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’s 90°F here in Oakland. The kitties are lolling around and so are we. Time to break out the soda maker and have ourselves a little treat. And by “ourselves,” I mean me. Kitties don’t get to have chocolate (tough life) and Michael wasn’t particularly interested. Freak.
This post is about toxic adhesives used to apply labels to food packaging and whether or not those chemicals can migrate into our foods. But it’s also a convoluted story about the foul odor emanating from the general direction of my dishwasher.
Stinky Dishwasher Smell
If you’re my Facebook friend, you may be waiting impatiently to hear the conclusion to the following status update:
Our kitchen smells like dead animal ass. Literally. We’ve searched for weeks to find the source of the smell. Today, I’m pretty sure it’s the Seventh Generation dishwasher powder we switched to. Is that possible? The dishwasher’s running now, and the smell is definitely coming from there. I stuck my nose in the [detergent] box, a…n…d it’s not good. Anyone else noticed this or am I crazy?
Yes, this is the type of tasteful, articulate status update you can except from me if you choose to be my Facebook friend. And… Read the rest
Sometimes all the news about plastic pollution and research and blogging and worrying about writing the Fake Plastic Fish book can throw me into my head, where I get trapped into spiraling negative thoughts. And when that happens the only thing to do is concentrate on the physical moment, breathe, ride it out, and when I get a chance, eat.
Today is World Oceans Day. It’s also, appropriately, No Plastic Day. The ocean is magnificent and yet fragile. In awe of the ocean’s vastness, we humans discard our waste, imagining that the sea will wash away the things we don’t want. We believe that oil, plastics, mercury, fertilizers, pesticides will all simply disappear. And yet, the living systems that depend on the ocean (including humans) are coming to learn that while the ocean may be vast, it is also finite. Can you imagine a world without oceans? Several artists want us to do just that.
The Plastic Century artists set up an installation at the SF Academy of Sciences last week asking visitors to think about the rise of plastics in the world’s oceans from 1910, the year Jacques Cousteau was born, to 2030, an imaginary time when plastic has completely filled up the ocean. Setting up 4 water coolers representing the years 1910, 1960, 2010, and 2030, they… Read the rest
People keep asking me if going meat-free is going to make it harder to be plastic-free since so many meat-free foods come packaged in plastic. Foods like veggie burgers, Tofurkey, seitan, tempeh, etc. But why should it? I gave up processed foods when I gave up plastic. I see no reason for anything to change now.
Fresh produce from the farmers market:
Bulk bins: Beans, lentils, split peas, all kinds of grains & nuts.
Fresh tofu from Whole Foods in my own container.
And when I want to grab something and go, I’ll just keep bringing my reusable containers. The new sushi vendor at Whole Foods didn’t want to put my veggie sushi in my LunchBots container, but I can be very persuasive when I’m hungry.
There’s no conflict between going plastic-free and meat-free. At least not where I live.… Read the rest
Julia Smith’s first grade class at Rooftop Alternative School, perched high up in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks area, is different from most, and Julia Smith is a special kind of teacher.
For example, in an effort to teach the children how to choose plastic-free grocery options, she actually took them on a field trip to Whole Foods to learn how to bring their own bags and containers to shop from bulk bins. After a lesson about the problems of ocean plastic pollution, the class participated in the Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge to collect and tally their classroom-generated plastic waste for a week.
Check the Challenge site to see the full results from their week of plastic collecting and read more about what they learned. Last week, I visited the classroom to pick up the plastic they had collected and chat with the kids about the plastic I had found on the beach and find out what they had decided to do about their classroom waste.
Here is my May 2010 plastic trash collection tally: 5.3 oz Plastic Waste [3.5 oz new/1.8 oz acquired prior to June 2007] Every month, I tally my plastic waste in an effort to find plastic-free alternatives wherever possible.