Archive for June, 2012

June 28, 2012

When a Plastic-Free Book is Covered in Plastic

When you write a book called Plastic-Free, and your publisher strives to create the book without any plastic materials, you might expect the book will be offered to the public without plastic.  But expect the unexpected.  Logic does not always prevail.  I’ve received a couple of reports of my book being covered in plastic: one situation is truly unfortunate.  The other situation is more understandable.  Here’s what happened.

Plastic-Free shrink wrapped!

One of my Australian readers emailed me to say that my book had been delivered to the bookstore his mom manages completely shrink-wrapped in plastic. He even sent me a photo:

After a bit of freaking out (on my part) and research (on the part of his mom and my publisher), we learned that the Australian distributor had shrink wrapped all 80 copies after receiving them, in an effort to protect them from… what? Human hands? Obviously, they had not noticed the title of … Read the rest

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June 26, 2012

Herban Crafts: Make Your Own Bath Salts and Empower Homeless Women

I suppose I should be careful when using the term bath salts these days.  I could have said lip balm or sugar scrub or herbal soap, which are all products you can learn to make yourself and at the same time help homeless women learn job skills.  My friend Karen Lee–captain of the Eco-Etsy team and the author of the blog EcoKaren–and her business partner Mary Kearns of Herban Lifestyle have created a brand new for-profit social enterprise called Herban Crafts, which offers DIY personal care craft kits as part of job training program to empower homeless women living in transitional housing.  In addition to putting together the kits, the women will learn skills to help them gain employment in the future.

It’s a cool idea.  And what is even cooler is that Karen is committed to creating kits that are as green as possible.  All the ingredients in Herban Crafts Kits are certified organic, fair trade and/or ethically wildharvested.  … Read the rest

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June 19, 2012

Will a NYC Ban on Large Sugary Sodas Decrease Obesity or Increase Plastic Waste?

When I first heard about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sales of sugary drinks over 16oz from restaurants, delis, movie theaters, street carts and sports venues, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it.  The issue was interesting, but I don’t drink sugary soda and I don’t live in New York, so I kind of didn’t pay attention, until one of my blogger friends brought up the issue in a green chat group.

Are Sugary Beverages the Same as Plastic Bags?

Blogger Karen Lee wondered how banning large sugary drinks was any different from banning plastic bags. We all seemed to agree that plastic bags cause environmental harm that affects us all–especially animals that have no say in the matter–and that people should not be free to pollute. But aren’t diseases related to obesity also an environmental issue that ultimately raises healthcare costs for all of us? Maybe so. But who says sugary… Read the rest

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June 16, 2012

Plastic-Free Book Officially Launched. Help Spread the Word!

Yesterday was the official worldwide launch date of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.   Lloyd Alter from Treehugger posted a beautiful review.  So many of you have ordered signed copies from me to benefit the Plastic Pollution Coalition, that I keep selling out and having to order more!

That’s fantastic.  But there are many more people who don’t get their information from blogs or the Internet and who don’t know there are steps they can take to get plastic out of their lives.  I want them to know that, in the immortal words of candidate Obama, “We are the ones we are waiting for!”  We have the power to change the world through our personal and community actions, and my mission is to give people tools to do just that!

Please help me spread the message of this book far and wide.  There are lots of things you can do to help.  Just as I have Action Items Checklists in the book, here is … Read the rest

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June 12, 2012

Thoughts About Recycling Styrofoam After Japanese Dock Washes Up On Oregon Coast

You’ve probably already heard about the Japanese tsunami debris making its way across the ocean and the 66-foot long dock that washed ashore on the Oregon coast last week.  (According to NOAA, the debris is unlikely to be radioactive, by the way.)

The dock is a story in and of itself, but what made me realize it was also a story about plastic was the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s June 8 press release requesting bids for removal of the dock:

Salem, OR — The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has reviewed options for removing the tsunami debris dock at Agate Beach. The department originally intended to pursue either of two options — demolition in place, or towing it off the beach to the nearby Port of Newport — but has since discovered the range of costs for these options overlaps. The reinforced concrete dock contains a large amount of styrofoam, making clean demolition a challenge and increasing the… Read the rest

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June 7, 2012

Growing food and herbs to avoid plastic

Adding to the continuing series of posts on gardening without plastic, here is another guest post from Ro Kumar, who gave a few tips for avoiding plastic in the garden back in April.

It’s been said by environmental leaders like Michael Pollan that one of the best and easiest things we can do to reduce carbon emissions is to start a garden. Starting a garden can also help to dramatically reduce our use of plastics and improve our health. Here are two great benefits of growing your own food and herbs:

The supermarket in your backyard has no plastic packaging

Everything we buy at stores tends to involve plastic packaging. By growing your own food, you effectively step outside of this plastic supply chain, and enter into your own plastic-free one! I currently have a bounty of sugar snap peas growing on a trellis in my front yard. I use a stainless steel bowl to collect the peas – there is ZERO plastic involved in this process.

Grow your own herbs to avoid artificial… Read the rest

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