown, he of the awesome, thought-provokingcomments. Clif lives nearby and made an excellent tour guide for our hours-long walk…
and along Lake Michigan…
where we had zero-waste ice cream cones and chatted with a few ducks. How fortunate I am to be able to spend a simple day on foot enjoying… Read the rest
So, I’ve been blogging (whining) about the Blogher Conference in Chicago, but did you know I stayed a few more days to hang out and see the city? This was my vacation, and wow did I need one.
During the conference, I roomed with Micaela Preston (Mindful Momma) at the Chicago Sheraton, the same hotel where the conference was held. And while I can deal with a pillow-topped bed a few times in my life, I couldn’t afford to stay at the Sheraton for the remainder of my trip.
Instead, I moved to the Chicago Hostel, where I shared a dorm with several other women half my age!
Less luxury, for sure. But certainly more green, and in a way, more fun!
The Sheraton provides many individually-wrapped amenities. Take a look at what is provided in the bathroom. Also, a hair dryer (not shown.)
At the hostel, you get soap and a hair dryer. And the soap comes in a bulk container, so you only use as much as you need. Zero waste.
So what did I bring? Here’s a peek at the contents… Read the rest
Despite the impression I might have given in my previous post, “Blogher ’09 and The Story of Stuff,” the BlogHer conference was not only about swag and vendors and overconsumption. The experience had a huge impact on me, bigger than I can properly articulate at this point. But for right now, here are my photos and a few thoughts, in chronological order, beginning with Thursday night.
1) It doesn’t really matter if I order my martini with “no plastic spear” for the olives…
if I drink so much that I end up sick and needing a plastic bottle of this…
2) When we ask for “greener” sponsors, “organic” is not enough.
How organic is a product that is more plastic than food? And that is promoted with a ton of paper waste?
The Center for Health, Environment, & Justice has released its Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies. It’s a free downloadable guide to all the products kids might need for school, from binders and notebooks to clothes, electronics, lunch boxes, and a host of other products. It includes a comprehensive guide to suppliers as well as general rules to keep in mind.
So what’s wrong with PVC?
I’ve ranted about PVC products quite often on this blog, but in case you missed those posts, here’s a quick summary:
1. PVC is the only major plastic that contains chlorine, so it is unique in the hazards it creates. During production, PVC plants can release dioxins which harm workers and community members who live nearby. Residents of certain towns in Louisiana, which is home to half the PVC production facilities in the USA, have been shown to have much higher concentrations of dioxins in their blood than the average U.S. … Read the rest