Do you ever feel like you have a little Beth Terry sitting on your shoulder whispering into your ear things like, “Remember your reusable bags. Do you really want raw, organic cashews packaged in plastic? See if you can find them in bulk. Does that water bottle have BPA in it?” Well, now you can listen to my voice for real. (I think you’ll find my actual voice may be kinder and gentler than the one in your head.)… Read the rest
It’s been a busy two weeks, and I haven’t had a spare minute to write a blog post. I shouldn’t actually be writing one now because I’m at a silent meditation retreat, and it’s not really allowed.
But being here at the retreat center, a place I’ve come twice a year for the past 14 years or so, I remembered something that happened here 9 or 10 years ago, and thought I’d share.… Read the rest
Did you know Vita-Mix, the high speed blender that is so fast it can make hot soup, originally came with a stainless steel container instead of plastic?
If you don’t have time to read this whole post, please click the following link to sign and share the brand new petition I posted on Change.org last night asking the company to bring back the stainless steel container.
Artist Tess Felix creates amazing portraits out of plastic trash she collects near her home in Stinson Beach, CA. She reached out to me in early 2012 when I was finishing up the manuscript of my book to see if she could do my portrait for the book’s jacket. Sadly, it was too late for that. But this summer, she did a series of portraits of ocean advocates–including me–and displayed them this weekend at the Bioneers Conference in Marin County, CA. I think we all look amazing in plastic, if a bit trashy.
But before I show you our portraits, I have to show you what drew me to Tess’s work in the first place. It’s edgy and bold and makes a statement. A plastic mermaid, for example, with a toy gun. Maybe she’s pissed off at what we are doing to our oceans.… Read the rest
On Blog Action Day, bloggers around the world all post articles on a single topic. This year, the topic is human rights, and as I sit here typing (or Swyping) this post into my Android mobile phone, I’m acutely aware that having a smartphone is very definitely NOT a human right. (Okay, this is going to be one of those weird, winding, philosophical posts that may not end up where we think it will. Let’s just see where it goes, okay?) So yes, human rights. But first, let me explain why I bought this phone.… Read the rest
I thought this was post was going to be another one of my triumphant reports about how I avoided buying a new plastic gadget because I was able to fix the old one. Like the tale of the rice cooker, or the umbrella, or the laundry basket, or even the washing machine. I imagined how proud and accomplished I would feel to report how instead of replacing my worn out shower head, I had cleaned and repaired it and made it good as new.
Sadly, this is not that post. No, this post is about trying, failing, and wasting a whole lot of duct tape. But lessons were learned. Possibly. So I’m going to share the experience here anyway.… Read the rest
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth by injecting highly pressurized fluids–including combinations of highly toxic chemicals–into the shale to release the trapped gas. The process was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, which means companies don’t even have to disclose the chemicals they use–chemicals which can contaminate ground water. Fracking has been linked to air and water pollution and even earthquakes.
But what does fracking have to do with plastic?
Most people still think that plastic is made from petroleum–oil. And much of it is. But in the United States, a large percentage of plastic is actually made from natural gas. Why? … Read the rest
Tuesday morning, I met up with Daniella Russo, executive director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, for breakfast at her hotel, the Hyatt Place near the Austin Convention Center. Here’s a photo of Daniella’s breakfast:
From a distance, the dishes look like ceramic and glass, right? Nope. All plastic. Even the mug meant to hold hot coffee… plastic.… Read the rest
I’ve been dying to visit In.gredients since before the store even opened for business, and I profiled the company in my book Plastic-Free based on a telephone interview and articles I had read about a new packaging-free grocery store opening up in Austin, TX. So almost immediately after arriving in Austin yesterday afternoon, I headed over to this mythical zero waste grocery store to see if it was as awesome in real life as it had been described to me back when it was still in the planning stages. And you know what? It’s better.… Read the rest
I just watched Annie Leonard’s Latest Video from The Story of Stuff Project: The Story of Solutions. And I have a few thoughts that might not be entirely popular. Here’s the video: http://act.storyofstuff.org/page/s/growing-solutions
In it, Annie argues that not all “solutions” to our environmental and social problems are created equal. Some solutions simply promote the status quo, while others are “game changers.” And I’m excited to see that she has decided to use plastic pollution solutions as an example. According to The Story of Solutions:
Plastic Bag Ban = Game Changing Solution
Plastic Recycling Incentive (such as gift cards for putting stuff in your recycle bin) = Status Quo
You’ll have to watch the video to understand her reasons for classifying these two kinds of “solutions” this way. But I’d just like to offer my take on incentive programs:… Read the rest