Author Archives: Beth Terry

February 27, 2014

Is It Cheating to Stock up on Restaurant Burritos?

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So, I’ve talked and written a lot about how Americans seem to be addicted to the convenience that plastic packaging affords us. I know I sure was… eating frozen microwavable meals in plastic trays, energy bars in plastic wrappers, and water in plastic bottles. But I need to confess something. Just because I gave up plastic doesn’t mean I am not above a little convenience. It’s just that now, my idea of convenience looks like this:… Read the rest

February 21, 2014

Opting Out of Toxic Checkbook Covers

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Have you ever considered your checkbook cover? If you’re like me, you might be so accustomed to paying bills online that you don’t even remember where your checkbook is.  But I’m thinking about mine today because of an article I just read in Environmental Health News. Apparently, Deluxe, the main provider of personal checks for most of America, has reached a settlement to remove a toxic phthalate called DEHP from its plastic checkbook covers by June 2015.  According to the organization Healthcare Without Harm, DEHP “can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system — particularly the developing testes….”  And the chemical is listed by the State of California as a carcinogen and male developmental toxicant.

Opting Out

Deluxe may be reformulating its covers, but who knows what chemical they will substitute for DEHP.  And the covers are still non-biodegradable plastic. So I called … Read the rest

February 19, 2014

Running with Less Plastic, Part 1

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New Year’s Resolution #3: Run an official 5K race in under 30 minutes.

Sorry to have been out of touch for a month.  I’ve had a lot going on.  But I’m making progress on my 2014 goals.  Down 18 pounds and running again.  No, this picture isn’t me this year.  It was taken back in 2006 during my marathon training year.  But it’s a motivating image for me.  This year, though, I hope to resume my running habit using a lot less plastic.

Getting Up to Speed

I’ve done this before — run 5K (3.1 miles) in under 30 minutes, that is.  I know I can do it again.  But it’s going to take a lot of work.  As I wrote last month, I had been sitting on my butt for the past seven years.  So, I have to break this resolution down into sub-goals.

1) Run 3.1 miles without walking… at whatever speed.  I’m almost there!  8 weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5K (aka C25K) training program, which starts… Read the rest

January 20, 2014

Eating Eggshells for Calcium?

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As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to reduce the number of supplements I take (and hence, supplement packaging) by getting my nutrients from whole foods instead of pills.  So a few weeks ago, I was wondering aloud (apparently, I’ve started talking to myself a lot lately) about how I could get more calcium, and Michael, whose mind goes all sorts of random places, said, “You eat an egg everyday.  Why not eat the shell, too?”  He wasn’t serious.  But I wondered if eating eggshells was a thing.  You know, a thing that people do.  So of course, I turned to that trove of wisdom called Google, and lo and behold, there were lots of posts about how to do just that.

Before I go further… once again… I am not a doctor.  I am not suggesting that you or anyone else should eat eggshells.  I’m simply reporting my own experience.

Okay, so first I found this discussion, which lists several different… Read the rest

January 16, 2014

Reducing Plastic by Staying Healthy

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New Year’s Resolution #2: Generate less plastic waste from medicine and supplement packaging.

Okay, before I continue, I have to give the usual caveat:  I am not a doctor and nothing I write in this post or anywhere on this blog should be construed as medical advice.  I’m writing about my experience only.  Your mileage may vary.

Now that that’s out of the way, check out my stash of health-related plastic waste from 2013:

 

Let’s examine it row by row.

Boosting My Immune System

Top 2 rows:  With the exception of the ibuprofen (which I used over several years), all are cold/flu related products.  Like I mentioned last week, I got sick a lot in 2013.  … Read the rest

January 11, 2014

Working Out Without Plastic, Part 1

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In October, when Kathryn Palumbo first contacted me on Twitter from @YouAsAMachine, I thought, “Who the heck is this woman with the ripped abs and the funny Twitter handle? And why would someone like this be tweeting me, a totally out of shape but committed plastic-free activist?” I’m not exactly sure why I thought it was strange except that I don’t know any fitness trainer type people, and I guess I had this pre-conceived idea that they all wore Spandex, lived on bottled water and energy bars, and spent so much time in the gym they didn’t have time to care about the environment.

So, I was blown away by Kathryn’s article, “You As An Environmentally Conscious Consumer.” Here are a few excerpts:… Read the rest

January 9, 2014

Lose Weight Through Plastic-Free Living?

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New Years Resolution #1:  Lose the 35 pounds I’ve gained since I went plastic-free in 2007.

Here’s me in January 2007, minutes after completing my first marathon and 6 months before I decided to go plastic-free.  Look at all that plastic crap, including (gasp!) bottled water.  Well, I’ve lost a heck of a lot of plastic weight since then!

But instead of keeping it off, I seem to have just transferred the weight to my hips, my butt, my tummy, etc.  Here’s me in March 2013 after living plastic-free for almost 6 years.  All natural, organic clothing.  Water in a stainless steel bottle.  Yet I am 35 pounds heavier.

This image is from a talk I gave with Danielle Richardet and Bonnie Monteleone at UNCW in Wilmington, North Carolina.  I was recovering from what would turn out to be only one of many colds I came down with last year.  And while I’m really proud of the talk, I was so embarrassed by my appearance … Read the rest

December 21, 2013

My Favorite Airtight Stainless Steel Kitchen Container

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(01/12/2014 Update: Life Without Plastic is offering a New Year’s discount code until January 15! Read to the bottom of this post to find the code.  The giveaway is over.  The winner is BeckyL.  Congratulations!)

Three years ago, when Jay and Chantal from the online store Life Without Plastic sent me a sample of their new HUGE rectangular airtight stainless steel freezer container to review on this blog, I couldn’t think of anything I would use it for.  They touted the container as useful for freezing large quantities of produce prior to canning because the silicone seal will keep veggies and fruits from getting freezer burn.

The thing holds over a GALLON (over 4 litres), but since we have year-round farmers markets in the SF Bay Area (reducing the need to preserve large quantities of produce for the winter), I didn’t have (or didn’t think I had) a gallon of anything to put in it.

So the container sat in my never-endingRead the rest

December 19, 2013

Can Beeswax Cloth Wraps Replace Plastic Cling Wrap?

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A few weeks ago, blog reader Sandy Lansdale posted a question in the Discussion Forum:

I would love to hear how this beeswax wrap works if anyone has tried it.  Does it keep food well?  How long does one wrap last?  Has anyone bought from this site – http://www.beeswrap.com/pages/our-products?

Thanks,

Sandy

Well, Sandy, as it happens, I did try three different beeswax cloth wraps all the way back in January of this year and meant to write a review of them at the time.  But, to be honest, I was less than enthused, and when I’m not excited about something, it’s hard for me to write about it.  (Which is why, by the way, I haven’t written a holiday post.  Just not my thing.)  Still, lots of people have asked me this question, and I know there are quite a few people who are fans of these products, and I myself mentioned their existence in my book, Plastic-Free.  So here goes, but first:

BIG DISCLAIMER: I have a VERY Sensitive

Read the rest
December 2, 2013

Plastic-Free EcoEtsy Holiday Gift Give-Away

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12/20/2013 Update:  Thanks for participating. The Giveaway is over, and the winners have been notified.  You can find who won at the end of this post.

EcoEtsy is giving away 7 different holiday gifts to 7 different readers of My Plastic-Free Life.  They are also offering holiday discounts.  Please read the full post in order to enter the drawing.

Cory Trusty, whom you might remember from my September 9 post, is the owner of Aquarian Bath and offers many plastic-free personal care products in plastic-free shipping materials.

Cory is also a member of Team EcoEtsy, a global team of eco-minded Etsy sellers, whose mission is dedicated to protecting our planet by utilizing methods to reduce carbon footprints in managing their businesses in the most eco-friendly manner.  Many members offer plastic-free items and ship their packages without plastic, either by default or upon request.

Seven EcoEtsy team members have donated prizes to … Read the rest