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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-ending “to do” pile for probably about a year… just staring at me… unused and unloved. Until I discovered one perfect use for it.
Storing Bread Without Plastic
Now, I wrote about how to buy and store… Read the rest
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?
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
We’ve had a Copco plastic salad spinner (aka lettuce dryer) for years. Actually, Michael has had it since the 90’s before I was even a thought in his head.
I use it because we already have it, but I’ve never liked it. It’s plastic, so it gets slimy and hard to clean out. And it’s big. It takes up a lot of valuable real estate in the kitchen. From time to time, I’ve gone online and searched Google for “plastic-free salad spinner” or “stainless steel salad spinner.” But I just keep getting tricked by this Oxo stainless steel salad spinner, which is only stainless steel on the outside. The inside basket–the part that actually touches your salad– is still plastic. Plus, I don’t make salads that often anyway, so I couldn’t really justify buying a brand new one even if I did find a plastic-free model.… Read the rest
What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Michael and I are going to a potluck feast at the home of our friends David and Nancy. Our contributions will be baked yams, mashed potatoes, and a persimmon orange pomegranate salad. And nearly all of the ingredients will be plastic-free:
Salad greens, orange, pomegranate, persimmon, lemon, yams, and potatoes are from the farmers market.… Read the rest