Aloha. I’m writing this post high above the Pacific Ocean on my way to Hawaii. I’m thinking about how I’m increasing my carbon footprint this month with so much travelling. And I’m also thinking about the carbon footprint of Burning Man. This will be my final Burning Man post for the year, and hopefully it will be a good one. (I didn’t go to bed last night, so we’ll see what comes through my index finger as I Swype the screen on my Android phone.)
Burning Man is all about burning carbon. During the week, people erect beautiful wooden sculptures that they’ve spent all year constructing…
only to burn them a few days later. … Read the restRead the full post.
I’ve got a plethora (I love that word) of events on my schedule through the middle of next month to tell you about and invite you to attend! Check the Google calendar on my sidebar for updates. And even if you can’t make it to an event, if you’re located in one of these places and want to get together, be sure and let me know.… Read the restRead the full post.
I met Cory from Aquarian Bath two years ago when I was trying to figure out plastic-free toothpaste options. Her store blew me away because of all the cool, handmade products packaged without plastic: tooth powder, shampoo bars, lip balm, deodorant, soap, and more.
Since then, Aquarian Bath has become an advertiser on this blog (I am very, very picky about what advertisers I will accept), and a few months ago, she and I were interviewed back to back on the Air Occupy radio show on reducing plastic.
This week, Cory is offering to give away one of her new personal care gift sets to a reader of this blog. Here’s her description:
10/05/2013 Update: Thank you for all your comments. The contest is closed and we have a winner. Congratulations to Megan!
Aquarian Bath has been getting ready for the holiday gift giving season. Three new plastic-free bath and body gift sets are now available. One is a Lavender Bath and Body set which includes… Read the restRead the full post.
This will be my penultimate Burning Man post for the year. I think. (I have one more in mind, but who knows if I’ll get a burning desire to say even more after that? Or less?)
I have a discussion question for you, but first, a little background and lots of pictures. (I don’t think there is any nudity in these photos, but let me know if you see some and I’ll remove it. This blog is rated PG even if my life isn’t always.)
Reducing our plastic footprint was the theme of the Earth Guardians camp this year. Toward that end, we had Annie’s plastic footprint sculpture…
I gave two talks on plastic-free living on and off the playa…
Karima from the Plastic Pollution Coalition was there, taking pictures and working on quantifying Burning Man’s plastic footprint.
Several people came up to me during the week who … Read the restRead the full post.
Okay, speaking of brewing coffee in a mason jar, there are a couple of companies that want to make it easier for you to drink your coffee from a mason jar as well. Back in 2011 when I was writing my book Plastic-Free, I heard about a product called Cuppow that lets you add a reusable drink lid to a mason jar to reduce the need to buy a whole travel mug. I thought it was a cool idea to reduce consumption of brand new stuff, so I mentioned it in the book. But I wasn’t thrilled that it was made from plastic, which is probably why I never reviewed it on this blog… that and the fact that it was shipped to me in plastic bubble packaging.
Plus, I already have a travel mug with a plastic lid. I’m looking for something better.
So I was really happy a few months ago to stumble across a stainless steel alternative at Berkeley’s Ecology Center Store: EcoJarz lids.
EcoJarz come in two sizes to fit different sizes of canning jars. Neither will fit the ubiquitous… Read the restRead the full post.
I’m back home from Burning Man and so glad to be able to have my morning green smoothie again. When I wrote that post, I promised a follow up about my blender. Well, here it is.
Back in 2011, I wrote about hanging out with my friend Mark and watching him make homemade ketchup. What I didn’t mention was how impressed I was with his blender.
It’s a Waring Pro MBB518 stainless steel blender. Mark said that even though it only has two speeds, it’s the sturdiest and best blender he’s ever had. But what caught my eye was that there is no plastic at all inside the glass pitcher to come into contact with the food.
See, my current blender, a Kenmore that I’d had for years and that also had a glass pitcher had plastic at the bottom that twisted on and off for cleaning.
I wasn’t crazy about that plastic inside the pitcher, but it wasn’t enough to make me chuck the machine for a new one. And then the bottom started to leak. And … Read the restRead the full post.
Yesterday I detailed the outside of my Burning Man setup. Today I’ll tell you about the inside.
I’m using the vintage wood, canvas, and steel camping cot I blogged about after my night at the aquarium last year..
I didn’t figure out a plastic-free sleeping bag, and the truth is, the purple polyester (or maybe it’s nylon… not sure at this point) bag I bought back in the early 90′s still works great. Why replace it?
Since the bottom of my tent is vinyl (ick), I wanted to cover it with natural fiber rugs. Second-hand would have been best, but this was kind of last minute, and I needed enough to cover a10x10 space, so instead of rugs, I opted for a felted rug pad made from recycled carpets and other recycled fabrics. It’s very, very soft, but probably a mix of synthetic and natural fibers. It was very affordable too. Purchased from Dick’s Carpet in Berkeley. It’s really trippy looking… Read the restRead the full post.
I only had two hours sleep last night after driving 12 hours, but I want to post these pictures and give you the list of ways I’m de-plastifying my Burn this year.
I’m staying with the Earth Guardians… which is part of the Burning Man infrastructure tasked with making the event as green as possible.
If you’re on the playa, stop by and say hi, leave me a message in the little notebook attached to my tent, or come to one of my workshops, either Wednesday at 1 or Saturday at 2.
Here’s the outside view of my little home on the playa:
The tent is a Springbar Traveler 5, which is made of heavy duty cotton canvas. I put it up this morning with the help of an expert named Kearce. But it was me who pounded all 18 twelve-inch steel stakes into the hard playa.
Here are the pros and cons of a Springbar tent. Pros:
*Mostly heavy duty cotton instead of synthetic material.
*Super strong, stable, and durable. According to comments online from Burners,… Read the rest
When you read this, I’ll be (hopefully) on the road to Burning Man. Being without a cooking stove for a week will mean a change in my diet… but no change in the way I drink my coffee because I don’t heat it anymore anyway.
Making cold brewed coffee
I think I learned about cold brewed coffee from my friend Tracey TieF (with whom I went to Burning Man last year), and the idea intrigued me. Checking on Google (because that’s my first impulse any time I learn about anything new these days), I learned that brewing coffee cold produces a full-flavored but mellower, less bitter cup.
Some people use a French press to make cold brewed coffee, and in fact Frieling makes one that is entirely plastic-free.
Impulsively, I almost bought one a couple of weeks ago, but I thought better of it in time to cancel the order. Because despite some of the products I have endorsed, my plastic-free life is not about buying a bunch of new stuff when I don’t… Read the rest
Zero Waste Week is coming up September 2 – 8, so this morning I thought I’d take pix of my daily green smoothie making process, sans packaging or plastic waste.
This is also a post about storing greens so they don’t go bad before you can eat them, thus avoiding food waste. See, about a month or so ago, I realized I wasn’t getting enough fresh produce in my diet. I wanted to eat more kale and other fruits and vegetables. And I figured blending a whole bunch of things together in a smoothie every morning would be fast, easy, and painless. But despite the Ecology Center’s instructions for storing produce without plastic , I couldn’t manage to keep kale from turn yellow before I could eat the entire bunch.
And then, one morning on the bus, it hit me: I wonder if you could freeze it raw. I Googled “how to freeze raw kale” and bingo, there were instructions. I just had to figure out how to do it without Ziploc … Read the restRead the full post.