Probably. I visited a plastic bag factory this past weekend. I took a lot of pictures and asked a lot of questions, and I’ll write more about what I learned in a future post. But I just had to share this tidbit of information right away: most plastic bags (and other plastics, for that matter) contain “slip agents” to reduce the friction in the material. And what are slip agents made from? Mainly animal fat.
The factory owner I spoke with called it “chicken fat,” but according to an article I found afterward, “Animal Derived Agents in Disposable Systems (PDF),” many of these slip agents are made from rendered beef tallow. Apparently, manufacturers of biotechnology are concerned lately about beef fats used in plastic materials that come in contact with bioprocess fluids. Why? Because of prions. (Aka “mad cow disease.”)
Rendered animals. Just one more reason to avoid the… Read the rest
How often do we hear ourselves bemoaning the plastic world we’ve created and wishing we could go back to the good old days before our disposable culture got the better of us? I was having a few of those thoughts last night when I realized that as far as school lunches are concerned, some things may have gotten worse, but we also have some better options now than those available when I was a kid.
In 1974, way, way, way back in the day, “Back to School” meant I finally got new clothes for the year. Not that the clothes ever lived up to my fantasy of for once having a wardrobe that would make me popular. Designer jeans? Forget it. My mom didn’t let me wear pants to school until I was in 5th grade. Every year, my new duds would start out two sizes too big (to grow into) and be two sizes too small before I could have new ones. “No, I’m not preparing for a flood, you guys. Leave me alone.”
My younger sisters had… Read the rest
My vision of a plastic-free, zero-waste world is not a singles club. No, I’m not discriminating against uncoupled people. But I am a bigot when it comes to the three categories of Singles products, all of which have been featured on the new Facebook Plastic Crap Wall of Shame lately. The first two, I’ve written about extensively, and the third might surprise you.
1) Single-use Disposables
Think plastic drink cups and cup lids, plastic food containers, plastic straws, plastic packing materials and blister packs and clamshells. Or other ridiculous disposable items, like plastic bags for umbrellas (Can you say “mold?”)
Photo by Jennifer Lawlor.
or hefty bags for shoes.
These are items that are used once and thrown away, or recycled in rare cases.
Several zero-waste bloggers have campaigns to reduce our consumption of single-use disposables. Lisa Borden’s Take Out Without Campaign urges people to… Read the rest
BlogHer is about community, the power of women’s blogs and the promotion of women’s voices. It’s also about corporate sponsorship, commercialism, and the tradeoffs made to create a platform and conference experience for 2,400 women. I LOVED my BlogHer conference experience this year. It was a rockin’ good time. Nevertheless, I am troubled by some of the fundamental values of the organization, and I won’t be participating on the Green Team for future conferences.
But first, the good stuff…
1) Connecting with other women bloggers.
The BlogHer conference gives women bloggers a place to come together, to meet up in person, and to let our diverse voices be heard. According to Gloria Feldt in the Closing Night keynote, BlogHer is ranked as the #4 most powerful social media outlet. It promotes women’s voices in a time when men are still the loudest in the blogosphere. Here are just… Read the rest
Last month, after I blogged about how my cat destroyed my headphones, FPF reader Andrea suggested I check out thinksound headphones. She wrote, “They’re ridiculously expensive, but maybe they would send you a pair to review on your blog.” So I contacted the company, and they did just that.
PVC-free wooden headphones
Now, no headphones are plastic-free. But some plastics are worse than others. And most electrical cables are insulated with PVC, one of the most toxic plastics. thinksound headphones are unique. The cables are PVC-free, and the housing is made from wood (the company is working on getting FSC certified) and aluminum instead of plastic. In fact, these headphones probably contain the least amount of plastic on the market. Even the ear inserts are made from silicone instead of petroleum-based plastic.
Least Plastic Packaging
But what about the packaging? You know I’m all about waste-free plastic-free packaging.… Read the rest
Last year, I ranted about feeling overwhelmed at the BlogHer conference. In my post, Blogher ’09 and The Story of Stuff, I asked how BlogHer could move away from the commercialization of the conference and how we as bloggers could get back to our roots and avoid getting swept up in the barrage of swag and parties pushed by conference sponsors. I also revealed that I spent all of the first night drunk off my butt and that because I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted going in to the conference, I failed to make the most of the educational tracks offered.
BlogHer 2010 will be different from BlogHer 2009
I’m hoping this year will be different. But the difference will be inside of me… not the conference itself. From the program guide, it looks like there are even more sponsors this year — big companies like Procter and Gamble, Pepsico, Walmart, and McDonald’s. But BlogHer has made one important change, and that is that vendors … Read the rest
I love Ellen, but I want her to dump her bottled water advertising contracts. Please join the new Facebook Group (appropriately named Tell Ellen Degeneres To Dump Bottled Water Advertising!) created by Julie Borst of PlasticlessNYC and tell Ellen that bottled water sucks. Then, ask all your friends to join the group.
In addition to joining the group, check out Juli’s list of ways to contact Ellen and make your voice heard.
Ellen is not the first celeb to promote bottled water. Jennifer Aniston’s been doing it for years. The Filtered Files, the blog from the air and water filter company Filter Fast, has a list of other celebs with bottled water contracts. But Ellen’s support of Vitaminwater Zero is particularly disappointing to me because of her pro-environment, pro-animal lifestyle.
In fact, Ellen’s reasons for going vegan are the same reasons she should shun bottled water:
1) Living a Cruelty-free Lifestyle
Eating… Read the rest