I am so full of excitement right now I could burst. I just received the first case of my new book: Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too, and I feel like a proud mama right now. A few nights ago, I had a dream that the book arrived and the pages were made out of plastic. I couldn’t believe it. So I called my editor and asked how that could have happened in a plastic-free book, and he said, “It’s not plastic; it’s nylon.” And I was all, “What? Didn’t you even read my book? Nylon is plastic!” And then I woke up and it wasn’t true. Still, I have been wondering and worrying. One commenter on Facebook wrote, “I’m assuming your publisher checked ‘no’ on the plastic shrinkwrap option on the book’s print bid…” and that started me fretting all over again. What if there was some accident or oversight and the books were sent shrink-wrapped in plastic? What a nightmare that would be.
So, when I got home yesterday and found that my case of books had arrived, I opened it with trembling hands. Today, I re-enacted that moment and took a ton of pictures so you can experience it with me. I did it because 1) I’m giddy with excitement but also, and more importantly 2) I’m all about transparency. If I expect companies to reveal all the materials used in their products, I have to do the same, right?
Okay, so the box itself had plastic tape and a plastic packing slip pouch. I’ll see if I can get them to change this. At the very least, I hope I can get them to skip the packing slip. I don’t need it since they already emailed me an invoice.
Opening the flaps, I see a protective piece of cardboard. No plastic so far…
Under the cardboard, bare books. No shrink wrap! Whew.
Under each book, a thin sheet of paper and cardboard dividers between the books.
As I’ve mentioned before, the book itself was manufactured without plastic materials. But did I tell you how cool they made the cover? See the raised writing that makes the plastic label look like real Dymo tape?
The design is pressed into the book jacket. It’s really not plastic.
So, what does a plastic-free book look like under the jacket? The cover is bare, uncoated, unprinted cardboard. The spine is bare. The glue is non-plastic.
The pages are sewn together with cotton thread. Seriously, you could compost this book at the end of its life.
So now, let’s take a little tour through the book itself. Each chapter is full of color photos and personal stories.
There are green tip boxes throughout the book, and many of the tips were contributed by readers of this blog. If I emailed you about using your tip in the book, it’s in there. But you’ll have to find it. :-)
There is a ton of practical advice, organized in a way that is much easier to navigate than the five-years worth of posts on this blog.
And new information, such as the pros and cons of bio-plastic, how to tell the legit ones from the scams, and what certifications to look for.
Or how about the benefits and drawbacks of recycling and whether it really does save energy or not. Come with me as I tour a recycling facility and show you what it’s like inside.
Each chapter contains one or more profiles of plastic-free heroes — people who inspire me to go beyond personal actions to create change on a wider scale. A few of the people you may know or recognize. But I’m betting there are some that will surprise you.
Knowing that I don’t have all the answers and that what is available to you will vary depending on where you live, I have included lists of Questions to Ask at the end of many chapters to help you figure out the best option when confronted with a plastic dilemma. These are the questions I ask myself.
Some chapters contain worksheets for tracking your changes. Keep in mind that the main advice is: Don’t try to do this all at once!
But like I said, the book is not just all resources and information and worksheets. There are a lot of personal stories, including some that are somewhat embarrassing. Yep, I’m all about the full disclosure.
Every chapter ends with an Action Item Checklist that summarizes all the steps discussed in the chapter, from beginning personal changes to bigger, citizen actions.
And at the back are pages and pages of notes to back up the statements I make.
Look! It’s me on a book cover. Seriously, I am sitting here pinching myself right now.
The book is available everywhere books are sold. (Online, as well as brick and mortar stores.) And I’m personally selling signed copies to benefit the Plastic Pollution Coalition or Women’s Voices for the Earth. Here is how to place an order.