Author Archives: Beth Terry

December 17, 2014

Kamik Recycled and Recyclable Rain Boots


So, I have kind of a confession.  I waited until we had the biggest rainstorm in years to even think about buying rain boots.  I waited until my work shoes and socks were soaked through, and I was sloshing around the office all day, to ask myself, “I wonder if I can buy Kamik recycled rain boots here in the Bay Area.”  I’d already researched the boots for inclusion in my book.  I just hadn’t bothered to actually try them out.  Until now.

So, last Thursday evening, I found myself in Nordstrom at San Francisco Centre asking if there were any Kamik rain boots and basically getting laughed at for thinking any store in town would still have any rain boots left.  So I did something I’m not proud of.  I ordered them overnight from Amazon.  And they arrived the next day.

Kamiks are great but Amazon sucks

Okay, first let me tell you about the boots, and then let me explain why ordering from Amazon is not the best… Read the rest

December 14, 2014

GreenCitizen does more than recycle your e-waste


I first learned about GreenCitizen several years ago when I was trying to figure out what to do with old CDs and DVDs.  Since then, Michael and I have taken several dead gadgets to them: our old rice cooker, our old blender, and some obsolete computer equipment.  So I was excited to take a tour of GreenCitizen’s hub in Burlingame this weekend and have a chat with founder and CEO James Kao.

Kao was born in Taiwan and graduated from UCLA in 1982 with a degree in math and computer science.  He went on to get an MBA and work for companies like HP, IBM, and Oracle as a software engineer.  As a guy with an engineering mindset, he’s all about solving problems.  So, after seeing a short film called “Exporting Harm: The High Tech Trashing of Asia” about e-waste pollution overseas, he set out to create a solution.

GreenCitizen is more than a recycling center for e-waste.  Kao wants to rethink the idea of waste in the first … Read the rest

December 1, 2014

Plastic-Free EcoEtsy Holiday Gift Give-Away


If you’ve read my book or regularly follow this blog, you know I love me some Etsy.  I love shopping for plastic-free products on Etsy, and I love that I can contact the sellers and ask them not to use any plastic shipping materials.  So, in the tradition of last year, Team EcoEtsy is once again giving away seven different holiday gifts to seven different readers of My Plastic-Free Life.  Please read the full post in order to enter the drawing.

Update: The contest is over and the winners have been chosen. Winners are identified at the bottom of each gift item description.

Team EcoEtsy is 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… Read the rest

August 18, 2014

Ask eBay to Stop Recommending Plastic Bubble Wrap to Sellers


Sign the petition to ask eBay to quit recommending plastic bubble wrap.

Cory Trusty of Aquarian Bath (a small business owner and sponsor of this blog who is committed to reducing her plastic footprint) got tired of all the plastic bubble wrap she receives when ordering supplies from eBay sellers.  While she has found her own unique way to request and receive less plastic with her orders (explained below), she realized that getting sellers to reduce their plastic packaging across the board would require help from above, specifically from eBay itself.  Why?  Because through its recommendations and feedback process, eBay has fostered a “Bubble Wrap Culture.”

Cory writes…

The eBay Bubble Wrap Problem

For 2012, eBay revenues were nearly 7.3 billion dollars, and eBay now has 128 million active users. Bubble wrap is the first packaging option that is recommended by eBay to every seller. Other alternative… Read the rest

July 25, 2014

BALM! Baby’s Plastic FREE July Challenge + Giveaway


It’s the final week of Plastic Free July, and BALM! Baby, a company that packages the majority of its personal care products without plastic, wants to reward everyone who participated by giving away crazy numbers of prizes.  I’ll throw in a copy of my book, Plastic-Free, as well.  Here’s all you have to do:

Challenge Details:

Challenge ends July 31, 2014. Form must be filled out & filled out HERE (it’s short) Switch one thing either within your household or your place of business within the month of July that helps to reduce plastic use. Then post a picture to BALM! Baby’s FB page. ( Make sure you ALSO enter the GIVEAWAY via Rafflecopter. Prizes include: $100 Gift Card to be used at their online shop ( * Glass Dharma $25 Gift Card * Pura $50 Gift Pack * SmartBottoms AIO Cloth Diaper (One Size ORGANIC) * Irresistibly Green $25 Gift Card * Life Without Plastic… Read the rest
June 24, 2014

Join Me in Berkeley and Around the World For Plastic-Free July


If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, now’s your chance to join with other like-minded folks IN PERSON to support one another and learn about local resources to reduce plastic use.  And if you’re not in the SF Bay Area, why not start your own local group (either online or in person) to celebrate Plastic-Free July?

While plastic reduction is important year-round, Plastic-Free July is a powerful time when people around the globe come together (in person or virtually) to make an extra effort to go plastic-free for a whole month and to spread the word that we can live without most disposable plastic.  Last year, I interviewed the founder of Plastic-Free July, Rebecca Prince-Ruiz of Earth Carers in Western Australia and participated in an International Plastic-Free Help Desk to give support and advice to those wanting to take the challenge.

This year, I decided it would be great to do something at home… in person.… Read the rest

May 1, 2014

Plastic-Free Vegan Lip Balm from Juniperseed Mercantile


Tiffany Norton of Juniperseed Mercantile tried different kinds of packaging for her delicious lip balms until she found the right one.  She sent me one to try in its brand new cardboard tube, and I love it.

Here’s what Tiffany has to say:

Now packaged without plastic and made without beeswax!! I am super excited to share my new paper tube lip balms! They are more than three times the size of a typical little plastic tube, so they will last you quite a long time. And since there is no plastic involved in the packaging (even the label is made of recycled paper), you can recycle or compost the tube after use, and feel good about reducing your plastic impact on the earth. This is absolutely, without a doubt, the greenest way to purchase lip balm. We will even ship your package without plastic tape!  

I make and sell breakfast burritos sometimes at school. I just make them the way I like them. Turns out, everyone else likes them just like I do. I’m always… Read the rest

April 30, 2014

Welcome #EcoWed Twitter Participants!


Hi everyone.  This is the official blog post for tonight’s #EcoWed Twitter party… all about ways to reduce plastic consumption and our exposure to toxic chemicals in plastics.  Leave a comment here to enter to win a free hardback copy of my book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too.  (U.S. residents only, I’m afraid.)  As we chat tonight, I’ll try to update this post with interesting points and links that may come up.  Feel free to ask questions and share information here as well.… Read the rest

April 18, 2014

Learning How to Fix a Broken Zipper Saved My Plastic Backpack


My poor backpack. I’ve been carrying it around for over ten years, and finally, one of the main zippers stopped zipping.


Or, I should say, one of the sliders stopped working.  Fortunately, this backpack has two sliders, so I could still close the zipper using the other slider, but I always had to remember which side to zip from so I didn’t accidentally sling the backpack over my back, thinking the zipper was closed, and empty all the contents onto the sidewalk.  No big deal, but I just prayed that the other slider would hold up and keep working.  I had no idea what to do about it, and it seemed stupid to send a perfectly good backpack to the landfill just because of a little thing like a zipper.  Remember… I can still use the plastic I already had before I started this project.  I just can’t buy new plastic.

Fortunately for me and my zipper, the Hercules Library chose my book Plastic-Free for their “Book to ActionRead the rest

April 16, 2014

Is Saving Money a Good Reason to Go Plastic-Free?


When I give talks, one question people frequently ask is whether it costs more money to go plastic-free. My answer: a few things cost more initially, but in general, I save money living this way.  In fact, I was thinking about adding a whole section to my plastic-free presentation about ways to save money.  But I haven’t done it because I got to thinking… is that actually a good strategy?  Or could it backfire?  I’ll explain what I mean later in this post.  I’d love to get your feedback.  But first, yes, there really are ways to save money.  Here are just a few…

Plastic-Free Ways to Save Money

A really good quality water bottle made from stainless steel or glass might be a bit pricey, but I save money in the long run because bottled water actually costs more per gallon than gasoline!  A 32-pack of Aquafina is $35 today on Amazon, which means I would make back the cost of a Klean Kanteen water bottle in about… Read the rest