Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC, commonly known as vinyl), Polyurethane foam (foam rubber), Polyster. All these poly’s. All non-biodegradable plastics. Not so good for our health or that of the planet, right? And yet so many health products are made from these materials. Take electric heating pads and gel ice packs, for example.
My cold packs are made of gel in PVC bags. And my heating pad is made from layers of PVC, polyurethane foam, and synthetic fabric. We worry about the chemicals released when we heat plastic food containers in the microwave: hormone disrupting phthalates, for example. So why would we put PVC in a heating pad?… Read the rest
Last night after work, I went to see the movie Avatar in 3D and, in an effort to save plastic, brought with me the 3D glasses I’d received at another movie. Yes, I thought ahead. I had the idea yesterday morning that I might want to go see that movie and dug through a drawer full of crap to find that pair of glasses. I didn’t want to use new plastic glasses if I had my own.
That should be the end of the story. But it gets kind of funny. … Read the rest
The following is a transcript of my talk at Green Sangha’s Rethinking Plastics Conference on Saturday. I wish all of you could have been there. We had speakers on ocean plastic pollution, the chemistry of plastics, the truth about bio-plastics, sustainable activism, extended producer responsibility, cradle to cradle design, and finally my segment on personal actions. To those who were there on Saturday, this “transcript” will be a little bit different from what you actually heard because I’ve had time to polish it up a bit.
From Personal Journey to Systemic Change
First, I want to show you a video that explains who I am and what I am doing about plastic in my life…
So, do my personal changes make a difference? … Read the rest
They said they’d do it, and now Urban Village Farmers Markets has finally banned plastic bags! Originally scheduled to go into effect on October 1, the ban was pushed to January of this year to give vendors time to research their options and prepare for the change over. Beginning this month, a sign greets patrons as they enter the market informing them of the change and encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags.
How do I feel? Um… just thinking about it makes me dance a little jig and channel KC & the Sunshine Band: “That’s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh!”… Read the rest
As you know, I avoid buying plastic products. Plastics contribute to the degradation of the world’s oceans, harm wildlife, and threaten human health. But in certain situations, I think that durable plastics can actually be the better alternative to biodegradable materials like cardboard. No, I didn’t suddenly take a job lobbying for the American Chemistry Council. Rather, I was contacted by Spencer Brown of Rent-a-Green Box, … Read the rest
Valentine’s Day is almost here! We’ve only got about a month to finish our shopping, as Walgreen’s and other drug stores remind us, their aisles suddenly lined in red and pink, overflowing with hearts and bears and sweet treats. On this official day of love, how will Michael know how I feel if I don’t choose the right gift?
A card? So many to choose from, and not really special enough.
A box of candy? It’s plastic-wrapped for our protection. But really, too common, right?… Read the rest
I’m not a big gum chewer. I can keep a stick of gum in my mouth for about five minutes, just enough time to suck all the flavor out, before I’m tired of chewing and starting to get that chewing gum headache.
So it was no hardship to let go of chewing gum when I gave up products in plastic packaging.
Still, if someone offered me a piece of gum, I might have accepted the random chew here and there. Yeah, I knew it contained artificial flavors and wasn’t good for me. And I always felt guilty if it came in one of these:
But after reading some information that reader Eleanor Sommer forwarded me yesterday, I won’t be putting any of that stuff in my mouth anymore.
Gum is made from plastic.
… Read the rest
As I mentioned last week, Thursday was my birthday, and my office mates threw me the traditional birthday lunch, complete with take-out food, some living plant-type thing, ice cream, and presents. I love this celebration but I’m also wary of the amount of plastic I might accumulate. So let’s see how we did this year.… Read the rest
It’s my birthday! So how will I celebrate?
Well, first with a birthday lunch at work. Group lunches at the office are always challenging because of the packaging associated with take-out food. But fortunately, there’s a new lunch place in San Francisco I’ve been dying to try: Mixt Greens.
Mixt Greens is certified green under the Bay Area Green Business program. Their food is organic. Their packaging is compostable. And even the restaurant itself is constructed to green standards.
Next? We’ll see . Karaoke this weekend? A movie? A walk on the beach? I haven’t decided yet. Hoping to get together with Ruchi, aka Arduous, and hang out some.
I think I probably won’t blog again until next week. So cheers. Thanks for all your support. And keep away from plastic this weekend. :-)… Read the rest